Deputy Louie Puroll Placed on Administrative Leave Following Last Week's New Times Story

Something about an article in last week's New Times has landed Pinal County Sheriff's Deputy Louie Puroll in some hot water -- he's been placed on administrative leave, and the PCSO confirms to New Times it has something to do with our story.

In the article, Whitewash, Puroll told New Times staff writer Paul Rubin a few details about some encounters he's had with members of a Mexican drug cartel.

See an excerpt below

Puroll tells me that representatives of "the Mexican cartel" have approached him four or five times at this restaurant over the years wanting to do business.

"They didn't want me to sell or buy the stuff, just that they'd make it worth my while to look the other way out in the desert if I bumped into them," he says.

Puroll says he didn't arrest any of these men, call for backup, or write reports about the encounters.

Puroll also told Rubin about a potential threat against the reporter's life made by a "rancher of Mexican decent," who offered to off Rubin for some of things written in his first article on Puroll, Pinalcchio.

See excerpt below:

After four hours of dialogue, I shut down my tape-recorder at the truck stop.

Puroll tells me: "Now that that's off, let me tell you something. You're lucky to be alive right now."

The deputy explains that a friend of his, a "rancher of Mexican descent," recently offered to murder me because of what I wrote in "Pinalcchio."

I ask the deputy what he'd said to his pal.

"I said that it wouldn't be a good idea, not to worry about it," he says evenly.

I ask him why he's telling me this. He sees me taking notes, but continues.

"Thought you'd like to know some people were upset with you, that's all," the deputy replies, smiling slightly.

PCSO spokesman Tim Gaffney wouldn't go into much detail about Puroll's leave -- he's waiting to get more information from Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu before the information is released publicly.

However, when asked to confirm if Puroll had been placed on administrative leave -- and if it has something to do with our story -- Gaffney says "yes and yes."

Check back later for more details.

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James King
Contact: James King