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Nov 1, 2012 7:56 PM by Lorraine Rivera

2 immigrant assaults by bandits reported, Pinal Co. officials say

PINAL COUNTY - Pinal County Sheriff Deputies are investigating two attacks on illegal immigrants in a period of 36 hours.

The first attack occurred Tuesday, seven miles west of the community of Red Rock at about 8 a.m. Deputies say three men were attacked by men wearing camouflage clothing, black masks and armed with semi-automatic handguns. The armed men demanded money. The illegal immigrants gave the bandits money and when told the armed men they didn't have any more, one of the men was pistol whipped in face, and when he tried to run away, he was shot in the leg.

Tucsonan Bradley Schiller said he thought the area was safe since it was so far north of the border. He now says the area is "not as safe as I used to now that I know more and more about what's going on," he said. "I don't carry a gun or a weapon or anything like that, maybe I should."

On Wednesday just before 7 p.m., two men called 911 to report that they were part of a eight-man crew carrying marijuana near Interstate 8 when they were approached by five armed men. The bandits demanded that the men drop their backpacks of marijuana. The men did and began to run away but one was shot in the buttocks.

Investigators do not know if the two incidents are related.

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