ICE Agent Leads Police on 45-Minute Chase After Getting Busted in Marijuana Smuggling Sting

lowery.jpg
ICE Deportation Officer Jason Lowery got popped yesterday during a drug smuggling sting.
Jason Alistair Lowery, 34, is a deportation officer with U.S. Immigration and customs enforcement. He's also allegedly a weed smuggler who led authorities on a 45-minute chase -- in his government-owned vehicle -- after getting busted in a marijuana smuggling sting.

Arizona Department of Public Safety Officer Carrick Cook tells New Times that DPS has been monitoring Lowery for several weeks after a known smuggler tipped off authorities that he was working with a law enforcement official.

"Initially, we kind of dismissed [the smuggler's claims]," Cook says. "Independent sources found out later that the information was credible."

Cook says that after monitoring Lowery for several weeks, authorities stashed 23 bundles of weed in the desert in the Vekol Valley, about 45 minutes South of Phoenix. Officers watched as Lowery loaded 14 of the 23 bundles into his government-owned vehicle and took off.

Cook wouldn't say how Lowery knew the weed would be there, but says the information was disseminated through the proper channels.

When police attempted to pull him over, Lowery stopped briefly before taking off into the desert, Cook says.

The chase reached speeds of up to 110 miles per hour, and Lowery was seen throwing 10 of the 14 bails of marijuana out of the vehicle as he attempted to evade law enforcement.

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Joshua Powell
The chase came to an end when Lowery flipped the vehicle he was driving, and surrendered to police.

Authorities believe Lowery was taking the weed to the home of 33-year-old Joshua Duane Powell, of Arizona City, who is currently out on bail for other felony charges. According to Cook, Powell already faces "decades in prison" for his previous crimes.

According to DPS documents first obtained by the Associated Press, Powell was previously arrested after a separate investigation last month turned up multiple bulletproof vests, weapons, stolen night-vision equipment, hundreds of rounds of ammunition, and various drugs inside his home.

According to document, "since [Powell's] release only a few weeks ago, he has amassed a small arsenal of weapons and has proven to continue involvement in the illicit drug trade."

When police searched Powell's home yesterday, they found 14 rifles and guns in the trunk of his car, seven of which had been reported stolen.

Lowery was booked into Pima County jail on charges of smuggling and felony flight. Powell was also booked into jail on similar charges.

ICE spokesman Vinnie Picard issued a statement about Lowery's arrest, saying "ICE is cooperating with federal and state authorities in this matter. We hold our officers and agents to the highest levels of responsibility and are committed to supporting the agencies investigating this incident."

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25 comments
Angelo Tampa florida
Angelo Tampa florida

Bang!!!! Busted... He needs to rot with all other drug dealers. He is a disgrace to our country and the agency. He was trusted and took an oath when he was hired. We need to make him an example of what happens when you cross the line. Time to rot in prison!!!!!

charlie_oscar
charlie_oscar

Does anyone doubt, there is a 24/7 response unit at the DOJ monitoring Fast & Furious assault rifles in real-time?  Anytime a gun is recovered by law enforcement nation-wide - serial numbers are run through NCIC data base to see if they are stolen or used in crimes...that's how they're eventually linked to FF gun walking…This is our DOJ in full panic damage control mode…

mikefrombisbee
mikefrombisbee

Just like crooked prohibition agents in the 1920s and early 1930s. Making drugs illegal raises the price dramatically and gives those who sell it tons of money tot hrow around.The money is used to bribe officials on both sides of the line. This will go on until illegal drugs are legalized and taxed. I remember reading a Justice Department report approx. 20 years ago that said one out of three officers at ports of entry or patrolling the  border may be on the take. That was the feds' estimate at the time. Here on the border we have experienced corrupt judges, police chiefs, customs agents, border patrol agents, city cops, sheriff's deputies, etc. How many loads get passed through the ports of entry at Nogales, Douglas, Naco, Lukeville, Sasabe, San Luis every day? How many get escorted through the border counties by crooked cops?

I am not impugning the integrity of those who aren't on the take, but I am saying that this so-called drug war cannot be won. it has been going on for more than four decades and the result is prisons full of people, plenty of drugs and powerful drug lords. It is the basis for the violence that wracks Mexico and impacts us directly or indirectly along the border. It is long past time for a change in policy.

