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Stabbings Near Phoenix

Stabbings In Jail

Stabbings in jail probably happen quite often, However the county jails are usually pretty harmless. It’s a holding place for drunken people or minor things. Maybe even an inmate waiting trial. A fight between inmates broke out in a Maricopa County jail recently. The inmate was critically injured, however they say he is expected to survive his injuries.

According to Maricopa County Sheriff, Joe Arpaio’s office, the fifty-two year old inmate had fallen to the ground and even lost consciousness after he was hit in the face on Sunday night in a brawl at the Towers Jail which is located in West Phoenix.

Inmate Badly Injured in Jail Fight

The middle aged male inmate had to be put on a ventilator.  His identity has not been released at this time. The police officials have stated that he had been in jail for felony probation violation.

The fight was due to an argument over a “commissary issue”. However the Sheriff’s Office is staying pretty mum on the situation. They have declined to explain the fight any further. Inmates are allowed to buy items such as: snacks, toiletries, and other items from the jail commissaries.

Sheriff Arpaio’s office would not say how many of the inmates took part in the fight. They also would not give any additional information about the inmate who had been severely injured.

It’s really hard to tell why the police authorities are keeping so quiet about the situation. Could be a gang related incident, maybe their family doesn’t know they’re there or whatever reason.

Teens Stabbed Due to Racially Related Attack

A mother claims that her son and two of his friends had been stabbed while they were skateboarding on a Saturday night. She calls it a “racially motivated attack”. The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office is now investigating the incident. The stabbing happened around eleven o’clock at night in the Anthem area.

Two of the teens have suffered from several stab wound in various areas of their body including their: legs and arms. Luckily both teens are expected to make a full recovery.

Sunny Bowen, the mother of one of the teens, was out with some friends when she got a very scary phone call from the local hospital.


Mother’s Statement About The Teens Being Stabbed

It was quite possibly the worst night of my life the worst feeling ever, because they didn’t elaborate. I didn’t know if he was stabbed bad enough he was going to die.


Sunny stated that her young son, who is only fifteen years old and his two friends had been skateboarding around their neighborhood. That is when they claim that a group of adult men pulled up to them and the men were in a white pickup truck.


Sunny’s Statement:

He said they had masks over their face, and I said ‘masks like a Halloween masks’ and he said ‘no, more like what a KKK mask looks like, They were screaming the ‘N’ word at the children, and I mean these were adult men.


According to the statement, all three of the teen males are bi-racial.


Sunny’s Statement:

It’s horrible to even think that in this day and age that that is an issue.Whoever this was, I mean they were adult men, attacking

children obviously in a racially motivated hate crime of some sort and they need to be brought to justice.


The boys did the right thing by running to a nearby home and calling 911. The teens said that the pickup truck had a large white cross on the back of it. Hopefully police can find their attackers.


Phoenix Violent Crimes Lawyer

Criminal Defense Cases

If you are suspected of murder, aggravated assault or another violent crime, an experienced criminal defense attorney can secure your rights. A skilled lawyer will not only look for ways to get the charges against you reduced or dismissed but will also focus on developing an effective criminal defense trial strategy. At Criminal Defense Lawyers PLLC, we have a substantial background defending clients accused of violent crimes in the state of Arizona and the greater Phoenix Metropolitan Area. Our lead criminal defense attorney, Daniel Perlman, is a former prosecutor who previously pursued charges against individuals suspected of violent crimes. Mr. Perlman and the entire Perlman Law Group offer a comprehensive view of the criminal justice system and know the right steps to take in developing a defense strategy while seeking to mitigate any potential damage.

Our ability to work with the facts in plea negotiations can turn a weak defense into a strong one. In our experience, a creative approach to your defense strategy can result in a sentence of probation or work release, even on a felony plea.

Effective Defensive Strategy for Violent Crimes

As a starting point for an effective defense strategy, we will evaluate the police report, witness statements and any physical evidence. Criminal Defense Lawyers PLLC takes its approach a step further through identifying creative solutions by focusing on the actual risk of punishment you are currently facing. The threat of prison will probably be based as much on your prior record as it will be on the facts of the current criminal charges.


