Weekend wrap-up: Here are the biggest Arizona stories from May 28-30
PHOENIX – Phoenix police arrest nearly 50 suspects in an undercover massage parlor sting, a wreck blocked the I-17 north of Phoenix heading into Memorial Day weekend and police report one person dead and two in critical condition after responding to a shooting call Saturday morning.
Here are some of the biggest stories that headlined the Arizona news cycle over the weekend.
An undercover massage parlor sting in Phoenix led to the arrest of nearly 50 people accused of soliciting prostitution, authorities said Thursday.
The targeted operation used a storefront that looked like an illicit massage parlor with detectives placing ads online.
The suspects allegedly solicited or brokered deals for sex acts in response to the ads, according to a Phoenix Police Department press release.
Forty-three of the 47 arrested men were booked into the Maricopa County Jail, while the remainder received citations.
A wreck involving a camper blocked Interstate 17 near Sunset Point on Friday, causing long delays for the flood of Phoenix-area motorists heading north for the holiday weekend, authorities said.
The collision occurred around 11:30 a.m. at milepost 256, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation. The road was cleared in under an hour, but the damage was done.
By 12:30 p.m., vehicles were backed up about 10 miles to Black Canyon City.
During the closure, traffic was forced to leave the highway at the Badger Springs Road exit and take the access road before reentering.
One person was killed and two people suffered critical injuries in a shooting early Saturday morning, according to the Phoenix Police Department.
At approximately 4:57 a.m. on Saturday, Phoenix Police Department received a call of a shooting at an apartment complex near 43rd Avenue and Thomas Road.
When police arrived at the apartment residency, they found three people with gunshot wounds.
One man was pronounced dead on the scene. He was later identified as 33-year-old Noah Martinez.
Police are investigating the death of a newborn found in a backpack in Phoenix on Friday morning, authorities said.
Officers located the baby’s body in a brush area near 25th and Peoria avenues after responding to a call around 6:30 a.m., according to Sgt. Mercedes Fortune of the Phoenix Police Department.
Cause of death has not yet been determined.
“It’s difficult to respond to these type of calls. I can’t make any assumptions on what the parent of the child was going through or why this happened,” Fortune said during a press conference.
Arizona Department of Public Safety troopers seized 180 pounds of illegal drugs worth more than $6 million during two recent traffic stops, officials said Thursday.
“Arizona’s Border Strike Force continues to seize significant amounts of illegal narcotics coming across the southern border,” Gov. Doug Ducey said in a press release. “Keeping these dangerous and deadly drugs out of America’s schools and neighborhoods is a heroic effort.”
On May 15, a DPS trooper pulled over a tractor-trailer on westbound Interstate 10 near Nogales for multiple violations.
During a search of the vehicle, the trooper found 44.9 pounds of heroin, 40 pounds of fentanyl pills and 21.4 pounds of methamphetamine stowed in backpacks and duffel bags in the truck, authorities said.