STANFIELD — Arizona Department of Public Safety troopers used a GPS tracking system to follow a Phoenix man in a pursuit on Pinal freeways.

According to Pinal County Superior Court records, Jessie L. Edwards, 31, is charged with unlawful flight and prohibited possession of a weapon.

At around 10 a.m. on Oct. 5, a DPS trooper attempted to stop Edwards’ green Escalade near milepost 233 on westbound Interstate 10 for his windows being tinted too darkly. Edwards allegedly refused to stop for the officer’s marked patrol unit and accelerated to about 100 mph in a 75 mph zone.

The trooper deployed a StarChase GPS tracker and backed off the pursuit. The StarChase system can launch a GPS tracker from an officer’s vehicle that sticks to a suspect’s vehicle and relays the vehicle’s location, speed and direction to officers in near real time.

Edwards allegedly avoided two sets of spike strips set out by troopers near mileposts 211 and 203 before turning west on Interstate 8.

At that point a Pinal County Sheriff’s deputy spotted the vehicle and gave chase. The trooper took over the pursuit from the deputy.

At milepost 166 on I-8, Edwards stopped his vehicle, complied with troopers’ directions to exit the vehicle and was taken into custody. Troopers found a gun in the center console and a magazine for the gun in the glovebox of the vehicle.

Edwards told troopers that he fled because his license was suspended and that the gun belonged to his wife and he didn’t know it was in the vehicle.

Denver police are testing technology that allows officers to shoot an adhesive GPS tracker at your car if you try to run from an officer. The devices will help police track a suspect or stolen car without engaging in a dangerous chase, said patrol chief Ron Thomas.

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Suzanne Adams-Ockrassa is a reporter covering the city of Casa Grande and the surrounding area, as well as Central Arizona College. She can be reached at sadams@pinalcentral.com.

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