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Major Arizona drug smuggling ring broken up

PHOENIX (AP) - Authorities say they've broken up a drug trafficking ring that brought at least 40,000 pounds of marijuana into southern Arizona from Mexico.

U.S. Attorney for Arizona Dennis Burke said Tuesday that the smuggling ring was extremely sophisticated.

It used truck-mounted ramps to get smuggling vehicles over border fences, counter-surveillance to avoid detection and hidden compartments in vehicles to bring in the pot. Some marijuana was also carried over the border in makeshift backpacks.

The three-year investigation into the Mexican ring by federal, state and local law enforcement in Arizona led to 26 suspects indicted on federal charges and 13 on state charges. Among those indicted was an employee of the prosecutor's office in Cochise County, Ariz., who allegedly took money to feed information to the
ring.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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