Governor's Office of Highway Safety funds granted for Traffic Enforcement November 9, 2023
Sahuarita, AZ— The Town of Sahuarita Police Department has been the recipient of grant funds to help with traffic safety and DUI traffic enforcement in the community for 2023/2024. Funding for the increased enforcement is provided through several grants from the Arizona Governor’s Office of Highway Safety (GOHS).
Within the last 12 months Sahuarita Officers have made 74 arrests for impaired driving/DUI offenses. The funding and awarding of these grants will assist the police department in enhancing their abilities to focus on the prevention, education, detection, apprehension, and prosecution of potentially impaired drivers. DUI/Impaired Driving grant funded $20,000.00 to support and enhance Impaired Driver/DUI alcohol education, enforcement, and investigations throughout the Town of Sahuarita to include DUI Task Force participation, DUI Checkpoints, and saturation enforcement details within the community.
Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety grant provided $15,000.00 for the enforcement and education of traffic laws pertaining to the safety of pedestrians and bicyclists. Enforcement areas include school zones and large community events.
The Accident Investigation Program provided $10,000 for training in the investigation and reconstruction of traffic accidents, and $8,628 for traffic investigation equipment.
The Occupant Protection Program provided $5,000 for the enforcement and education of child safety seats. The Sahuarita Police Department has staff certified as National Child Passenger Safety Technicians to be available to the community to assist in proper child safety seat installation.
The Selective Traffic Enforcement Program (STEP) provided $30,000 and will be used for the enforcement of traffic laws pertaining to aggressive driving, speeding, racing, and red light running as well as to purchase a solar powered message board which will aid in communication with the public about traffic changes, special events, road closures, etc., Additionally, the Sahuarita Police Department will focus on increased public awareness about the dangers of speed in an attempt to reduce and prevent vehicle collisions.
The Governor’s Office of Highway Safety has contributed $88,628.00 in overtime and material funding for training, education, equipment, and enforcement in the areas of, impaired driving, pedestrian and bicycle safety, occupant protection, accident investigation, and selective traffic enforcement in an effort to keep the Town of Sahuarita a safe community.
Alleged Arson Suspect in Custody for Sahuarita Walmart Fire September 8, 2023
[Sahuarita, AZ – Sept. 8, 2023] – On Sept. 7 at approximately 19:13 hours, officers of the Sahuarita Police Department (SPD) and firefighters of the Green Valley Fire District (GVFD) were dispatched to Walmart located at 18680 S. Nogales Hwy. in response to a reported fire inside the store.
The store was open and occupied by employees and shoppers. Upon arrival, the building was filled with smoke. Fire crews, officers, and store employees worked to evacuate the store. GVFD located the fire's starting point in a paper products aisle and brought the fire under control in about 20 minutes.
GVFD responded with two engines, a ladder truck, and several medic units. A total of 24 GVFD personnel were on the scene for approximately 2.5 hours assisting with the operation. Two persons were evaluated for smoke inhalation. No other injuries have been reported.
SPD responded with several officers. Initial information revealed the fire may have been purposely set and SPD detectives were dispatched to assist in the investigation. Officers and detectives contacted multiple involved parties and reviewed the evidence. Their investigation led to the arrest of suspect Jeffery Lee Mayfield, age 29, of Amado, Arizona for the below charges.
ARS 13-1704 – Arson of an occupied structure, a class 2 felony
ARS 13-1201 – Endangerment, a class 6 felony
Mayfield was booked at the Pima County Jail with a request for $500,000 bail.
Damage and product loss at the Sahuarita Walmart is not known at this time. Town officials are in communication with store and regional leadership to discuss employee support, damages, and business operations.
Homicide Suspect Arrested August 10, 2023
On Monday, August 7, 2023, at about 5:25 PM, Sahuarita Officers were dispatched to a residence near the intersection of South Burro Canyon Place and East Ashburn Mountain Drive for the report of an unknown problem. Upon arrival, officers found a male subject suffering from obvious gunshot trauma. The male was subsequently pronounced deceased by paramedics.
