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Border agent accused of smuggling pot jailed until trial

PHOENIX -- A U.S. Border Patrol agent accused of smuggling marijuana earlier this month while on duty in southwestern Arizona will remain in jail while he awaits trial.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Michelle Burns ruled Thursday that Aaron Anaya, 25, was at serious risk to flee from authorities and granted prosecutors' request to keep him in jail.

Authorities said agents conducting aerial surveillance saw Anaya loading marijuana bundles that had been dropped over the border fence from Mexico into his patrol vehicle on Dec. 2 in between Yuma and Wellton, about 185 miles southwest of Phoenix.

Investigators said agents tracked Anaya for several hours as he appeared to return to normal duties and found nearly 147 pounds of marijuana in the vehicle.

Anaya pleaded not guilty to marijuana importation and other charges.

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