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Armed Mexican cartel scouts busted in Arizona

February 17, 2018  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Armed Mexican cartel scouts busted in Arizona

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Multiple suspects have been apprehended, and 400 pounds of marijuana were confiscated during an early morning raid in Phoenix on Wednesday. An investigation conducted by the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office into reports of drug and human smuggling armed cartel scouts led to the arrests of five suspects.

The PCSO reported that the bust is part of a months-long probe that focused on “coyotes” (human smugglers) and “scouts” (armed escorts) transporting drugs from mountainside areas in Pinal County to the Phoenix.

The investigation was launched in October 2017 and led to the arrests of four males and one female,  according to local reports.

Six minors were living in the stash house where drugs and weapons were being held when the raid was carried out by the PCSO. Six vehicles were also seized in the bust.

The use of heavily-armed cartel scouts to protect human and drug cargo is a common practice in the desert and mountainous regions of southern Arizona.

Rudolfo Kirsch, the Tucson Sector Border Patrol Chief, said that criminal groups smuggling illicit items across the border employ armed scouts to guard loads from both law enforcement and rival criminal organizations.

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