Sahuarita detectives of the Criminal Investigations Bureau interviewed multiple witnesses and, along with crime scene specialists, processed the scene for evidence. Through the investigation, detectives established probable cause to arrest 40-year-old Sahuarita resident Tyesha Wayne for one count of Domestic Violence Second Degree Murder. On the evening of August 9, Ms. Wayne was arrested at her residence without incident and booked into the Pima County Jail.
The victim has been identified as 26-year-old Sahuarita resident Daniel Walker.
The investigation is still ongoing, and no further information is available for release at this time.
If you have any information that may assist in this investigation, we request that you reach out to SPD detectives by calling 911 or 344-7000 during business hours or by contacting our tip line at 520-445-7847, where you may remain anonymous or provide your contact information.
Domestic Violence & Resisting Arrest Incident June 1, 2023
On Friday, May 26th, 9:13 a.m., Sahuarita police officers responded to the 600 block of Calle Tolmo in reference to a report of a physical domestic violence dispute. After arriving on scene, officers made contact with suspect Louis Trujillo. Officers interviewed all involved parties at the residence and ascertained that Mr. Trujillo was at the residence in violation of his conditions of release for a previous arrest and jail booking.
During this latest incident, Mr. Trujillo was also in violation of disorderly conduct (a class 1 misdemeanor), threats and intimidation (a class 1 misdemeanor), aggravated domestic violence (a class 5 felony), and interfering with judicial proceedings (a class 1 misdemeanor). Upon being advised by a police officer that he was under arrest, Mr. Trujillo refused to turn around and place his hands behind his back. He told officers that they were going to have to fight him. Officers continued talking to Mr. Trujillo in an attempt to de-escalate the issue and get him to submit to the arrest peacefully. Mr. Trujillo fled from officers on foot.
A pursuing officer used a Taser on Mr. Trujillo, who fell to the ground. Two officers then struggled to handcuff Mr. Trujillo because he continued to resist arrest. An officer utilized pepper spray in an attempt to subdue him while struggling to handcuff him. A third officer that had been in the residence with the victims came out and assisted the two officers in subduing Mr. Trujillo, by applying a stun drive with a Taser. Mr. Trujillo was ultimately handcuffed and taken into custody. He sustained minor abrasions to his face in the altercation. Mr. Trujillo was transported to an area hospital for evaluation and later medically released. No officers were injured. Mr. Trujillo was booked into the Pima County Jail on resisting arrest (a class 6 felony) as well as the above listed charges.
Fatal Traffic Collision and DUI Arrest May 13, 2023
The Sahuarita Police Department is actively investigating a fatal vehicle collision that occurred just past midnight on S. Old Nogales Highway.
On May 13, 2023, around 12:07 a.m., officers from the Sahuarita Police Department and Green Valley Fire Department members responded to a two-vehicle collision approximately one-half mile north of E. Quail Crossing Blvd. and on S. Old Nogales Highway. Upon arrival, they located the two involved vehicles, a red Ford F150 pickup, and a white Cadillac sedan. The sedan was fully engulfed in flames, and the pickup was unoccupied. Green Valley FD extinguished the fire. Sadly, the occupant of the sedan died at the scene. The victim, in this case, is a 20-year-old Sahuarita resident. The victim's identity will be released later.
A witness, who came upon the crash prior to police and fire personnel, informed arriving officers that a male who had been directly next to the pickup had left the area northbound on foot. Officers searched the area and located the male who was transported to an area hospital for medical examination.
Detectives and Traffic Investigators with the Sahuarita Police Department responded to investigate the incident. The driver of the Ford F-150 pickup, who was later identified as 24-year-old Tucson resident Camron Ortega, showed signs and symptoms of impairment and was subsequently arrested for second-degree murder, a class one felony, driving under the influence, a class one misdemeanor, and leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death, a class two felony. Mr. Ortega was booked at the Pima County Jail.