Our firm handles cases involving all types of Violent Crime allegations, including:

  • Assault and Assault with a Deadly Weapon
  • Murder, Attempted Murder and Manslaughter
  • Weapons Offenses
  • Armed Robbery
  • Kidnapping and False Imprisonment
  • Criminal Threats
  • Gang-Related Crimes
  • Resisting Arrest and Assault on an Officer
  • Domestic Violence


If weaknesses in the government’s case mean that you stand a good chance of success at trial, we will aggressively represent your interests before a jury. If the evidence against you makes a trial too risky, we will advise you and work with all parties — including prosecutors, probation officers, court services and community agencies — to show that you are an excellent candidate for favorable treatment.

Schedule a Free Consultation –  Phoenix Violent Crimes lawyer

If you or someone you know has been accused of a Violent Crime, contact a Phoenix Criminal Defense Lawyer Today to Schedule a Free Consultation. With a wealth of expertise, a commitment to integrity and a passion for defense, the Attorneys at Criminal Defense Lawyers PLLC – Phoenix Criminal Defense Lawyers – are here to support you with your case. We believe every defendant has the right to a solid defense. Call us today for a free initial consultation at 480-351-6445.



Criminal Defense Lawyers PLLC
668 N 44th St. Suite 300
Phoenix, AZ 85008
(480) 351-6445

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Phoenix Medical Marijuana Advancements and Findings

Medical Marijuana Industry Booming

Marijuana, medical or recreational isn’t something that is going away anytime soon. So all those people who hate it, might as well jump on the economic wagon and embrace it. Not saying you have to smoke pot but at least let those who want to be allowed to. However, let’s try to do it in the privacy of their own homes, not in the middle of a playground or hotel where families often frequent. Having a kid it’s hard enough to keep them from harmful thing and let them keep their innocence as long as possible, so please as a user of whatever, do it in a responsible way and in the privacy of your own home.

The marijuana industry is growing and as everyday passes more states are getting on board to embracing the economic growth that the marijuana industry brings.

In fact, one company agrees with it so much they hope to make a tourist spot. The company is an Arizona based company and they hope to create a different type of tourism, they have such high hopes that they bought an entire town for their venture.

American Green bought a city in hopes to create a pot based tourist destination.

Statement from the Marijuana Company:

first energy-independent, cannabis-friendly hospitality destination.

The company hopes that they can build more shops and restaurants in the little town and even open a dispensary.

Dish Network Van Carries Marijuana Inside

A Dish Network van isn’t something that you would think that would harbor drugs, however anyone can buy a van and put decals on it.

According to reports, the van was inspected by a canine unit at the Ajo Border Patrol Station. There they found around $199,000 worth of marijuana inside. Which I’m not a pot expert but that seems like it would be a heck of a lot of drugs.

After the canine found the drugs the driver was arrested for “narcotics smuggling”. The van and 396 pounds of marijuana was seized by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Phoenix Medical Marijuana Lawyer

Criminal Defense Cases

At the Phoenix based Law Offices of Criminal Defense Lawyers PLLC, drug cultivation or manufacturing charges are familiar territory. Our attorneys will respond quickly to your need for counsel and evaluate every aspect of your case. We are prepared to vigorously challenge the state or federal case against you or negotiate skillfully with prosecutors for manageable consequences.


Types of Marijuana Convictions

Our law firm can be an essential resource for defense of your rights and future whether you are:


  • A marijuana grower or dispensary owner who believed you were in compliance with the laws, only to

have been subjected to a raid and arrest

  • A person wrongfully accused of meth lab operation or other drug manufacture — or subjected to an

illegal search and seizure

  • An individual who became involved with drug manufacturing or smuggling due to your own addiction

or financial challenges


Our Attorneys take a focused, constructive approach to drug charge defense, informed by knowledge of what prosecutors need to see to plea bargain. We have extensive familiarity with successful drug treatment programs throughout Arizona and many years of experience helping people avoid life-altering felony convictions.


Prescription Drug Offenses

Prescription drug offenses have risen dramatically in recent years across the nation, including here in Arizona. Law enforcement officials and prosecutors have responded to the rise in prescription drug .

