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Sierra Vista cops bust drug smugglers, seize $2.9 mill worth of pot

Sierra Vista cops bust drug smugglers, seize $2.9 mill worth of pot

CREATED Nov 11, 2011

Web Producer: Brian Pryor

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Sierra Vista Police seized 8,000 pounds of marijuana being smuggled in a semi truck and at a nearby ranch.

An officer with the department's K-9 unit conducted the stop on Highway 90 near Highway 82. The canine alerted to the vehicle and officers found 200 bales of marijuana concealed in the vehicle.

Authorities arrested 39 year-old Juan Alberto Miranda-Torres, a Mexican national from Nogales, Sonora. Miranda-Torres was booked into the Cochise County Jail. 

Officers also searched a ranch located in the 2300 block of Sands Ranch Road. As officers arrived four people fled on foot and three were found and arrested. The search resulted in approximately 200 bales of Marijuana stored in a vehicle and trailer on the property. Investigators believe that the ranch was used to package and smuggle pot.

In total the pot seized carries a street value of $2.9 million dollars. Sierra Vista Police also seized the vehicles and several cattle that were inside the trailer on the original traffic stop.

Juan Miranda-Torres was charged with Possession of Marijuana for Sale, Transporting Marijuana for Sale and Possession of Marijuana.  The three subjects at the property who tried to flee; Jorge Armando Martinez-Madero, 39, Luis Alfredo Islave, 28, and Javier Rubio-Nunez, 30, all Mexican citizens were charged with Conspiracy to Commit Possession of Marijuana for Sale and Conspiracy to Commit Transporting Marijuana for Sale.  All subjects were booked into the Cochise County Jail. 

A second search warrant was served in the 300 block of Mustang Road in Huachuca City.  There was no one home at the time of the service of the warrant but evidence found in the search indicates the home owner is involved in the distribution and sale of Marijuana.  Over $50K in cash and more vehicles were seized on the second search warrant location.