Two hunters discover 126 pounds of pot

Jan. 3, 2012 at 8:05 PM
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PHOENIX, Jan. 3 (UPI) -- Two Arizona men hunting deer stumbled upon 126 pounds of marijuana authorities say may have been abandoned by smugglers fearful they were being followed.

Scottsdale hunting friends Pierre Mondotte, 65, and Anthony Piazza, 48, were on opposite sides of a Pima County mountain in Sasabe closing in on a deer when Mondotte spotted something he said he thought was a body, The Arizona Republic reported Monday.

He lifted up the mound covered in burlap and said he found seven bundles of marijuana wrapped in plastic and aluminum foil.

"I've been down there for 20 years and I've never found anything like it," Mondotte said.

Piazza said they walked the 3 or 4 miles back to their campsite where they spent the night. The next morning they alerted National Guard authorities, who didn't seem too concerned, the newspaper said Monday.

"They didn't want to go at first. They didn't think it was anything," Piazza said.

Piazza said the soldiers changed their attitude after the hunters led them to the drugs.

"All the sudden they're loading their machine guns," Piazza said.

Andy Adame, spokesman for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection's Joint Field Command, said the marijuana the hunters found is worth $101,480 and was probably abandoned by a smuggler or smugglers who thought they were being followed, the Republic reported.

"They think they're getting apprehended so they drop their stuff and run," Adame said.

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