The investigation is ongoing, and the Sahuarita Police Department requests your assistance if you have any information related to this incident. Please call the SPD TIP Line at (520) 445-7847 at any time. A person leaving a tip on the TIP Line may remain anonymous. Those with information may also call 911 or (520) 344-7000 during business hours to speak with an officer.
Hit and Run Suspect Arrested (S23040407) April 16, 2023
On April 14, 2023, at approximately 4:38 PM, Officers of the Sahuarita Police Department were dispatched to a hit-and-run vehicle collision that occurred at Quail Crossing Blvd and Old Nogales Hwy. Officers were able to locate the suspect vehicle abandoned at Madera Highlands Park.
Officers were able to identify a suspect and began circulating the area. An officer spotted the suspect in the pecan groves near the intersection of Madera Highlands Parkway and Old Nogales Hwy. As officers attempted to make contact with the suspect, the suspect pulled out a knife from her sweatshirt and made threatening gestures toward the officers. The suspect eventually dropped the knife after multiple commands from officers to do so. The suspect then began walking away from officers, and officers were able to take the suspect into custody after performing a forced takedown. The suspect was later identified as 51-year-old Sante Fe, New Mexico, resident Yvette Gould. Ms. Gould suffered minor injuries while being taken into custody. Ms. Gould was evaluated by Green Valley Fire personnel and cleared.
Further investigation revealed Ms. Gould had struck another vehicle and showed impairment signs and symptoms. Ms. Gould was arrested and transported to the Pima County Adult Detention Center for Aggravated Assault on Peace Officer with a Deadly Weapon, a class 2 felony, Aggravated Driving Under the Influence, a class 4 felony, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, a class 6 felony, Endangerment a class 1 misdemeanor, Open Container of Spritious Liquor in a Motor Vehicle, a class 2 misdemeanor, and Leaving the Scene of an Accident a class 1 misdemeanor.
If you believe you or someone else may have information associated with this case, we’d like to speak with you. Anyone with information may contact the SPD by calling 911 or 344-7000 during business hours Monday through Friday, or by contacting our TIP line at 520-445-7847.
Prowler Identified & Arrested April 11, 2023
On April 5, 2023, at around 2140 hours, Officers responded to a reported prowler in the back of a residence in the 700 block of W. Calle Calca (SPD case S23040140). Officers obtained security footage from the residence showing an unidentified male in the backyard. Further investigation of the backyard area resulted in finding a broken patio chair. Detectives and crime scene specialists responded to assist in the investigation and located additional evidence.
On April 9, 2023, at around 2125 hours, Officers responded to a report of a prowler in the 700 block of W. Calle Calco (SPD Case S23040251). A sound awakened the complainant and, upon looking out a bedroom window, observed an individual jumping their fence into an adjacent neighbor’s yard. Officers responded and checked the area and did not locate anyone.
On April 10, 2023, Detectives continued their investigation of both cases and were able to identify a suspect, who was identified as 38-year-old Sahuarita resident John Duncan. Mr. John Duncan was booked into the Pima County Jail for two counts of criminal trespassing and one count of criminal damage.
If you or someone else may have information about these cases or similar incidents, we’d like to speak with you. Anyone with information may contact the SPD by calling 9-1-1 or 520-344-7000 during business hours Monday through Friday or by contacting our TIP Line at 520-445-7847.
Juvenile Arson Arrest at Sahuarita Middle School April 11, 2023
At 10:30 this morning, Sahuarita Officers responded to Sahuarita Middle School for the report of a 13-year-old male that set a trash can on fire on school grounds. At 7:45 AM, before the first school bell rang, a student reported smoke coming from a cement trash can located near a tree outside of a school building. A school janitor was able to put the fire out before the fire became larger. There were no injuries reported and only the trash can was damaged.
School personnel reviewed security footage and identified a witness and suspect. It was discovered that the suspect set a piece of paper on fire, and then put that paper in the trash can before leaving. When the student was identified, school staff reported the incident to police.
A Sahuarita Officer arrested the juvenile for arson of property, a class 5 felony. The juvenile was booked into the Pima County Juvenile Court Center.
