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ICE officer charged with drug smuggling

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ICE officer charged with drug smuggling

Authorities led on chase as man threw bundles of pot from vehicle

  • Jason Lowery
    Pinal County Sheriff's OfficeJason Lowery

An Immigration and Customs Enforcement officer was arrested Tuesday after leading Department of Public Safety officers on a high-speed chase while tossing bundles of marijuana out the window of his agency vehicle, a DPS spokesman said.

Jason Lowery was the subject of a federal sting operation involving the Drug Enforcement Agency, Department of Homeland Security and DPS, said spokesmen for DPS and the Pinal County Sheriff's Office.

“ICE was looking at him for a long time,” DPS spokesman Bart Graves said.

Lowery had been under investigation for weeks after officials received a tip from a drug smuggler about his activities, Graves said.

DPS and DHS officers attempted to pull Lowery over on Tuesday, but he sped off, leading a 45-minute high-speed chase on the Gila River Indian Community that topped 100 m.p.h.

During the chase, Lowery threw 10 bales of marijuana from his agency vehicle, in which another four were later found, Graves said.

The chase ended when Lowery rolled his vehicle and he was arrested by officers from DHS’ Inspector’s General Office, Graves said.

Lowery served in ICE's Phoenix office and has been with the agency since August 2008, ICE spokesman Vinnie Picard said.

"We hold our officers to the highest standard of responsibility and will continue to cooperate with the investigating agencies," Picard said.

Lowery was booked into the Pinal County jail on charges of drug smuggling and fleeing from officers, said PCSO's Tim Gaffney.

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