If you have been arrested for a prescription drug crime, it is critical that you protect your rights by retaining an experienced prescription drug charge defense lawyer.


Our Los Angeles prescription drug crime attorneys defend clients accused of a wide range of prescription drug offenses, including:

  • Illegal possession of a prescription drug
  • Possession with intent to distribute or sell a prescription drug
  • Illegal sales, distribution or trafficking
  • Prescription forgeries


We have defended many clients against simple drug possession charges as well as felony drug distribution, trafficking and sales charges. Since we practice exclusively in criminal defense, we can provide a strong defense to any drug charge. Whether your case is best resolved by negotiated plea agreement or by trial, we will fight to obtain the best possible outcome on your behalf.


Schedule a Free Consultation – Phoenix Medical Marijuana Lawyer 

There is no time to lose if you have been arrested for Drug Transportation or want to do all you can for a loved one whose future is on the line. Any drug charge is a serious accusation that could result in prison time, other serious penalties, and a criminal record that will follow you for the rest of your life. The good news is that there is a defense to every charge. If you or someone you know has been accused of a Drug Crime pertaining to Medical Marijuana, contact a Phoenix Criminal Defense Lawyer Today to Schedule a Free Consultation. With a wealth of expertise, a commitment to integrity and a passion for defense, the Attorneys at Criminal Defense Lawyers PLLC – Phoenix Criminal Defense Lawyers – are here to support you with your case. We believe every defendant has the right to a solid defense. Call us today for a free initial consultation at 480-351-6445.



Criminal Defense Lawyers PLLC
668 N 44th St. Suite 300
Phoenix, AZ 85008
(480) 351-6445

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Medical Marijuana Money Seized

Money Seized from Medical Marijuana Operation

Medical Marijuana is on the rise. Almost every state is open to, or has accepted the selling of medical marijuana.

San Diego County District Attorney, Bonnie Dumanis has now been ordered to return more than $100,000 that was seized from a medical marijuana businessman and his family. This is 15 months after the drugs agents raided the man’s company and didn’t charge anyone with a crime.

After almost 6 weeks after the lawyers that represented James Slatic argued that the money should be returned, Superior Court Judge, Tamila E. Ipema made the order.

Judge’s Written Statement:

Investigations have been ongoing since January 2016 and there is no indication … that criminal charges are going to be filed in this case in the near future.

According to the reports, Dumanis has used state and federal civil asset-forfeiture rules for quite some time to steal millions of dollars from drug suspects. Which is probably a good thing if they’re true criminals they need caught and punished by law.

Steve Walker’s Statement:

The investigation remains under review for potential criminal charges, therefore the district attorney’s office is not able to discuss the facts, the status of that review or any evidence related to it. The funds ordered returned by a civil judge last week were previously found by a criminal judge to be tainted by criminal conduct, and we are reviewing the court transcript from the … hearing in March to explore further options.

Slatic’s (Businiess Owner) Statement:

It’s about time. We did nothing wrong. My business operated openly and legally for more than two years; we paid taxes and had a retirement program for our 35 employees. No one broke any laws, but the district attorney swooped in and took everything from me and my family, even though they had no connection to my business. Our lives were turned upside down. It felt like we were robbed — by the police.

In late January 2016, the family owned business had a scary awakening. Drug agents used sledgehammers to break open the front door of the Med-West Distribution company. Mid-West is a firm that supplied several medical marijuana shops with cannabis oils used for vaping as well as marijuana-laced edibles, topical creams and other products.

The drug agents seized all of the supplies as well as the business reports and just over $324,000 in cash. There was a separate forfeiture proceeding for those funds that is ongoing at this time. The agents also managed to arrest two of the employees on duty inside of the building, even though there were no criminal charges filed.

Criminal Charges

Since there were no criminal charges filed, it’s questionable why they investigated and took his personal money. Days after they searched his business they froze Slatic’s personal bank account. They even checked his wife’s accounts as well as his two step daughters, claiming that the money was from illegal drug profits. From Slatic’s account there was $55,00 taken, $34,000 from his wife’s account and more than $5,000 each from the two daughters. It was “formally” seized just a few months after.

