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December 23, 2010 Press Release

Sheriff Arpaio concerned with new trends in the danger of human and drug smugglers

(Phoenix, AZ) Maricopa County Sheriff's deputies last night recovered two bodies out of a canal near Gila Bend off of old Highway 80. Deputies believe that the bodies are those of the same two suspects that fled on foot from a Sheriff's deputy during a traffic stop last week.

During the traffic stop, the deputy witnessed multiple suspects flee from their vehicle attempting to evade arrest. According to three suspects that were later apprehended by deputies, two others were missing and were believed to have gone into the canal.

After searching the canal later in the day with a submersible robot by the Maricopa County Sheriff's Dive Team, deputies discontinued searching because of the level of debris and the visibility of the water.

Sheriff Joe Arpaio says, "This situation of illegal immigration and human smuggling is becoming more and more dangerous to the public, law enforcement officials, and the illegal aliens being smuggled. We are noticing a new trend where multiple suspects will attempt to outrun deputies or they stop and scatter into the desert."

The traffic stop near Gila Bend last week was the second of two incidents in which illegal aliens fled from deputies and ended up in the canal. During the first incident, a deputy physically pulled a 16 year old boy out of the canal that could not swim, essentially saving his life.