A judge sentenced a former Pima County Sheriff's deputy for his role in ripping off drug smugglers, attempting to distribute marijuana, and aiding a drug trafficking organization.
Francisco Jimenez pleaded guilty and was sentenced to five years in prison for conspiring to commit offenses against the United States: stealing government money and possession with intent to distribute marijuana, all done because of an agreement with a drug trafficking organization to protect drug loads and steal money from rival organizations.
When Jimenez finishes his prison term he'll spend three years under supervised release and pay $12,000 in restitution to the government.
The FBI had been investigating a ring of drug smugglers which included Jimenez and another Pima County Sheriff's deputy. Through their investigation, the FBI alleged that Jimenez had twice pulled over cars suspected to have just made drug deals and both times pilfered $4,000 from their glove boxes.
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A third incident involved the alleged theft of marijuana from a storage facility in Green Valley, Arizona in late November of 2010. The report accuses Jimenez of driving his patrol car to guard the place while the others in the smuggling ring - Frankie Carlos Cancannon, Jesus Corrales, Emerick Rene Parra, and another former Pima County Sheriff's deputy Miguel Arvizu - broke in to steal the drugs and drug money stashed inside.
When the feds charged the men originally, they alleged that Arvizu had told Cancannon, Corrales and Parra that as an officer he would - and could get others to - help steal cash and drugs from smugglers.
Arvizu was sentenced last July to five years in prison for his role in arranging and participating in the thefts. He'll also serve three years supervised release and pay $31,000 in restitution.
Arvizu was originally charged with eight counts, including conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States, theft of government money and property, attempted distribution of three kilograms of cocaine, attempted possession with the intent to distribute more than 100 kilograms of marijuana, and assaulting a person having lawful charge, custody, and control of money and other property of the United States, with intent to rob, steal and purloin said money, and property of the United States.