“These foreign drug smugglers try to outrun our deputies and even throw bales of marijuana from their vehicle,” Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu said in a statement posted on Facebook. “We caught these criminals who put our deputies and our local citizens in harm’s way, and now they will go to prison for their crimes.”
About 374 pounds of marijuana were recovered as evidence, the sheriff’s office said, adding that not all the thrown pot was found because four or five vehicles not involved in the chase stopped to grab some of the tossed bales before police could get back to them.
The high-speed chase happened last Wednesday morning when a deputy officer was monitoring traffic on a Casa Grande highway, the sheriff’s office said.
The officer noticed a 2006 White Trailblazer traveling much faster than the other vehicles on the roadway and attempted to stop the car. The vehicle led multiple police units on a high-speed chase.
The Trailblazer eventually went into the campus of Central Arizona College, where Pinal County Sheriff’s deputies ahead of the chase set up spike strips that successfully deflated the Trailblazer’s front tires, police said.
From information developed from an earlier pursuit, Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials said they believe suspected smugglers’ destination was a stash house in Mesa, where authorities discovered 20 undocumented immigrants from Guatemala and Mexico.
Babeu used the incident to criticize President Barack Obama’s recent actions on immigration.
“This further proves that not only drugs like methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin are being smuggled into America by way of Arizona, but scores of illegals from Central America have never stopped,” Babeu said. “Meanwhile, President Obama continues to violate US immigration law and instead prioritizes the needs and concerns of illegals ahead of American citizens. This further undermines the rule of law and our current immigration process that currently allows more foreigners to lawfully immigrate into America every year than every other nation combined.”