Pinal County deputies and their canine partners made two drug busts in eight hours Monday during routine traffic stops that resulted in four arrests.
Just before 9 a.m. a deputy pulled over a 2013 Dodge Charger for speeding. The car was eastbound on Interstate 10 near Milepost 225 southeast of Picacho, Tim Gaffney, spokesman for the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office, said in a news release.
The driver of the car was Tonette Harris, 36, of Compton, Calif. The two passengers were Anthony Johnson, 44, and Rukiya Stocking, 30, both of Long Beach, Calif.
All three said, they were traveling from California to Georgia, “but then gave conflicting information regarding their travel plans and relationships,” Gaffney said.
They gave the K-9 deputy consent to search their vehicle. Inside of the vehicle, the deputy found a brown, taped bundle containing 4.5 ounces of methamphetamines packaged for sale concealed in the rear speaker deck.
The trio was booked into the Pinal County jail for transportation of a dangerous drug, possession of a dangerous drug and possession of a dangerous drug for sale. Additionally, Harris was arrested for possession of marijuana that she had marijuana in her purse, Gaffney said.
At about 4:15 p.m. that same day, another deputy pulled over a 2011 Chevy passenger car for a traffic violation. The car was headed westbound on Interstate 10 outside of Eloy. The driver was David Castro-Espinosa, 47, who had a Washington State driver’s license, Gaffney said.
“David was very nervous and claimed he was in town to visit his son in Tucson, but he wasn’t able to provide any other details,” Gaffney said.
He gave the K-9 deputy consent to search his vehicle, and the “deputy observed tooling to the vehicles firewall and cowling on the dash. The deputy removed the cowling and observed numerous bundles wrapped in black socks inside of the vehicles firewall,” Gaffney said.
All total, the bundles contained 5.8 pounds of methamphetamines and 3.7 pounds of cocaine.
Castro-Espinosa was arrested for transportation of a dangerous drug and a narcotic drug; possession for sale of a dangerous drug and a narcotic drug; and possession of a dangerous drug and a narcotic drug.
It was later confirmed by U.S. Border Patrol, that Castro-Espinosa had been previously deported back to Mexico from the United States in 1998 and he was once again in the United States illegally, Gaffney said.