A Stanfield man suspected of smuggling 22 bales of marijuana was arrested after being chased by a sheriff’s deputy through the Thunderbird Farms area.
The deputy, a detective with the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office anti-smuggling unit, was traveling on Papago Road on Wednesday around 7:30 a.m. when he saw a vehicle turn abruptly off the road onto a farm road.
The Chevrolet SUV sped from the patrol vehicle, according to the report, and then drove in circles at dangerous speeds between the fields where workers were present. The SUV returned to Papago Road, went north on Amarillo Valley Road and west on Teel Road. It was abandoned near Ralston Road, and an unknown number of occupants fled into the fields.
One person ran to a group of farm workers to try to conceal himself among them.
The deputy reportedly found 22 bales of marijuana, weighing 495 pounds, inside the SUV. He spoke to the farm workers nearby, and they pointed out the suspect as having fled from the vehicle.
The man was identified as Aldo Aleman, 19. The allegedly was carrying a two-way radio on which the deputy believed he heard smugglers and scouts talking in Spanish.
Aleman, listed as a resident of Stanfield, is being held in the county jail awaiting charges of drug smuggling and possession of drugs for sale.