Man arrested for DUI after allegedly smoking weed while driving in front of an officer

Contributed Photo/Courtesy SPD:

Passenger believed to be UDA, turned over to Border Patrol

By Jon Johnson

SAFFORD – Jesus Morales was placed under arrest for DUI after a Safford Police officer accused him of smoking marijuana while driving, Monday, Oct. 14.

According to a Safford Police report, at about 10:56 p.m., the officer was westbound on U.S. Highway 70 behind a large Ford truck when he started smelling burning marijuana. The officer then saw a “puff of smoke emit from the truck” and the smell of marijuana increased. 

The officer performed a traffic stop on the truck, which continued for a few hundred feet before pulling into the lot west of McDonald’s. 

Upon contact, the officer noted the odor of burned marijuana and that both the driver, Morales, and his passenger had bloodshot and watery eyes. Neither occupant had a medical marijuana card and both denied smoking while the vehicle was in motion but allegedly admitted to smoking earlier.  

The passenger, who did not speak English, said his name was Jose Luis Sainz and that he had a Mexican passport back at his hotel. However, a search of the vehicle turned up a work ID badge with the passenger’s picture and the name listed was Juan Torres. 

Due to the inconsistency, the officer contacted the Border Patrol, and after an officer spoke to the passenger the Border Patrol agent advised he believed the subject to be an illegal alien and that the Border Patrol would take custody of him. Arrangements were then made to transport the passenger and meet up with the Border Patrol agent, who was in Willcox at the time. 

After Morales failed a field sobriety test, he was placed under arrest for DUI and his employer responded to the location and picked up the truck Morales was driving. 

Morales was then taken to the Safford Police Department, where he consented to a blood draw and was then released. 

Charges involving DUI are pending blood test analysis and review by prosecutors.