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| Crime |

Florence Mayor Tom Rankin's Son Arrested -- Again -- In Connection With Dealing Drugs

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While his father presides over Florence Town Council meetings, Thomas J. Rankin Jr. is accused of slinging drugs in town.

Rankin Jr., known in his hometown as Tom Tom, was arrested this week by the Pinal County Sheriff's Office Narcotics Task Force, several local news outlets have reported.

See also: -Tragic Consequences Follow Mayor Tom Rankin's Control of Politics and Police in Florence

SanTanValley.com reported that on August 25, the Narcotics Task Force served two search warrants. One of them ended up in the arrest of Rankin Jr., 33, of Florence.

Rankin Jr. was in possession of 19.24 grams of marijuana, valued at $800, and 8.91 grams of methamphetamine packaged for sale, valued at $800. Drug paraphernalia related to the sale of dangerous drugs and narcotics were also located in the residence. He was arrested and charged with a series of drug-related offenses, including possession of marijuana and dangerous drugs for sale and using a building for the sale or manufacturing of dangerous drugs, the local news site reported.

In the past, when Rankin Jr. got himself tangled with the law, Daddy Rankin was known to step in.

New Times reported in a feature about Mayor Rankin that "on July 12, 1996, Rankin's ... son, 15-year-old Tom Rankin Jr. (whom the Rankin family and town residents refer to as "Tom Tom"), was arrested with another youth for violation of Florence's 11 p.m. curfew.

Tom Tom Rankin already was well known to cops for bad behavior, a reputation he would enhance over the years with arrests for a variety of offenses, according to Pinal County Superior Court records.

Court records also show that in 2003 Rankin Jr. was sentenced to 3 1/2 years in prison and four years' probation for "theft of a means of transportation" and aggravated assault involving a former girlfriend.

But in 1996, he was just a mouthy juvenile delinquent, according to a county Superior Court trial transcript in which FPD Sergeant Kathy Thorne is quoted as testifying that Rankin Jr. taunted officers when he was brought in.

"He was saying that, 'You guys are going to be in trouble now,'" Thorne told the judge. "He said, 'You know better than to mess with me . . . It doesn't matter; my dad will get me out of whatever happens, anyway.'"

Got a tip? Send it to: Monica Alonzo.

Follow Valley Fever on Twitter at @ValleyFeverPHX. Follow Monica Alonzo on Twitter at @MAD_Blogger.

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