Sahuarita Police arrested this same suspect for lighting a piece of paper on fire on a school bus in January of this year. In that incident, the suspect was arrested for disorderly conduct.
Anyone with information related to this incident is asked to report it to Sahuarita Police by calling 911 or the Sahuarita Tip Line at 520-445-7847.
SPD and RMFD Respond to Brush Fire North of Rancho Sahuarita March 20, 2023
On Monday March 20th, 2023, at approximately 5:55 PM Sahuarita officers were dispatched to a fire in the desert area north of Rancho Sahuarita, a densely populated residential area. Officers and a RMFD fire crew responded to the area but were initially unable to locate a fire. Officers could smell something burning, but winds made smoke difficult to see and track. At about 6:15 PM SPD officers deployed a SPD UAV drone and within a few minutes located scorched foliage and flames that were spreading to dry brush.
Officers relayed the location of the fire to RMFD. Sahuarita officers who had shovels with them began putting dirt on flames and another used a fire extinguisher in order to minimize the spread of the fire. RMFD personnel responded and used shovels and water packs to extinguish flames in adjacent areas.
Responding officers spoke to some children in the area that denied any knowledge of the origin of the fire. Fire and police personnel were not able to immediately determine the origin of the fire. Fire crews remained on scene for two hours ensuring that the fire would not reignite.
Attached to this Media Release are a few pictures taken by SPD staff or the SPD UAV.
Anyone with information related to the cause of the fire is encouraged to relay that information to Sahuarita Police by calling 9-1-1, or our tip line at 520-445-7847.
Domestic Violence Arrest - SPD Case S23030227 March 10, 2023
On March 8, 2023, at approximately 5:25 PM, a 9-1-1 hang-up call was received from a residence in the 700 block of W. Camino Tunera. Upon call back, it was discovered to be a domestic disturbance. The victim called and advised that her 25-year-old daughter had gained access to the residence and began to assault her.
Officers arrived on the scene and found the victim had fled to the safety of a nearby neighbor's driveway. The victim was suffering from multiple serious injuries to her head. Rural Metro Fire Department personnel responded and treated the victim at the scene and transported her to a Tucson area hospital for treatment.
Officers were directed to the suspect who was walking outside near the residence, where she was detained without incident.
SPD detectives responded and took over the investigation. The investigation resulted in 25-year-old Oro Valley resident Adelene Wolfley being arrested and booked into the Pima County Jail for the following charges: three counts of Domestic Violence Aggravated Assault, one count of Threats and Intimidation, one count of Preventing The use of a telephone in an emergency, and Criminal Damage.
If you believe you or someone else may have information associated with this case, we'd like to speak with you. Anyone with information may contact the SPD by calling 9-1-1 or 344-7000 during business hours Monday through Friday or by contacting our TIP Line at 520-445-7847.
Criminal Damage and Attempted Arson of Unoccupied Structure Arrests (S23020689) February 27, 2023
On February 27, 2023, officers of the Sahuarita Police Department were dispatched to a criminal damage complaint near the 500 block of N. Pecan Canyon Lane. Multiple homes under various stages of construction were vandalized. During the investigation, four juvenile suspects were identified.
SPD Detectives took over the investigation and learned that some of these suspects were responsible for additional damage to local parks and other homes under construction in this area (several thousands of dollars of damage). Four juvenile suspects were arrested and booked into the Pima County Juvenile Detention Center. All of the juveniles arrested are Sahuarita residents, and their identities are not releasable at this time. The charges for each juvenile arrested are as follows:
A 13-year-old female was arrested for reference charges of Criminal Damage, Trespassing, and Burglary.
A 12-year-old female was arrested for Criminal Damage, Trespassing, and Burglary.
A 11-year-old male was arrested for Criminal Damage, Trespassing, Burglary, and Attempted Arson of An Unoccupied Structure.
A 10-year-old male was arrested for Criminal Damage.
This case is still under investigation by Detectives. If you believe you or someone else may have information associated with this case, we’d like to speak with you. Anyone with information may contact the SPD by calling 911, or 344-7000 during business hours Monday through Friday, or by contacting our TIP Line at 520-445-7847.
