On Monday, June 9, at 8:27 p.m. a PCSO K-9 deputy was traveling eastbound on Interstate-10 near milepost 208 outside the city of Eloy.

The deputy conducted a traffic stop on a Chevy sedan after he had observed a traffic violation.

The vehicle pulled off onto the shoulder of the roadway and stopped approximately one half mile east of Sunshine Boulevard. As soon as the vehicle stopped, a Hispanic male opened the driver’s door and a Hispanic male opened the passenger’s side door. Both males then ran southbound into the desert.

A responding K-9 deputy was able to locate the driver who was later identified per his passport at Fernando Villalobos-Castaneda, 25, out of Glendale. Fernando was attempting to hide in some bushes approximately 60 yards away from his vehicle. He was taken into custody without incident. Members of the United States Border Patrol responded and set up a perimeter but we were not able to locate the passenger.

In the trunk of the vehicle, the K-9 deputy located a large bundle of marijuana. The marijuana was wrapped in plastic and placed inside of a large black trash bag. The marijuana weighed 21 pounds and had a street value of $15,750.

Fernando was booked into the Pinal County Jail for Possession of Marijuana for Sale, Transportation of Marijuana for Sale and Possession of Marijuana. His vehicle was seized and we will request that it be forfeited.

Sheriff Paul Babeu stated, “Everyday PCSO deputies work to stop the cartels from Mexico from smuggling drugs and humans through Pinal County to destinations throughout the United States. While we are doing our best to protect citizens, President Obama and his Homeland Security Team are allowing bus and plane loads of illegals from Texas to be dropped off in Arizona. The White House has requested an appropriation of just over 2 billion dollars to support Health and Human Services and 160 million additional funds to deal with unaccompanied minors coming to the United States from Mexico. The question most Americans have is why they are not securing our border first and using that money to support our veterans who have fought for our country. Instead our veterans are dying while they wait for their healthcare.”

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