Nelson1961
Nelson1961

Due to one "bad apple" now all agents are going to be judged. Dont be ignorant, you have good men/women doing a job that is dangerous who work long hours, split shifts who cant always spend time w/fam. If they have toys they work n bust ass for it, I have faith in the USBP, ICE AGENTS, who do a damn good job.

Follower_of_the_ONE
Follower_of_the_ONE

As always Eleanor... as always!  Hell not even the entire MCSO is corrupt, just the head-cheese(s) (notice I put a hypen in there so NOBODY would confuse Head-Cheese with HeadCheese which is something entirely different ... or not). 

Follower_of_the_ONE
Follower_of_the_ONE

The malice shouldn't be directed at the Border Patrol, the smuggler is an ICE agent.  I understand why the BP is paid well, both in line with the risk and an effort to stop corruption, temptation is great.  It would be interesting to learn what an ICE agent brings home.

Jglenn
Jglenn

to the bp folks, from a retired lawman (who never busted a marijuana possessor)  : )  but countless violent felons, many who abused drugs & alcohol of course (just like most people).Do your solemn duty and protect this countrys frontiers from enemy or unlawful entry, but think for yourselves ... why are you willing to play patsies for the kingpins; empowering the cartels, allowing obscene profits to be made, people then die needlessly or are warehoused in prison .. treat the shit like i did .. mere bales of hay my brothers and sisters!  Focus on what matters not what your adrenaline or testicles want.

BPAgent
BPAgent

Wow Jeannie, I also take offense to what you say.  Bottom of the barrel?  I too have a college degree and spent ten, count them, ten years in the Army prior to becoming a Border Patrol Agent. We are paid well because not everyone can do this job.  We work 10-16 hours five days a week and sometimes we are mandated to work a six day of over time.  Try running after fifteen or twenty armed drug mules in the desert as we do on a nightly basis.  I have been shot at, had rocks thrown at me, I have been assaulted, I have fallen and broken my hand and busted by knee, but I show up to work every night.  Check around with the other agencies that along side BP daily, they will tell you...

Bumpandrun85
Bumpandrun85

Really Jeannie?  as a Border Patrol Agent I take offense to those comments.  That's like saying all blacks are criminals or all hispanics are illegal.  Think before you open your mouth.  Obviously you have no clue as to what you are saying as he was an Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agent not a Border Patrol Agent.  As for what we do with out money, let me see what you do with yours.  I make 100k a year and that opens up the possibilites for what I can and cannot afford.  I am a collelge graduate with a Masters' Degree, so lets see your qualifications before you start saying we are the bottom of the barrel. 

Jeannie Kelley
Jeannie Kelley

I've always suspected thet was the case,as i've seen border agents with lots of cash for any toy that they want or expensive thing the other 99% of us could not ordinarily afford.this has been the case for at least thirty years.How do I know?I dont, but take a look at the BP and what kind of people they hire(bottom of the barrel for law enforcement)how else does 90% of the cheap mexican dirt weed make it here?

Follower_of_the_ONE
Follower_of_the_ONE

Spot on Mike, people say there were NO lessons learned from prohibition... I say bollocks!  There was a plethora of lessons learned and that overabundance of knowledge is being applied NOW and intentionally.  Just like the incredibly corrupt individual who started the war, Richard M Nixon and those who followed in his footsteps it's all geared towards profit, power and oppression.  If "we the people" want a REALLY significant "lifestyle" change it is time to rise up and end this god forsaken "War on Drugs".  The "warriors" in this 30 plus year long crusade really need to step back and look at who they are really working for and why... it's DEFINITELY NOT for the PROFIT for mankind.. only a few.

Seedy Ward
Seedy Ward

I have faith that power and money corrupt. Since the days of alcohol prohibition this has been demonstrated time and time again. A few rotten apples will quickly rot the entire barrel.

Seedy Ward
Seedy Ward

It would indeed be interesting to see what they bring home.

Follower_of_the_ONE
Follower_of_the_ONE

And correct me if I'm wrong ICE and the Border Patrol are 2 separate entities.

