PHOENIX — A routine traffic stop turned into five arrests and seizure of 518 pounds of marijuana, according to the Pinal County Sheriff’s department.

Monday’s drug bust began innocently when a deputy watched a white SUV make an unsafe U-turn at the intersection of Toltec and Bataglia roads near Stanfield.

When the deputy tried to pull over the vehicle, the driver sped up, ran a stop sign then went off-road, eventually getting mired in mud. The deputy said five men fled on foot.

PHOENIX — A routine traffic stop turned into five arrests and seizure of 518 pounds of marijuana, according to the Pinal County Sheriff’s department.

Monday’s drug bust began innocently when a deputy watched a white SUV make an unsafe U-turn at the intersection of Toltec and Bataglia roads near Stanfield.

When the deputy tried to pull over the vehicle, the driver sped up, ran a stop sign then went off-road, eventually getting mired in mud. The deputy said five men fled on foot.

Share this story...
Latest News

Pinal Co. sheriffs seize 518 lbs. of marijuana

PHOENIX — A routine traffic stop turned into five arrests and seizure of 518 pounds of marijuana, according to the Pinal County Sheriff’s department.

Monday’s drug bust began innocently when a deputy watched a white SUV make an unsafe U-turn at the intersection of Toltec and Bataglia roads near Stanfield.

When the deputy tried to pull over the vehicle, the driver sped up, ran a stop sign then went off-road, eventually getting mired in mud. The deputy said five men fled on foot.

The deputy found several bundles of marijuana inside the SUV

Three suspects were found within a half-mile of the SUV, while the other two were caught by Border Patrol agents near the Santa Cruz River.

The five were identified as Ivis Misael Chapa-Duvon, 25, Jose Ramon Medina-Lopez, 25, Jorge Alberto Matute-Vanegas, 21, Jose Rafael Vanegas-Mencia, 23, and Sergio S. Orozco, 25.

According to the sheriffs, Orozco is a U.S. citizen who lives in Eloy. He was identified as the driver.