Meth, marijuana worth $2M seized in Arizona drug bust, authorities say

An estimated $2 million worth of methamphetamine and marijuana was seized in Arizona this week, officials said Friday.

The drug haul on Wednesday yielded roughly 200 pounds of meth and 3,500 pounds of weed, the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release. The department collaborated with Customs and Border Protection agents as part of the County Drug Suppression Task Force (MCDST).

Authorities operating near Gila Bend spotted “two trucks avoid a border checkpoint and drive into an uninhabited desert area with their lights off,” the sheriff’s office said.

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Tire deflation devices were set up and the vehicles “were rendered inoperable” after coming in contact with them, they added. Four suspects allegedly took off from the area on foot, the sheriff’s office said.

“Detectives coordinated with CBP agents and air support, and three of the suspects were subsequently apprehended,” according to authorities. “The vehicles, loaded with bricks of methamphetamine and marijuana, had been reported stolen and were driving with fictitious license plates.”

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The apprehended suspects – who were identified as Jose Jaime Garcia-Lopez, Yoni Ontiveros-Torres and Ruben Espericueta-Jiminez – were booked in jail on charges of possession and transportation of dangerous drugs for sale and possession and transportation of marijuana for sale, the sheriff’s office said.

“This seizure is an example of exceptional police work by our deputies and law enforcement partners,” Sheriff Paul Penzone said in the news release. “It is also an example that the demand for drugs continues to be epidemic. Illicit drugs are the most impactful contributor to violence, crime and gang activity that continues to adversely impact our community and our families. We will be unwavering in our commitment to hold the line."