TUCSON, AZ --- Arizona Department of Public Safety detectives conducted an investigation Nov. 14 that resulted in the seizure of about 2,118 pounds of marijuana from a cloned United Parcel Service (UPS) truck.
The estimated street value of the marijuana is nearly $1.2 million. The detectives are assigned to the Pima County Counter Narcotics Alliance.
A DPS officer, accompanied with a narcotics-detection dog, first attempted to stop the cloned UPS truck. When the truck came to a stop, a suspect fled from the vehicle. A search of the truck revealed bundles of marijuana that were still attached to the makeshift burlap back straps that human drug carriers, or "mules," use to carry the loads through the desert.
The suspects painted the truck a shade of brown similar to UPS brown and affixed reflective yellow decals in the same general areas as an authorized UPS vehicle. The cloned vehicle also displayed a homemade Arizona license plate and the authentic plate number assigned to UPS in Phoenix. UPS is cooperating with the Department of Public Safety, and a search of UPS’s vehicle inventory revealed the vehicle number on the cloned UPS truck was an actual number assigned to an authentic UPS truck servicing the Tucson area. The investigation is still ongoing.
"The excellent work of our detectives and officers assigned to our Highway Patrol Division is evident when we intercept these drug loads coming through the state. We hope this seizure will help keep Arizona communities a bit safer," said Roger Vanderpool, director of the Arizona Department of Public Safety.