During the hearings a judge ruled that the money should be returned because the money taken from the family wasn’t part of the Med-West Distribution. However, one could argue that there was probable cause for the prosecutors to pursue a criminal case against the company to prove that the funds actually were derived from “criminal activity”.

Almost a year after the criminal charges weren’t filed the Slatic legal team began working on trying to secure their family money back. However, the district attorney’s office opposed the motion. They said that the prosecutors had a year from the day that the money was formally seized. Talk about the tiny details. That would mean that the prosecutors had until June to decide on charges.

However, one could argue that they had no right to hold the claimant’s money at all since they didn’t file any charges against them.

According to California Law, law enforcement officials can not hold the suspects seized cash or property that is valued at less than $40,000 in federal cases without getting a criminal conviction.

Criminal Defense Lawyers PLLC
668 N 44th St. Suite 300
Phoenix, AZ 85008
(480) 351-6445


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Phoenix Drug Transactions Gone Wrong

Phoenix Dad Shot During Drug Trade

Police are investigating a shooting in west Phoenix that left one man in extremely critical condition.

Police were called to the area of 67th Avenue and Van Buren Street around 7 p.m. Saturday after receiving reports about the shooting.

Witnesses told authorities that a man and his adult son went to the home to meet with three men, police said. They were involved in a drug transaction, police said.

The victim was shot shortly after arriving at the home during a verbal argument, police said. The son was not injured, however another individual assaulted the man’s son who was able to run away. The man suffered extremely critical injuries from his gunshot wound and passed away at the hospital.

Shooting Suspect Flees Scene

The suspects fled the area after the shooting, police said. A description of the trio is unavailable.

Police are investigating and are urging anyone with information to contact Silent Witness at (480) WITNESS or the Phoenix Police Department. Stay with ABC15 News and for the latest updates.

Phoenix Shooting Victim ID

Phoenix have identified a man fatally shot inside a gasoline station bathroom as 42-year-old Mario Ramos.

Sgt. Mercedes Fortune says the Thursday afternoon incident of a QuikTrip at Camelback Road and 27th Avenue remains under investigation.

Fortune says witnesses reported seeing and hearing a fight between two men in the bathroom.

As the two were fighting in the bathroom, police say one man shot the other.

Police say the alleged shooter told officers that the other man was physically assaulting him and he fired in self-defense.

18 Year Old Shot

A 18-year-old man is dead after he was shot walking home from getting snacks at a local gas station, according to the Phoenix Police Department.

It happened on the corner of 27th Avenue and Butler Drive around 9:30 p.m. Thursday, police said.

The teen reportedly was walking home with some food he got at a nearby gas station when he was shot. Police found him in a parking lot.

“The man was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead,” a police statement said. “We are currently looking for suspects involved in the shooting.”

Phoenix police are asking the public to call the department or Silent Witness at 480-WITNESS if they know anything about the shooting.

Phoenix Man Suspect in Phoenix Shootings

An Arizona man has been accused of a string of shootings that left seven people dead and terrified the Phoenix area.

Authorities said Monday that Aaron Saucedo, 23, was already in custody — arrested in April — for a 2015 killing. He now faces another 26 charges after being identified as the “serial shooter” who targeted victims over a four-month span starting last March.

“Our officers did not rest,” Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton said at a Monday press conference. “Investigators worked every lead, they followed the evidence. They were thorough. They had a clear mission: Bring this killer to justice and get it right.”

Saucedo, a former bus driver for the city of Phoenix, was thought to have killed seven people and wounded two others, though police now say his first victim was his mother’s boyfriend, Raul Romero. He was killed in August 2015.

Saucedo faces multiple counts of homicide, assault and drive-by shooting.

While the suspect knew Romero, 61, police believe Saucedo shot his victims at random.

Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams told reporters that “tips from within our own community led us to a possible suspect” and praised the work of her officers.

Party Shooting

Phoenix police say one man is dead and another wounded following a shooting early Friday morning at a large party held in a parking lot in downtown Phoenix.

Sgt. Alan Pfohl says callers reported hearing approximately 20 shots and that the wounded man’s injury isn’t life-threatening.