Shots Fired S23020489 February 21, 2023
On 2/20/2023 at approximately 10:14 PM, Sahuarita Police received multiple calls about gunshots being heard near the 500 block of E. Calle Escora. While officers responded, they noted a vehicle leaving the area at a high rate of speed. Officers stopped that vehicle which was driven by a female who had her children with her and had left the residence on E. Calle Escora.
Officers discovered that 29-year-old Tucson resident Jamal Prentiss had visited Sahuarita to see his children. He and his former girlfriend began arguing. Mr. Prentiss reportedly went into the backyard of the residence and fired approximately three rounds from a pistol. The female resident and children fled the residence after this occurred.
Mr. Prentiss was contacted and arrested at the home. He was later booked into the Pima County Jail on the following charges: Three counts of Weapons Misconduct for Discharging a Firearm within Town limits, a Class 6 Felony, Possession of a Weapon by a Prohibited Person, a Class 4 Felony, and Four counts of Disorderly Conduct, a Class 1 Misdemeanor. Mr. Prentiss also had an outstanding misdemeanor warrant for his arrest.
If you believe you or someone else may have information associated with this case, we'd like to speak with you. Anyone with information may contact the SPD by calling 911 or 344-7000 during business hours Monday through Friday, or by contacting our TIP Line at 520-445-7847.
Walden Grove High School Threat Incident (S23020383) February 17, 2023
On Thursday, February 16, 2023, at 1354 hours, the SPD received information of a possible threat incident at Walden Grove High School (WGHS). The initial information indicated a student or students may have received, by way of a text message or air drop, a picture of a “grenade” along with a threat possibly indicating blowing up “the place.” The initial response included multiple officers from the SPD and the following allied agencies: alphabetically ATF, Border Patrol, FBI, HSI, Marana Police Department, Pima County Sheriff’s Department and Union Pacific Police Department.
Once the safety of all students and staff was assured, SPD Detectives began their investigation. As a result of their investigation, two male suspects were identified. A 14- year-old WGHS Freshman and a 15-year-old WGHS Sophomore. Both suspects were arrested and booked into the Pima County Juvenile Detention Center on the following charges:
1. Making a terroristic threat (Class 3 Felony)
2. Interference with/or disruption of an educational institution (Class 6 Felony)
Due to both suspects being juveniles their identities are unable to be released at this time.
The SPD would like to thank our local and federal law enforcement partners, including Sahuarita Unified School District Personnel, for their assistance with this case. We would also like to thank the community and students for their patience and understanding during this highly stressful event.
This case is still under investigation by SPD detectives.
Vehicle drives through park to evade officers February 14, 2023
On Monday, February 13th at about 9:40 AM Sahuarita Officers on routine patrol noted a silver Dodge truck traveling west on El Toro Road with a cracked windshield and no operational break lights. Officers initiated a traffic stop on the truck which pulled into the south parking lot of Anamax Park. Officers contacted the driver of the vehicle, Jose J. Morales from Tucson. After speaking with Morales officers asked him to step out of the vehicle; however, he instead drove his vehicle away from officers.
Morales drove over a pedestrian bridge and through a portion of Anamax Park to evade police. A nearby officer saw Morales exit the park and enter back onto a nearby roadway. Morales then drove easy onto West Twin Buttes Road, that dead ends into a wash. There he struck a steel fence post and his vehicle was struck. Officers performed a high risk stop, calling Morales out of his vehicle at gunpoint. He complied with officers, exited his vehicle and was taken into custody. A records check revealed an outstanding misdemeanor warrant related to a Domestic Violence charge. A search of Morales incident to arrest revealed he was in possession of illegal drugs. A search of his vehicle revealed a firearm and drug paraphernalia.
