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March 8, 2017Phoenix, AZ, United StatesNarcotics

2 Phoenix-area brothers arrested following probe targeting Mexican meth smuggling scheme

PHOENIX – Two brothers were arrested Tuesday following a joint probe by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) that led to the seizure of nearly 200 pounds of methamphetamine that had been smuggled in from Mexico.

Jayro Haro-Lopez, 34, a Mexican national unlawfully in the United States, and his brother Hernan Haro-Lopez, 28, of Phoenix, were taken into custody on state charges of possessing dangerous drugs with the intent to distribute, resisting arrest and unlawful flight from law enforcement. If convicted of the charges, each defendant faces a maximum sentence of five to 10 years in prison. The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office is prosecuting the case.

“This case is a direct result of the ongoing collaborative efforts by HSI with its federal and local partners,” said Louie Garcia, acting special agent in charge for HSI Phoenix. “Drug smuggling poses both a security and a public safety concern in our communities. We’re continuing to use all of the resources and tools at our disposal to address these threats.”

A multi-month investigation, involving HSI special agents and deputies with the MCSO, revealed that Jayro was closely involved in distributing methamphetamine smuggled in from Mexico. Through targeted surveillance, investigators identified a storage locker in Phoenix belonging to an unidentified woman. Tuesday afternoon, law enforcement officers watched the brothers arrive at the location in separate vehicles and remove a box from the storage locker. The box was then transferred to Jayro’s vehicle. Both men’s vehicles then left the location. After trailing the two vehicles for several miles, deputies attempted to stop them. While Hernan’s vehicle pulled over immediately, Jayro attempted to flee, causing two separate car accidents before abandoning the vehicle. After a short foot chase, Jayro was arrested.

“It takes cooperation and coordination across agencies to keep our communities safe,” said Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone. “MCSO is committed to working with our partners in law enforcement to make it tough for drug gangs to operate and endanger our communities. We’re pleased with a very successful outcome.”

Every defendant is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty in court.

HSI and the MCSCO received substantial assistance with the case from the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Mesa Police Department and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), both CBP’s Office of Border Patrol and its Office of Air and Marine.