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482 pounds of marijuana seized, 5 arrested in Phoenix bust

(Flickr/Brett Levin)

PHOENIX — Authorities say nearly 490 pounds of marijuana has been seized and five people arrested after a bust at a stash house in Phoenix.

The seizure and arrests Wednesday were part of an investigation conducted by the Pinal County Sheriff Office’s anti-smuggling unit.

Sheriff’s detectives and U.S. Border Patrol agents investigated a drug trafficking organization that has been smuggling marijuana from Mexico, moving it to various homes in Phoenix and then distributing the drugs across the country.

“A drug trafficking organization that was bringing drugs in from Mexico, using backpackers to hike the drugs up and scouts to help them navigate around law enforcement detection,” said Navideh Forghani, a spokeswoman for the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office.

“Then they would pick a pre-determined spot along the I-8, I-10 corridor. Other members of the group would pick them up and take them into Phoenix.

Over the course of the 14-month investigation, authorities say they confiscated more than 1,000 pounds of marijuana.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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