Tuesday, March 24, 2015



Note: A day north of the former border.

Huge pot growing operation found in Apache Junction
Posted: Mar 18, 2015 5:33 PM MST
Updated: Mar 18, 2015 5:33 PM MST
By Phil BensonCONNECT


The operation was found in an Apache Junction industrial park. (Source: Pinal County Sheriff's Office)
A search uncovered 469 marijuana plants, PCSO said. (Source: Pinal County Sheriff's Office)
An investigation led authorities to a man in Scottsdale. (Source: Pinal County Sheriff's Office)

A search warrant served on a building at an Apache Junction industrial park uncovered a huge marijuana growing operation, the Pinal County Sheriff's Office said.

During a routine business check Saturday night, a sheriff's deputy noticed a strong odor of raw marijuana coming from one of the structures in the area of 4800 block of South Desert View Drive. The Pinal County Sheriff's Narcotics Task Force was notified.

A search of the building uncovered 469 marijuana plants in varying stages of growth, sheriff's investigators said.

Each plant has the potential of producing about four ounces of marijuana with an estimated street value of $287,000.

As the investigation unfolded, authorities said they identified Ross Niemann, 30, of Scottsdale as a suspect.

A search warrant executed on his home led to the discovery of "a usable quantity of marijuana and various pieces of drug-related paraphernalia," according to a PCSO news release.

Investigators said they also found items linking Niemann to the large marijuana grow near Apache Junction.
Niemann was not taken into custody at the time the search warrant was executed.

The investigation is ongoing.

1,079 pounds of marijuana seized after pursuit on Interstate 10
Posted: Mar 19, 2015 1:24 PM MST
Updated: Mar 19, 2015 1:25 PM MST


Two people have been arrested for the alleged possession and transportation of more than a thousand pounds of marijuana.

On March 18, an Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS) canine officer attempted to stop a white-colored pickup truck for a traffic violation. This happened on northbound SR 90 (Benson area). The driver of the pickup failed to yield, and sped away with the officer in pursuit.

The pickup truck entered onto westbound Interstate 10 at a high rate of speed. Attempts were made to spike the tires of the pickup, and at milepost 280 (Vail area), the pickup ran over the spikes.

With the tires deflated, the truck drove off the road and through the right-of-way fence. As it came to a stop, the two male occupants in the pickup fled on foot.

Multiple agencies began an intense search for the suspects. During the search, the nearby Acacia Elementary School was placed on lock down for about an hour.

About two hours later, the two suspects, Lance Schilling, 19, and Brent Jackson, 26, both from Phoenix, were taken into custody. From the pickup, officers seized 1,079 pounds of marijuana, which has a street value of $540,000.

Schilling and Jackson were booked into the Pima County Jail on charges of possession of marijuana, transportation for sale of marijuana, and felony flight.


Arizona Department of Public Safety Canine Officer Seizes Nearly $200,000 in Cash on Traffic Stop
DPS continues interdiction efforts with another seizure
Wednesday, March 18, 2015 -

On March 17, 2015, the Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS) recovered $196,040 after the driver of a passenger car was stopped for traffic violations on Interstate 40 and milepost 199 near Flagstaff. The Highway Patrol officer observed numerous indicators of criminal activity and a search of the vehicle was conducted. The search led to the seizure of the cash which was believed to be connected with a crime and charges filed against the driver.

DPS will continue these interdiction efforts in order to continue its overall mission to protect human life and property.

The investigation remains ongoing.

Feds seize $104K in meth at border station
Posted: Mar 19, 2015 4:00 PM MST
Updated: Mar 19, 2015 4:03 PM MST
By Phil Benson

Meth found hidden in tires at Arizona border station. (Source: U.S. Customs and Border Protection)

An Arizona teen and a Mexican national were arrested in separate meth seizures at a southern Arizona border inspection station.

A 24-year-old man from San Luis, Sonora, Mexico, was taken into custody Wednesday after a U.S. Customs and Border Protection narcotics detection dog alerted agents to the vehicle's spare tire.
Officers said they found 30 packages of meth valued at almost $103,000.

Earlier in the day, a narcotics detection dog alerted agents to the front seat of a 17-year-old man's vehicle. Officers said they found more than half a pound of meth with an estimated value of $1,650.

Officers seized the drugs and vehicles, and referred both subjects to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations.

Read more: http://www.kpho.com/story/28566978/feds-seize-104k-in-meth-at-border-station#ixzz3UsNA60Ro

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