Apr 24, 2012 11:28 PM

Guerena family member has car seized

TUCSON - The wife of an alleged drug smuggler had her vehicle seized Tuesday, after she refused to let authorities search it.

Pauline Guerena, the sister-in-law of Jose Guerena, who was killed during a SWAT raid last summer, was on her way to see her attorney when she was pulled over by Pima County Sheriff Deputies.

Earlier this month Guerena was arrested, along with her father Jose Celaya and sister, Denise Ruiz, after deputies found $30,000 in cash inside the vehicle.

Guerena told her attorney, Steve Ralls, that she had been followed all morning long.

"They told her that they had stopped her for speeding, and they asked her if they could search her car and she said no," according to Ralls. "They told her they would get a search warrant if she did not consent to the search of the car."

Officers got their search warrant.

Guerena took her small children out of the car and into her attorney's office.

"You know I don't know what the reason is for them trying to stop her again, but the prior incident didn't involve her," Ralls said. "She did not have the cash, it was her sister."

Both sisters and their father are accused of drug smuggling and money laundering and were all indicted on the charges.

When asked if his client was involved in drug trafficking, Ralls responded, "she is not."

Yet, court documents show her husband, Alejandro Guerena, is the main focus of the Guerena drug trafficking organization.

"Time will tell whether there's any justification for the prosecution," Ralls said. "One looks at the grand jury transcripts in this case and wonders how the prosecutor was able to obtain an indictment in this case."

The vehicle was sealed by investigators and a tow truck took it to the Sheriff's Department for a thorough search.

"As of this time, they have found absolutely nothing," Ralls said.

The Pima County Sheriff's Department said the stop they made Tuesday, was a continuation of their investigation into the Guerena drug trafficking organization.


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