On Sunday, Dec. 29, at 7:21 a.m., a Pinal County Sheriff’s deputy attempted to stop a 2000 Jeep after he had clocked it on radar speeding eastbound on Highway 84 at 90 mph in the 55 mph zone. The deputy attempted to stop the vehicle after it had turned northbound onto Highway 347. The driver slowed the vehicle rapidly and then continued for a short distance at a slow speed. The vehicle then accelerated quickly and then came to an abrupt stop. The front passenger door opened and a Hispanic male dressed in camouflage ran northbound into the desert.
The driver of the vehicle who remained in the vehicle was later identified as Alejandro Ruiz (age 22 of Phoenix). The deputy asked him if there was anything illegal in the vehicle and he said “some marijuana.” Inside of the vehicle, the deputy observed several packaged bundles of marijuana. The marijuana weighed 212 pounds with a street value of $159,000.
Sheriff Paul Babeu stated, “Ruiz told the deputy he was just trying to make some money. Members of the U.S. Border Patrol came to the traffic stop and attempted to locate the passenger who fled but were unsuccessful. The vehicle Ruiz was driving was seized and PCSO will work with the County Attorney’s office to request that it be forfeited as it was used to smuggle illegal drugs.”