Morales was transported to Northwest Hospital for evaluation prior to being booked into Pima County Jail. He was booked for his outstanding misdemeanor Domestic Violence arrest warrant, Felony Failure to Yield to Law Enforcement (5), Felony Possession of a Dangerous Drug - methamphetamines' (F4), Felony Possession of a Narcotic Drug - heroin (F4), Possession of Drug Paraphernalia (F6), and Criminal Damage (F6).
SPD Officers intercept drugs along two stopped trains January 24, 2023
On Tuesday, January 24, 2023, Sahuarita police officers were working Operation Stone Garden, a Federal and State grant funded anti-drug and anti-human trafficking program. Officers responded to the report of suspicious activity near the 19000 block of Old Nogales Highway. Union Pacific Railroad (UPRR) personnel reported seeing a Hispanic male wearing camouflage in the area as well as some duffel bags on the ground near two stopped trains. SPD officers responded and conducted an area search for the suspect, utilizing a SPD drone and a UPRR Police K-9, but the suspect was not located.
SPD officers located four duffle bags found to contain approximately 100 lbs. of fentanyl, 80 lbs. of methamphetamine, and 7.6 lbs. of heroin. The drugs were processed for evidence and turned over to a federal agency for a more detailed analysis and processing.
The SPD, along with many other law enforcement agencies, has put out public service announcements explaining the dangers of fentanyl and other drugs. Fentanyl is now the leading cause of death among US adults between the ages of 18-45 (CDC). Three milligrams of fentanyl can be fatal. One hundred pounds of Fentanyl contains over 15 million 3mg doses. The potential street value of the seized Fentanyl alone is more than 6.8 million dollars. The drugs that were taken in by the SPD are highly addictive and clearly can be fatal.
The SPD is dedicated to the safety of our community and reminds the community that safety is everyone’s responsibility. Anyone with information associated with this case or observes any suspicious activity may contact the SPD by calling 9-1-1 at any time or (520) 344-7000 during business hours Monday through Friday or by contacting our TIP Line at (520) 445-7847.
Homicide SPD Case S23010244 January 13, 2023
On January 12, 2023, at 1303 hours, Officers of the Sahuarita Police Department received a 9-1-1 call reporting a homicide in the 1300 block of W. Via Cerro Colorado. Officers responded to the residence and immediately entered the residence. Officers located two individuals suffering from obvious signs of trauma. Rural Metro Fire Department also responded and pronounced both individuals deceased at the scene.
The victim has been identified as 82-year-old Sahuarita resident Janet Johnson, and the suspect has been identified as 78-year-old Mark Johnson of Sahuarita. Their next of kin have been notified of their passing.
The investigation thus far has shown that Mr. Johnson shot his wife, called 9-1-1 and reported that he "Murdered his wife" and then took his own life. The SPD has not had any prior responses to their residence.
The investigation is ongoing; if you believe you or someone else may have information associated with this case, we'd like to speak with you. Anyone with information may contact the SPD by calling 9-1-1 or 344-7000 during business hours Monday through Friday or by contacting our TIP Line at 520-445-7847.
Burglary Suspect Arrest October 26, 2022
On October 22, 2022, at approximately 1330 hours, officers of the Sahuarita Police Department completed an investigation of vehicle break-ins within the Rancho Sahuarita community. Multiple home security videos captured the suspect, Zackory Burdette, entering multiple unoccupied vehicles parked on residential driveways during the late night and early morning hours. SPD officers were able to identify and later arrest Mr. Burdette for incidents that occurred on October 9, 2022.
SPD Officers worked with Pima County Sheriff's Department (PCSD) deputies and connected Mr. Burdette to a burglary incident near Sahuarita Rd. and Delgado Rd.
Mr. Burdette was arrested and booked into the Pima County Jail for multiple burglary charges.
As a reminder, please ensure your vehicles are properly secured, and valuables are removed from the vehicles or hidden from view.
This case is still under investigation. If you believe you or someone else may have information associated with this case, we'd like to speak with you. Anyone with information may contact the SPD by calling 911 or 344-7000 during business hours Monday through Friday or by contacting our TIP Line 520-445-7847. You can also submit an anonymous tip by text, phone or by going to 88-Crime.org.