Phoenix, Arizona. – On the morning of Wednesday, January 18, 2023, an Arizona Department of Public Safety (AZDPS) trooper initiated a traffic stop on the driver of a Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck for moving violations on westbound Interstate 10 at milepost 239, near Marana.
During the traffic stop, the trooper observed numerous indicators of criminal activity. During a search of the vehicle, troopers discovered approximately 51.95 pounds of methamphetamine, 28.10 pounds of fentanyl pills, and 2.45 pounds of fentanyl powder.
The suspect driver, 27-year-old Carlos Calixtro-Varela, and passenger, 30-year-old Francisco Calixtro-Varela, both residents of Tucson, were arrested and booked into the Pima County Jail on charges including possession, transportation, and sale of narcotic drugs and dangerous drugs.
Investigators determined the drugs were being smuggled from Tucson to Marana.
Later the same day, another trooper stopped the driver of a Jeep SUV on northbound Interstate 17 at milepost 263, near Cordes Junction. Indicators of criminal activity were observed during the stop, and a drug detection canine alerted to the vehicle. During a subsequent vehicle search, troopers located approximately 36 pounds of fentanyl pills and 21.5 pounds of methamphetamine concealed in the vehicle.
The suspect driver, 32-year-old Jose Espinoza-Gil, and passenger, 42-year-old Luciano Zamudio, both from Phoenix, were arrested and booked into the Yavapai County Jail on charges including possession, transportation, and sale of narcotic drugs and dangerous drugs.
The fentanyl and methamphetamine in this incident were being smuggled from the Phoenix area to Denver, Colorado.