Pfohl also says people were leaving the area when officers arrived and that potential witnesses at the site several blocks south of Chase Field were uncooperative with police.

Media outlets reported that the party was a fish fry sponsored by a motorcycle club with about 1,000 people in attendance.




Criminal Defense Lawyers PLLC
668 N 44th St. Suite 300
Phoenix, AZ 85008
(480) 351-6445

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Major Marijuana Bust In Arizona

Marijuana Seized In Arizona

Marijuana businesses are on the rise in America. Customs and Border Protection Officers at the Arizona’s Port of Lukeville have arrested four United States citizens and seized more than 2,800 pounds of marijuana during two weekend smuggling attempts. talk about a rotten time to smuggle drugs. But let’s be honest, if you’re smuggling drugs your moral compass probably isn’t too high.

According to reports, on Saturday, a fifty-five year old man from Glendale was traveling with a fifty-eight year old female passenger from Phoenix, was referred for a “secondary inspection” of his motor home. The reports say that a CBP narcotics detention canine led the officers to find multiple marijuana bundles. Police say the bundles weighed more than 2,600 pounds and was valued at $1.3 million!

The following day officers referred the forty year old man from Green Valley and his twenty-four year old female passenger for further inspection for his Ford truck. Also with the aid of the narcotics detection canine the officers were able to find more than 150 pounds of marijuana. That bunch of drugs was valued at $77,000.

Officers seized the drugs as well as the vehicles and then turned the suspects over to the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.

Law Allows for Bust Charges

Federal law allows the officers to charge the individuals by complaint. This is a method that will allow them to file charges for criminal activity without inferring guilt. This means that an individual is presumed innocent unless there is enough evidence presented to a jury to prove guilt beyond reasonable doubt.


Maricopa County Works on Drug Suppression

Maricopa County is working hard to rid its county of drugs. The Maricopa County Drug Suppression Task Force has arrested five people and has seized hundreds of marijuana plants on Tuesday morning. This all happened from a business that tried to evade the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act. Pretty crazy when that’s the way that you’re trying to make a living.

Police came armed with a search warrant to a grow warehouse near 40th and Washington streets at 7:30 in the morning. They  were able to seize more than 600 marijuana plants. This was a huge haul for the force since this is one of the biggest drug bust for the county according to Lt. Jeff Gentry of the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office.

Gentry also said they collected: hash, edibles, keif which is a dried form of marijuana. According to the reports the marijuana that was collected from the warehouse will be dried at the Drug Enforcement Administration facility then be packaged as evidence.

There were a total of twelve warrants served in Scottsdale, Phoenix and Fountain Hills in the connection with the investigation. Among the items that were seized were also guns and more than $100,000 in cash. What an amazing achievement for the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office.

Gentry said that a father and son were believed to be the had of the operation and believed to head more than ten more similar facilities in Phoenix and norther Arizona. They have been running for about a year and half and have generated around $16 million for the operators at this time.

 Marijuana Suspects

According to officials, fifty-seven year old Perry Lee Hestor, thirty-five year old Brandon Lee Hestor, thirty-six year old Christopher Neil Rafferty, sixty-two year old James Allen Donaldson, and forty-four year old Christopher Yancy Martin were all arrested and booked into the Fourth Avenue Jail. They are expected to face charges which include fraudulent schemes and illegal possession and selling marijuana.

Gentry said that those that were involved in the illegal enterprise pretended to be caregivers which is horrible. Doing things legally under the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act would have allowed them to have up to 12 marijuana plants as long as they didn’t live within 25 miles of a dispensary. The task force kept a close eye on the warehouse for about four months and did not wittiness any deliveries that exceeded 25 miles.

Suspected Drug Use

Police were first directed to the warehouse after complaints of a strong odor coming in the area.

Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s Statement:

We cannot blame Mexico for this. This is domestic. This is home grown.

Good work to the Maricopa County task force and Sheriff’s office for making this huge bust. This is income that the state needs but also an example that needs to be seen. People can’t do illegal things. The state works with marijuana growers and for someone to try to do things illegally needs to be punished. They’re no better than the gangsters on the streets.

