PHOENIX -- After a frantic hour-long desert search, authorities found a deputy injured in a shootout Friday with suspected illegal immigrants apparently hauling bales of marijuana along a major smuggling corridor in southern Arizona.
The Pinal County sheriff's office says the deputy was shot with an AK-47 on Friday afternoon and suffered a superficial wound -- a chunk of skin torn from just above his left kidney.
He was flown by helicopter to a hospital in Casa Grande, about 40 miles south of Phoenix.
The agency says the deputy was doing smuggling interdiction work and found bales of marijuana in the desert.
He then encountered five suspected illegal immigrants, two armed with rifles, and was shot.
The deputy was alone about halfway between Phoenix and Tucson.
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