On Nov. 14, 2012 at 9:17 a.m. a Pinal County Sheriff’s Deputy stopped a 2000 Ford Expedition northbound on State Route 347 near milepost 181 on a traffic stop after he observed a traffic violation.
The driver of the vehicle was identified as Abdul Cortes-Reyes (age 24 of Sonora, Mexico) and the passenger was identified as Ignacio Cienfuego-Varela (age 31 of Sonora, Mexico). The deputy could immediately smell a strong odor of marijuana coming from inside of the vehicle. He could also see in plain view several bundles which appeared to contain marijuana.
Cortes-Reyes and Cienfuego-Varela admitted to deputies they were in the United States illegally and the vehicle they were in had marijuana inside of it. They were both placed under arrest for Possession of Marijuana, Possession of Marijuana for Sale and Transportation of Marijuana.
Both suspects were booked into the Pinal County Adult Detention Center and are being held on a no bond status. The vehicle was seized and paperwork will be completed to begin the forfeiture process.
The marijuana which was seized from the vehicle weighed a total of 716 pounds with a street value of $537,000.