ELOY — A Pinal County sheriff’s deputy stopped a vehicle on westbound Interstate 10 near Eloy for a traffic violation about 10:45 p.m. Wednesday and discovered a large stash of a dangerous drug.

Two men were in the vehicle, 43-year-old James Lee and 54-year-old Donovan Salas. The driver, Salas, gave the deputy consent to search the vehicle.

Two packages of pills believed to be fentanyl were discovered inside the vehicle. Both Lee and Salas were arrested and each initially denied having knowledge of the fentanyl pills being there.

After further questioning, both admitted they had knowledge of the drugs. Lee and Salas said they had about 500 pills and were going to sell them.

“The opioid epidemic is not only a problem for the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office, but our entire nation,” said Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb. “Great work by our deputy for catching these drugs before they hit the streets of this country.”

Both men were booked into the Pinal County Adult Detention Center where they both face charges to include possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of a narcotic drug, possession of a narcotic drug for sale and transport of a narcotic drug for sale.

Each man remains in the county jail on a $25,000 secured bond.


Jim Headley is a reporter covering breaking news, crime and justice around Pinal County. He can be reached at jheadley@pinalcentral.com.