Driver arrested on drug charges after speeding into town

SAFFORD – On Monday, February 12th, a vehicle was seen by a Safford police officer traveling into town at a speed of 67mph in a posted 55mph zone. After the officer pulled them over and approached the driver, he could smell a strong odor of burned and green marijuana coming from inside of the vehicle.

The officer saw that both the driver and passenger had blood shot, watery eyes and were also slow in their responses and movements. The driver was unable to produce a current AZ driver’s license, only an expired one from New Mexico. The male driver was identified as Tino Garcia.

Meanwhile, the officer asked who had marijuana in the vehicle and the passenger stated that it was hers, but that she had a medical marijuana card that she provided to the officer. The female stated she had smoked in the vehicle in Solomon because she couldn’t smoke it in her house. When the officer asked Garcia when he last used marijuana, he answered that he doesn’t smoke it. However, the officer could smell the odor of marijuana coming from his breath and also noticed raised heat bumps on the back of his tongue, and strong eyelid tremors. Based on the tests administered by the officer, Garcia was placed under arrest for DUI. As the officer went to place him in handcuffs, Garcia kept trying to pull away and interrupting multiple times and would not acknowledge understanding his rights. He was placed in the officer’s patrol car.

After speaking with the passenger about possible charges against her for possession of marijuana and paraphernalia and possibly violating sanctions of the medical marijuana card due to smoking in the vehicle, she was released from the scene and had family pick her up.

Garcia was transported to the police department where he would not consent to a blood draw. A search warrant was prepared and was served to Garcia, authorizing the blood draw. Garcia was then release and was picked up by family.