Phoenix Federal Drug Crimes Lawyer


Any federal criminal charge is a serious matter, but a federal drug crime is often a high-level felony offense, which may result in a significant term of imprisonment. Many federal drug crimes carry mandatory prison sentences. If you have been arrested for a federal drug crime, it is critical that you protect your rights by retaining an experienced criminal defense attorney.


Our Federal drug charge attorneys defend clients against all federal drug charges in the greater Phoenix, Arizona metropolitan area, including:

  • Drug trafficking (trafficking of narcotics and other controlled substances)
  • Drug smuggling
  • Drug conspiracy charges
  • Drug manufacturing
  • Drug distribution
  • Drug importation or exportation


Federal Drug Crime Defense Strategy

Federal drug charges can arise in a number of situations. Often such charges arise out of the transportation, sale, distribution or manufacture of large quantities of drugs. If you passed state lines while carrying drugs, you may also have triggered a federal charge.


  • As with any other drug charge, there are a number of defenses and effective defense strategies that may be utilized in a federal drug case, including:
  • Use of pretrial motions to seek the suppression of evidence obtained as a result of an illegal search

and seizure.

  • Use of pretrial motions to seek the suppression of evidence obtained as a result of a search

performed pursuant to a search warrant that was not supported by probable cause.

  • Fighting charges at trial if the prosecution does not have sufficient evidence to prove all necessary

elements of a drug crime beyond a reasonable doubt.

  • Negotiation of a favorable plea agreement that minimizes a defendant’s exposure to potentially harsh

penalties normally associated with the conviction of a


Schedule a Free Consultation – Phoenix Federal Drug Crimes lawyer

If you or someone you know has been accused of a federal drug-related crime, contact a Phoenix Criminal Defense Lawyer Today to Schedule a Free Consultation. With a wealth of expertise, a commitment to integrity and a passion for defense, the Attorneys at Criminal Defense Lawyers PLLC – Phoenix Criminal Defense Lawyers – are here to support you with your case. We believe every defendant has the right to a solid defense. Call us today for a free initial consultation at 480-351-6445.



Criminal Defense Lawyers PLLC
668 N 44th St. Suite 300
Phoenix, AZ 85008
(480) 351-6445

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Drug Findings in Phoenix

Drug Houses Found in Bust

Three suspected drug houses were raided and 10 people were arrested in a big drug sweep in El Mirage Wednesday morning.

El Mirage police, along with SWAT teams from DPS and MCSO served search warrants at three homes in the area.

Two homes were next door to each other; a third home was right across the street.

DPS believes the homes were sites of alleged gang, drug and prostitution activities.

“Especially in a smaller community, any time you can shut down three drug houses is phenomenal,” said one DPS detective. “It’s a huge impact in the community.”

Drug Informant

With the help of someone she didn’t know was an informant, records state, Acosta-Quintana transported the supplies to men whose job entails hiding in the desert for weeks on end.

She’s part of a group of 10 U.S. citizens and one Mexican national accused by the feds of running a sophisticated resupply operation for some of the “vast network” of cartel scouts.

In a complaint (below) and indictment made public last month, an assistant Arizona U.S. Attorney describes in detail how people employed by drug cartels allegedly brought food, fuel, and other supplies from Phoenix to the scouts.

The scouts’ job, in turn, was to guide marijuana smugglers through the Tohono O’odham Nation and into Arizona, making sure they stayed far away from law-enforcement officials.

Marijuana Bust

The February 28 federal indictment charges all 11 with a single count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute marijuana.

Records don’t state whether the suspects are Arizona residents or members of the Tohono O’odham tribe, but implies they mostly hail from metro Phoenix or the reservation.

The Native American reservation in southern Arizona, which shares a roughly 70-mile border with Mexico, has been a focal point in the new Trump administration immigration plan.

The tribe strongly opposes the construction of a border wall on its land. But its international border, which is marked in some places by barbed-wire fence or nothing at all, has for years been a sieve for smugglers.

Homeland Security Investigations began its probe of the group in October 2015, after a confidential source outlined much of the operation.

The bust, while noteworthy, may barely make a dent in the overall scout problem. Authorities occasionally target the scouts, like in the raid of a desert area near Arizona City last June.

