Traffic stops turn violent: Pinal County deputies show 9OYS why patrols are so dangerous
Photo: Video by kgun9.com
PINAL COUNTY, Ariz. (KGUN9-TV) - Two men, two traffic stops. Raul Hernandez-Lopez and William Thomas both decided to fight. Check out the scars on one of the perps.
"Those people have no qualms to do what they can to get out of the situation," said Pinal County Deputy Jason Carnes.
They're now behind bars, but the danger out here for deputies remains. For Pinal County deputies, there's no such thing as a routine traffic stop. That's because right along I-10 and I-8 is one of the busiest and most active human and drug smuggling corridors.
9OYS checked out the area with Deputy Carnes. We walked the same paths cartels, drug mules and illegal immigrants walk. The trails are matted down. You'll find water jugs, backpacks, knives, clothes, boxes of Mexican candy and these heavy burlap sacks.
"This is where they carry the drugs," said Carnes.
Mules carry up to 75 pounds of dope say deputies. They cover their tracks with carpet like shoes. Wire fences are snipped and it makes it easy to get the loads right onto cars along I-8.
"The stuff that comes through here goes everywhere," said Carnes.
These hidden paths split right down the freeway. Drivers don't know they're there. It's a wild maze of drug trafficking arteries. And by the looks of this sign, government agencies know it's happening.
"It's rampant, we do what we can," said Carnes.
But deputies can't be everywhere. The terrain is rough. The county spread out. So residents know it might come down to them. So they give you, a fair warning.
"You have no clue what you're walking in on," said Carnes.
Border Patrol units are around. But that's little comfort, when deputies turn on the lights and make a stop.
"If you get pulled over, do everything the nice officer asks you to do," said Carnes.
Resisting arrest in this stretch of Arizona, a really bad idea.
Both suspects in this week's traffic stops are facing multiple charges including aggravated assault on an officer. By the way if you ever see any suspicious activity in that area call the Pinal County Sheriff's Office.