Fernando Villalobos-Castaneda

Pinal County Sheriff’s Office

A traffic stop turned into a drug bust Monday when a Pinal County deputy pulled over a sedan near Eloy.

Just before 8:30 a.m. the deputy pulled over a Chevy sedan that was traveling eastbound on Interstate 10 near milepost 208 outside the city of Eloy.

The driver pulled over, but as soon as the car stopped, both he and a passenger jumped out and ran into the desert, Tim Gaffney, spokesman for the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office, said in a news release.

The deputy and his K-9 partner found the driver, Fernando Villalobos-Castaneda, 25, of Glendale, hiding in bushes about 60 yards away, Gaffney said. The passenger was not found.

The deputy found 21 pounds of marijuana that had a street value of $15,750, in the trunk of the Chevy.

Villalobos-Castaneda was booked into the Pinal County jail and faces charges of possession of marijuana for sale, transportation of marijuana for sale and possession of marijuana.