Two bundles of marijuana and cash were found on a suspected drug and human trafficker in Pinal County. (Source: Pinal County Sheriff's Office)
FLORENCE, AZ (CBS5) -
A woman from Mexico suspected of drug and human trafficking claimed she was on her way to gamble when she stopped to help a man by the side of the road and 10 other men jumped into her SUV.
Janette Salido-Hernandez, 29, and four men visible in her Ford Explorer were stopped for traffic violations Friday morning near Maricopa by a Pinal County sheriff's deputy.
The deputy said a man in the front seat had a bundle of marijuana between his legs and that he also saw a blanket stretched across the rear compartment of the SUV move. When he pulled the blanket back, he uncovered seven men with another bundle of marijuana.
The net street value of the marijuana was estimated to be worth more than $34,000, said a Pinal County Sheriff's Office spokesman.
No one admitted knowledge of the marijuana, the deputy said, and the 11 undocumented immigrants were turned over to the U.S. Border Patrol for processing.
Hernandez was carrying $759 in cash and a backpack in the vehicle contained cell phone batteries, cell phones, a handheld radio and personal hygiene items.
Hernandez told detectives she left a Phoenix home where she was living and was headed to a casino when she saw a man standing by the road.
She stopped to help him and "the next thing she knew, the male subject and all of the others got into her vehicle," Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu said.
Hernandez, who had a Mexico driver's license, claimed the men offered her $300 to take them to Phoenix.
Hernandez was arrested and booked into the Pinal County Jail for possession of marijuana, transportation of marijuana and possession of marijuana for sale.
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