Suspects Toss Marijuana Bales From Car in High-Speed Chase

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Suspected drug runners blazing along a highway southeast of Phoenix last week left quite the impression with passing drivers when they dumped bales of marijuana from their car, police said.

About 17 bales totaling 374 pounds of pot were picked up by cops after they gave chase — but there were still more drugs that were not recovered, the Pinal County Sheriff's Office wrote on Facebook.

"Four or five vehicles not involved with the transportation of the marijuana even stopped and grabbed bales, which neither deputies nor (the Arizona Department of Public Safety) were able to recover due to traffic conditions," sheriff's deputies wrote.

The pursuit, which was caught on a cruiser's dash cam, occurred around 11:45 a.m. local time Wednesday as deputies pursued a 2006 White Trailblazer. At one point, the car began exceeding 100 miles per hour, and the occupants began ditching the bales of marijuana from the windows, deputies said.

Eventually, spike strips placed in front of the suspect vehicle by deputies working in front of the pursuit stopped the chase. The suspects tried to flee on foot, but were caught. They were identified as Mario Perez-Paz, 43, of Mexico, and Juan Aguilar-Zavala, 21, whose address wasn't immediately known, deputies said.

The men were offered $1,000 by a female in Phoenix to drive the car and pick up unknown packages, authorities added.

Meanwhile, people living near the highway where the pot was tossed were amazed by the sight, according to NBC affiliate KPNX. "I think the seeds are probably going to be all over and it's going to start growing," said local resident Heidi Bernal. "They can't get it all. That was a lot."

IN-DEPTH

— Erik Ortiz

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