- Associated Press - Monday, February 12, 2018

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) - An ex-convict has been found guilty of transporting nearly 5,400 heroin pills in the Tucson area.

Prosecutors say 41-year-old Sergio Ramon Chavez was convicted by a Pima County Superior Court jury of transportation of heroin for sale, illegally conducting an enterprise and conspiracy to transport heroin for sale.

He faces up to 35 years in prison when he’s sentenced on March 12.

An Arizona Department of Public Safety trooper attempted to stop a vehicle near Tucson’s El Con Mall in February 2017.

Authorities say Chavez jumped out of the car, leaving behind a bag that contained 5,368 heroin pills worth an estimated $53,000.

Chavez was found hiding near an apartment complex and was arrested.

He told police that a cartel was paying him $1,500 to pick up and deliver drugs.

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