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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