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NOGALES, Ariz. -- A former Santa Cruz County law enforcement officer has been sentenced to five years in prison after pleading guilty to a criminal charge for his role in a marijuana smuggling conspiracy.

The Nogales International reports that 46-year-old Pio Martin Ahumada of Rio Rico received the sentence on Dec. 17.

He had pleaded guilty to a charge of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute marijuana.

Ahumada and two other men were accused of possessing with intent to distribute about 500 pounds of marijuana near Nogales on April 26, 2009.

Ahumada is a former Santa Cruz County sheriff's deputy and Nogales police officer.

He was fired by the city in 2003 after he was accused of assaulting another officer, but was acquitted of an assault charge filed in the incident.

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Information from: Nogales International, http://www.nogalesinternational.com/

Associated Press,

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