Register | Forgot Your Password? | Close

TUCSON, Ariz. -- Authorities said they have captured and prosecuted a group of "scouts" paid by Mexican drug cartels to be lookouts for drug and human smugglers on Arizona hilltops.

The Pinal County sheriff's and county attorney's offices said they arrested 8 cartel members who were paid to spend numerous days on hilltops overlooking the southern Arizona desert. They used cellphones and digitally-encrypted radios to communicate.

"Some of them have extensive criminal records here in the United States," Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu said.

The investigation began in February when deputies pulled over a 22-year-old man in Eloy. Garcia was carrying 600 pounds of food, and cans of gasoline. Garcia said he was paid to drop off the supplies to cartel "scouts."

Deputies and border agents arrested 7 suspected lookouts in remote areas a month later. The men told authorities they had spent more than a week in the desert.

Associated Press,

share this story:
Attention KTAR.com Comment Users: We have recently changed our comments boards.
We would like you to be part of the conversation and The Voice of Arizona by logging in with your Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Disqus account. Existing KTAR (Arizona Sports) account members will need to create a Disqus account or use one of the aforementioned social media logins. Thank you.
comments powered by Disqus

World Class Arizona

  • Dignity Health

    World Class People. World Class Company. Excellent care, delivered with compassion, for all in need.

Voice For A Better Arizona

  • Family in Focus

    KTAR spends the week taking a look at the issues a modern Arizona family faces.