3 arrested in drug and human smuggling case

MARICOPA, AZ - An Arizona woman and her grandson were arrested after police found a bag of marijuana and an undocumented immigrant in the woman's car.

Kevin Lewis, 37, offered his grandmother, who needed money, $500 to pick him up along with his friend and his friend's marijuana, the Pinal County Sheriff's Office said.

A PCSO deputy pulled Willa Thomas, 51, over for a traffic violation on Ralston Road just north of Dune Shadow Road, the deputy said.

The deputy smelled a strong odor of marijuana and saw two large bundles of marijuana wrapped in burlap in the backseat.

The deputy detained the three upon inspection and discovered the friend in the backseat. Claudio Perez-Felix, 35, was in the United States illegally. A 9 mm semi-automatic handgun was also found on the dashboard un-holstered.

Perez-Felix had an outstanding warrant for a previous DUI arrest. Lewis illegally had a police scanner tuned to the PCSO frequencies in the car, the deputy said.

The marijuana had a street value of over $41,000. Lewis and Claudio-Perez were booked into the Pinal County Jail in connection with possession of marijuana for sale and transportation of marijuana.

Thomas was released from custody due to preexisting medical issues.

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