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ICE Deportation Officer Busted in Drug Smuggling Ring

On October 19, 2011 United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) deportation officer Jason Alistair Lowery, 34, led state and federal agents on a high speed chase through the Arizona desert as he tossed bails of marijuana out of his government vehicle.

In September 2011 investigators nabbed a drug smuggler who gave up Lowery, a former Border Patrol agent, in hopes of obtaining lenient treatment, according to Department of Public Safety (DPS) Officer Carrick Cook. On October 4, 2011 an informant told Homeland Security Investigators that Lowery, another man and the informant were involved in a "rip" crew. Lowery used his law enforcement status to help the crew steal marijuana from illegal immigrants, according to Brian Gamberg-Bonilla, a special agent with the DPS Office of Investigations.

On October 18, 2011 the informant called Lowery to arrange for him to pick up 500 pounds of marijuana in the desert. Agents then followed Lowery to the drop site.

Once Lowery loaded the marijuana into his unmarked ICE pickup and drove off, federal agents and Arizona state police attempted to pull him over, Cook said. Lowery fled, however, leading agents on a 45-minute chase at speeds topping 110 mph, as he tossed ten of the fourteen bundles of marijuana out his truck window, according to Cook.

When the chase finally ended, Lowery was arrested for drug smuggling and felony flight.

Source: The Associated Press

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