Pot Smuggling ICE Agent Busted after High-Speed Chase

Fox News:  ICE Officer Arrested in Pot Smuggling Case (Oct 19 2011)

Arizona state police say a deportation officer with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has been arrested in a pot smuggling case after leading authorities on a high-speed chase, throwing bundles of marijuana out the window of his government vehicle.

Department of Public Safety Officer Carrick Cook told The Associated Press on Wednesday that the deportation officer, identified as Jason Lowery, had been under surveillance for more than a month.

KPHO:  UPDATE: Deportation officer arrested in pot smuggling (Oct 19 2011)

PCSO spokesperson Elias Johnson says agent Jason Lowery was taken into custody Tuesday morning. Authorities say Lowery led police on a chase at speeds up to 110 mph, throwing bundles of marijuana out the window of his government vehicle.

The chase ended when the officer’s vehicle rolled over and he turned himself over to police.

Reuters:  ICE officer busted on drug charges after Arizona chase (Oct 19 2011)

A U.S. immigration officer in Arizona was arrested on drug charges after leading authorities on a high-speed chase as he tossed bundles of marijuana from his government truck, state troopers said on Wednesday.

Jason Lowery, a deportation officer with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, was taken into custody on Tuesday in southern Arizona following a 45-minute pursuit that ended when his vehicle flipped, troopers said. Lowery, 34, suffered minor injuries.

AZ Family:  ICE officer arrested for pot smuggling south of Phoenix  (Oct 19 2011)

The deportation officer, identified as Jason Alistair Lowery, 34, had been under surveillance for more than month after a known smuggler who had been arrested gave authorities a tip about the officer in an effort to get lenient treatment, Department of Public Safety Officer Carrick Cook told The Associated Press.

Lowery, who lives in the Phoenix suburb of Chandler, does not yet have an attorney.

DPS and federal agents tried to pull Lowery over Tuesday after he picked up a load of marijuana in the desert with his unmarked ICE pickup truck, Cook said. The officer fled, leading agents on a 45-minute chase at speeds of up to 110 mph as he threw 10 of the 14 bundles of pot that he had in the truck out of the window, he said.

“He got pretty desperate,” Cook said.

The chase began in the Vekol Valley about 45 miles south of Phoenix and ended just south of Sacaton, about 20 miles as the crow flies northwest from where the chase began. It ended when Lowery’s truck rolled over and he gave himself up.

KGUN 9: Federal ICE agent busted for smuggling after high speed chase (Oct 19 2011)

DPS spokesman Officer Carrick Cook said:  “He seemed a little suspicious, driving around in circles, getting out of his car looking up to make sure he wasn’t being followed by air units or ground units but eventually our SWAT team made a traffic stop on him.”

Officer Cook says Lowery did stop but when he saw the SWAT team jump out to take him, the chase was on.   “During that pursuit speeds reached 110 miles an hour and he also threw out, was able to throw out ten of the 14 bales of marijuana.”

What began at the drug drop at I-8 and Stanfield road, turned into a 45 minute chase that ended when Lowery wrecked his truck near Sacaton.

It was another drug suspect, Joshua Powell, who first led authorities to Lowery.  When they arrested Powell about a month ago he said he was moving drugs with the help of someone in law enforcement—but he didn’t say who.

Phoenix New Times:  ICE Agent Leads Police on 45-Minute Chase After Getting Busted in Marijuana Smuggling Sting (Oct 19 2011)

Jason Alistair Lowery, 34, is a deportation officer with U.S. Immigration and customs enforcement. He’s also allegedly a weed smuggler who led authorities on a 45-minute chase — in his government-owned vehicle — after getting busted in a marijuana smuggling sting.

Arizona Department of Public Safety Officer Carrick Cook tells New Times that DPS has been monitoring Lowery for several weeks after a known smuggler tipped off authorities that he was working with a law enforcement official.

“Initially, we kind of dismissed [the smuggler's claims],” Cook says. “Independent sources found out later that the information was credible.”

Cook says that after monitoring Lowery for several weeks, authorities stashed 23 bundles of weed in the desert in the Vekol Valley, about 45 minutes South of Phoenix. Officers watched as Lowery loaded 14 of the 23 bundles into his government-owned vehicle and took off.

Cook wouldn’t say how Lowery knew the weed would be there, but says the information was disseminated through the proper channels.

Examiner:  Another CBP official accused of drug smuggling (Oct 20 2011)

Deportation officer and former Border Patrol agent Jason Alistair Lowery led state and federal agents on a forty-five minute high speed chase through the Southern Arizona desert on Wednesday, the culmination of surreptitious month-long investigation into the officer’s illegal activities. After a known smuggler revealed details of Lowery’s illicit dealings in exchange for a lesser sentence, undercover law enforcement began tracking him, eventually convincing him to deliver five hundred pounds of marijuana to them on Wednesday. When Lowery realized agents were on to his activities, he set off at 110 mph through the Sonoran Desert, desperately throwing bundles of marijuana out of his window as he drove. Authorities allege that Lowery used his position in law enforcement to steal marijuana from undocumented migrants, then trafficking it himself.

Phoenix New Times:  Weed-Smuggling Ice Agent Jason Lowery Held Without Bail (Oct 25 2011)

Jason Alistair Lowery, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement deportation officer who was busted in a marijuana smuggling sting last week — and then led authorities on a high-speed chase through the desert while throwing bundles of weed out of his ICE-owned vehicle — is to be held without bail, a federal magistrate ruled today.

Federal magistrate Edward Voss made the ruling this morning, after determining that Lowery is a flight risk and a danger to the community.

 

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