A three-day anti-smuggling operation in the Vekol Valley resulted in the seizure of more than 4,000 pounds of marijuana and the apprehension of 40 undocumented immigrants, officials said Monday.
In a release, the Pinal Sheriff's Office said it worked with 10 law-enforcement agencies in an operation from Sept. 14-16, confiscating 4,369 pounds of marijuana.
Around 10 p.m. Sept. 14, SWAT teams from the Pinal Sheriff's Office and the state Department of Public Safety found seven people with six bundles of marijuana, the release said. The suspects attempted to flee, but three were taken in custody and 250 pounds of marijuana was recovered.
The following morning, deputies helped Border Patrol agents track a suspicious vehicle. Border Patrol agents discovered 90 bundles of marijuana weighing approximately 2,000 pounds, according to the report.
Later that morning, shots were fired at DPS officers involved in the operation. No one was injured by the suspected drug smuggler's shots.
"It is absolutely crucial that we work closely with all of our lawenforcement partners to combat drug and human trafficking which is a constant problem," Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu said