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APACHE JUNCTION – An Apache Junction man’s alleged attempts to pass off the drugs in his driver’s side door as a joke played on him by a friend did not sit well with a Pinal County Sheriff’s deputy.

According to Pinal County Superior Court records, Juan G. Gastelum Bautista, 57, is charged with possession of dangerous drugs and possession of drug paraphernalia.

At 8:12 p.m. on Nov. 5, a deputy stopped a vehicle Gastelum Bautista was driving near Idaho Road and Old West Highway in Apache Junction for allegedly having a fictitious tag on his license plate.

The deputy noticed a small baggie in the driver’s side door that appeared to contain a small amount of what later field tested positive for methamphetamine.

Gastelum Bautista allegedly told the deputy that he was unaware that the bag was there and that people tended to play tricks on him. He also allegedly gave the same reason for the fictitious tag on his license plate.

He also allegedly told the deputy he didn’t have a Social Security number because he was a Canadian citizen. He was taken into custody.


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

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