Pinal County Sheriff's Office Suspects Deadly Shooting Near Interstate 8 Related to Mexican Drug Smuggling

​One man is dead and another wounded after they were shot in Pinal County while smuggling marijuana from Mexico, according to the Pinal County Sheriff's Office.

PCSO spokesman Tim Gaffney tells New Times that six individuals believed to be in the "rip crew" -- a gang that rips off drug smugglers -- were detained in the shooting, which occurred early this morning near Stanfield.

The Arizona Department of Public Safety responded to a call near mile post 150 and Interstate 8 about 2:15 a.m., where officers found a 35-year-old man who'd been shot in the abdomen.

The man told investigators he was with 14 other people who came from Mexico and were walking toward Interstate 8 when they were approached by another group of men who began shooting at them.

About 8:30 a.m., police found another person shot dead half a mile south of the Interstate.

Gaffney says evidence at the scene suggests the 15 people were smuggling marijuana into the United States from Mexico, and after the shooting, the members of the "rip crew" loaded the weed into their vehicle and took off.

After getting word that some members of the "rip crew" might have been taken to a house in Stanfield, law enforcement officers from local, state, and federal agencies surrounded the house about 1 p.m. and detained six individuals.

Gaffney says none of the other 13 people had been found and that the six people detained earlier are being interviewed by investigators.

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