Dan Gustafson was asleep when the red and blue flashing lights woke him up Thursday night. He got up and made his way downstairs.

"I started down the stairs and I saw a few guys crouched in the corner of my kitchen," Gustafson said. "The police knocked on my door instantly at that moment and I let them in."

The Gustafsons hadn't locked the sliding glass door leading to their backyard and three strangers on the run from police were hiding in their home. 

"They themselves looked scared. They weren't threatening in any way," Gustafson said. "They reminded me of a couple of teenagers who did something stupid and got caught."

According to Pima County Sheriff's Lt. Derek Ogden, a deputy stopped a northbound Dodge Ram pickup near Duval Mine Road about 8:40 p.m. and five people inside took off running east. The driver of the vehicle, Gregorio Ordaz, 71, of Tucson stayed with the truck and deputies found five bales of marijuana weighing 234 pounds inside.

Police tracked the men to the home after a Pima County Sheriff's plane saw them climb a wall. 

Crime scene analysts fingerprinted the kitchen, Gustafson said. He, his wife and two grown sons were allowed back inside around midnight.

His sons thought the incident was "cool"; his wife, not so much.

"She was a little freaked out," Gustafson said.

From now on, they'll make sure the door is locked before going to bed, he said.

Deputies, Sahuarita Police Department officers, a K9 officer and U.S. Border Patrol agents were involved in the search. The plane led them to the 200 block of East Calle Vivaz in the La Joya Verde neighborhood west of Abrego Drive. 

It was then that Sahuarita officers knocked on Gustafson's door. 

Angel Avila-Martinez, 24, Pablo Carrillo-Garcia, 23, and Oscar Valenzuela-German, 20, were booked into Pima County Adult Detention Center on two counts each of criminal trespass, a Class 6 felony. 

Sahuarita Police Sgt. Michael Falquez said the men were  unarmed. They were all being held on $2,500 bail.

Ordaz, the driver, was booked into the jail on suspicion of possession of marijuana for sale, transportation of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. Jail records indicate he is no longer in custody.

Two others who fled the scene were not found, according to Falquez.

Kim Smith | 520-547-9740

Assistant Editor Kim Smith moved to Arizona from Michigan when she was 16. She graduated from the University of Arizona with a degree in journalism in 1989. She has worked at seven newspapers of varying size in Arizona, Texas and Nevada.

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