Two men from Mexico — one of whom has been deported nearly a dozen times — were arrested Tuesday after Pinal County sheriff’s officers found 220 pounds of marijuana in their car.
The chain of events that lead to the arrests started when a K-9 deputy attempted to make a traffic stop just before 4 p.m. on Interstate 8 south of Casa Grande near Interstate 10, Tim Gaffney, spokesman for the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office, said in a news release.
“The deputy turned on his emergency lights and the vehicle failed to stop, but instead crossed over the eastbound lanes of traffic and then stopped suddenly,” Gaffney said. “The doors to the vehicle opened and the Hispanic male driver and front seat passenger fled on foot. Both suspects were chased into a nearby trailer park.”
Officers caught up to the passenger, Felipe Gonzalez-Tempura, 19, who was injured when he climbed over a barbed wire fence as he tried to flee from officers. However, the driver was not immediately located, Gaffney said.
Inside of the car, deputies found 10 bundles of marijuana, weighing about 220. The street value was estimated at more than $165,000.
At about 8:20 p.m., a 911 call was made from a truck stop to report a suspicious person at an Eloy gas station off Interstate 10 northeast of Picacho. A detective from the Eloy Police Department along with a sheriff’s deputy responded.
“Workers from the truck stop said the individual had told them deputies were looking for him because he had fled from a traffic stop,” Gaffney said.
“The detective and deputy located the individual and he was immediately recognized as the driver who had fled the prior traffic stop. As they attempted to take him into custody, he began to fight with the detective and a deputy. After a short struggle he was taken into custody,” Gaffney said.
The man was identified by U.S. Border Patrol agents as Daniel Jupa-Fino, 21.
“Border Patrol officials told deputies Daniel had been deported 11 prior times during the last three years for illegal entry into the United States,” Gaffney said.
Both Gonzalez-Tempura and Jupa-Fino were booked into the Pinal County jail for possession of marijuana, possession of marijuana for sale and transportation of marijuana.