Dec 13, 2012 6:19 PM by Ian Cross

West Desert Task Force finds over $1m worth of pot in hidden SUV

TUCSON -The Pinal County Sheriff's Office, working with the West Desert Task Force, located a hidden SUV loaded with 1,550 pounds of marijuana yesterday morning.

At about 10 a.m. Wednesday, the sheriff's office Aviation Unit was working with the West Desert Task Force, a joint initiative between the U.S. Border Patrol, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations and the Pinal County Sheriff's Office to combat drug trafficking in the West Desert region, according to a news release from the office.

The task force located an SUV in the desert off Interstate 8, near Stanfield Road, that was covered with a tarp and hidden with brush, the release states. Inside the vehicle, the task force found 1,550 pounds of marijuana with an estimated street value of $1,165,500.

No suspects were found near the vehicle, officials state. The SUV and marijuana were seized.

"The Border Patrol continues to work in conjunction with our local law enforcement partners to combat transnational criminal organizations' efforts to operate in southern Arizona," said Tucson Sector Acting Chief Patrol Agent Manuel Padilla, Jr. "I am proud of the men and women who protect our country by serving in a law enforcement capacity. By stopping drug shipments such as this, we all move closer to achieving our common goal of securing the border and making our communities safer."

Images courtesy Pinal County Sheriff's Office

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