A traffic stop in Sierra Vista Friday led to the arrest of five people — including a Tucson man — and the seizure of almost two tons of marijuana.
Sierra Vista police officers working on a tip from federal agents, seized 1,200 pounds of marijuana during a traffic stop. That bust, in turn, led them to a stash house in Whetstone where an additional 2,600 pounds of marijuana was hidden, according to a news release from the Sierra Vista Police Department.
Five suspects, including three undocumented immigrants, were arrested and booked on multiple drug-related charges.
Sierra Vista police received a report of a suspicious vehicle from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the U.S. Border Patrol. SVPD officers were told a pick-up truck towing a flatbed trailer was seen being loaded with bales of marijuana at a property on Mustang Heights Road in Whetstone north of Huachuca City.
At about 9:30 p.m. Friday, police officers spotted the truck at North Seventh Street and East Fry Boulevard in Sierra Vista, and saw 22-year-old Gadhi Corella of Tucson, get out and run. Officers on foot chased down Corella and arrested him, according to the news release.
Officers in a patrol car continued following the truck and pulled it over for a traffic violation. During the stop, officers discovered 1,200 pounds of marijuana partially covered in the trailer. The driver, 55-year-old Heinz Scriba of Sierra Vista, was arrested, the news release stated.
Based on what they found in the flatbed, SVPD officers, along with agents from Homeland Security and Border Patrol, got a warrant for the Whetstone property and discovered another 135 bundles of marijuana, weighing just over 2,600 pounds.
The street value of the combined pot seizures was $1.6 million, according to the news release.
During the search of the Whetstone property, two additional men were found at the house and arrested. The men — Francisco Lara-Delgado, 35, and Omar Alejandro Galindo-Islava, 24 — are undocumented immigrants from Mexico.
A fifth man, 31-year-old Marcos Jesus Gomez-Gallegos of Mexico, who had been seen loading marijuana into the trailer, was arrested on Monday by SVPD, the news release stated.
All five were booked into the Cochise County jail.
Corella and Scriba both face charges of possession of marijuana for sale and transportation of marijuana for sale. Additionally Corella faces a charge of criminal trespassing.
Lara-Delgado, Islava, and Gomez-Gallegos face charges of possession of marijuana, possession of marijuana for sale and possession of drug paraphernalia.