WWeeeeee
WWeeeeee

To Jglenn, you should research or ask a border patrolagent what his job consists of first before writing about them.  They don’tonly work long hrs, chase drug mules, and chase illegal aliens but also doprosecute violent felons that are apprehended coming back to the United Statesafter being deported.  They also apprehend rapists, murderers, drug dealers, people withwarrants, etc....

The comment you made is pretty sad especiallycoming from a law enforcement officer.

Seedy Ward
Seedy Ward

Yet there are still lots of crooked cops involved in teh border drug trade. Probably only a minority, but corruption goes with the turf. Face reality: outside of your little mutual admiration society, few really care that you chase drug mules and face the associated risks. If you think you're on a mission from God, think again.

mikefrombisbee
mikefrombisbee

And most of the Border Patrol agents that I know or interact with are good guys. Much nicer to deal with than the CBP boys/girls in blue, I must say. The problem I see is that you have been handed so many tasks to perform that you can't do them all. Contrary to what the wing-nuts on this forum say, the Border patrol IS getting a handle on illegal immigration. The AZ-Mexico border on THIS side of the line is safer in some ways than larger communities. I know the Minutemen don't what to believe it, but there are about 1,000 agents in Cochise County alone, and most of them are out in the field. I see them everywhere. I spend a lot of time driving around the county for business and a lot of time for recreation. You can't drive along the border without seeing BP agents. And they DO check you out. I've been stopped along the border from Columbus to Lochiel. Everyone's been polite. And professional.

The situation that I see is this: you will get a handle on illegal immigration, because: the product is more fragile, less valuable and far more difficult to transport and conceal. Also, if it becomes too hard to cross w/o apprehension and deportation, a lot of mojaditos will say "fuck it" and stay on the other side. Illegal drugs, on the other hand, are far more valuable per kilo, are far easier to conceal, don't die when left out in the desert and don't have a say in what happens to them  YOUR job is far more dangerous because you are dealing with crazy bastards in Mexico blinded by greed and their own sudden rise to power. You are also endangered by the corruption in all levels of law enforcement. I am sure you know that you can't stop the flow of drugs. You are fighting a powerful demand that drives up the price. In our materialistic world of shitty jobs and the programmed need for immediate gratification, getting fucked up is what a lot of people do to deal with the shit of their lives.

Eleanor
Eleanor

I suggest first they just try making it through the training.  That might show them how easy and sleazy it is to be BP.

Show your respect Jeannie, not everybody in LE is corrupt.

WWeeeeee
WWeeeeee

 Wow Jeannie, do you live under a rock or something???

Rio
Rio

In readng your comments, it is obvious, you are very IGNORANT.

mikefrombisbee
mikefrombisbee

Trying to follow the lines of authority in the DHS (I just found out that all of those license plates on the backs of the federal cops' vehicles aren't Douglas High School vanity plates after all) is very difficult. It also results in officers/agents from different parts of the division being used for the same functions, for example: Border Patrol agents (in green) and customs and border protection officers (in blue) are both part of Customs and Border Protection. They both work the same checkpoints approx. 30 miles north of the border. The folks in blue tend to treat people who pass through the checkpoints like they treat people coming in from Mexico - rudely, officiously, coldly and suspiciously. The Border Patrol agents are much more friendly and laid back. They are doing the same job at the checkpoints, but are very different in execution. Look at the DHS org chart and try to figure out, from the description, the difference between ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) and CBP (Customs and Border Protection).  This department grew exponentially during the last decade and is waaaayyyyy too big for its own britches. But I am confident that Janet Napolitano is happy to have such a big toy to play with.

Follower_of_the_ONE
Follower_of_the_ONE

He is currently an ICE agent who could have made his connections when he was with BP or ICE... either way he is a screw-up that ICE has to assume responsiblity for.  Why did he leave the BP... surely judging from the other posts the reason wasn't financial (hell most law enforcement agencies don't pay near that scale do they?).  I don't ask to be rude Intheknow, simply curious.

Intheknow
Intheknow

They are separate entities, correct.  However, this particular Agent worked as a Border Patrol Agent for 7 years prior to transferring to ICE.

Seedy Ward
Seedy Ward

Lots of them are corrupt, though. As far as I'm concerned, respect over and above the modicum deserved by every human being is earned on an individual basis. Respect should not be conferred on the basis of office or position.

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