However, going after the people who help the scouts has been difficult. One obstacle is that it’s not illegal to drive around with supplies or drop them off somewhere.

Drug Trafficking Case

The 15-page complaint in the case, which was filed in January and unsealed late last month, outlines in detail the feds’ case against the alleged conspirators.

Drug-trafficking organizations “utilize a vast network of scouts and scout helpers” to get the marijuana through the reservation, the complaint states.

Scouts are spread out all across what’s known as the “west desert corridor,” which runs roughly from State Route 286 to Yuma, and from the Mexican border to Interstate 8, where vehicles can pick up the pot loads.

Equipped with cell phones, binoculars, and digitally encrypted walkie-talkies, they take positions in hills and rocky outcrops, relaying information to load drivers and backpackers on foot.

For each group of smugglers that reaches their destination successfully, the scouts will be typically paid $500 to $1,000 apiece.

Secret Drugs

They’re hired to work through a “smuggling cycle” of eight to 12 weeks, but take vacations on Easter, Christmas, and Three Kings Day.

Within a group of scouts, one or more people will have specialized tasks, from scoping the area with binoculars to charging radios and cellphones to cooking.

The scouts need occasional drops of food, clothes, camping equipment, and other provisions in order to conduct their mission “without interruptions.”

That’s where the resupply personnel come in. They’re usually people who are familiar with the area because they live nearby.

The cartel gives “resupply members” vehicles, which these members sometimes re-title in their names, plus money to buy the supplies.

The complaint details a few dozen of the resupply operations.

The feds charge that on October 7, 2015, Maria Roxanna “Roxy” Acosta-Quintana was involved in one of them.

Feds Get Involved

They say she instructed the confidential source to drive an SUV to Acosta-Quintana’s mother’s house in Phoenix to Llanteria Michoacano’s #2, a tire shop at 44th Avenue and Indian School Road.

At the house, the informant received the keys to the SUV, which was pre-packed with six large, black trash bags full of supplies. Acosta-Quintana’s sedan was also packed with six bags of supplies.

Acosta-Quintana led her helper-informant to the tire shop, where a pickup truck was waiting. They loaded all 12 supply bags plus two spare tires into the truck.

The informant then hopped in the pickup and told the driver, an unidentified man, how to get to Arizona City near the Tohono nation.

Once at the intersection of Sunland Gin and Green Reservoir roads, “10 Hispanic males dressed in camouflage clothing came out from behind some bushes and were given the Ford pickup,” the complaint states.

Acosta-Quintana and the informant then returned to Phoenix.

 Drug Informant

In another example, the informant told officials how bags of supplies were taken directly to scouts working in the Sheridan Mountain Foothills, Castle Mountains, and Cimarron Mountains near Federal Route 34 on the reservation. In that same operation, the helpers took bags to the Tohono villages of Hikiwan and Kaka.

Resupply members often used the Walmart at 51st Avenue and Indian School Road to pick up supplies and exchange vehicles.

Border Patrol

Another resupply member, Fawn Eveningstar Manuel, was stopped in January 2016 by the U.S. Border Patrol. During the stop, Manuel admitted that she was taking bags of supplies in her SUV to Hikiwan “to assist with illegal alien smuggling occurring in the village of Hikiwan.”

As the investigation progressed, the feds tracked certain resupply vehicles to desert locations. In one such instance in January 2016, they found and arrested nine suspected smugglers with 473 pounds of marijuana.

Yasmeen Pitts O’Keefe, a spokeswoman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, declined comment on the case.


The indicted U.S. citizens are:

• Maria Roxanna Acosta-Quintana

• Angelica Alvarado

• Nicole Havier

• Dora Carreras

• Fawn Eveningstar Manuel

• Annai Arlene Hernandez

• Jesus Gilberto Parra-Acosta

• Jackie Ann Garcia

• Antonio Pasqual Aguilar-Sanchez

• Lawrence Juan Jr.

• Andrew Ortega

Ruben Villegas-Acosta of Mexico was also indicted.




Criminal Defense Lawyers PLLC
668 N 44th St. Suite 300
Phoenix, AZ 85008
(480) 351-6445