The United States Department of Justice announced today that two former Pima County Sheriff's deputies have been indicted on charges that they used their positions as law enforcement officials to help three other men rip off drug dealers and steal government-seized narcotics.
Francisco J. Jimenez, Jr, and Miguel Arvizu -- both former Pima County sheriff's deputies -- conspired with Frankie Carlos Cancannon, Jesus Corrales, and Emerick Rene Parra, to steal the cash and drugs.
Arvizu, the feds allege, told Cancannon, Corrales, and Parra that he was a cop, and that he knew other cops who would be willing to help them steal cash from drug smugglers.
In one instance, June 6, Jimenez stopped a vehicle he was told contained the proceeds of a drug deal. In the vehicle's glove box, Jimenez found $4,000, which he stole and shared with his cohorts.
A similar incident happened on October 8, when authorities say Jimenez pulled behind a car in the parking lot of a Tucson mall that he was told was carrying drug money. Again, Jimenez found $4,000 in the glove box and shared it with his Arvizu and the other alleged conspirators.
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In another instance, Jimenez acted as "security" as Cancannon and Parra stole drugs and money from a police storage facility in Green Valley. Jimenez stood watch in his patrol car as the two men broke into the facility and stole about three kilograms of cocaine and cash.
"This Deputy Sheriff -- and his co-conspirator who is a former Deputy - dove head-first into the illegal drug trade and fomented an outrageous breach of the public's trust," U.S. Attorney Dennis K. Burke says in a statement.
Arvizu is charged in all of the eight counts of the indictment, which include which include 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 the intent to rob, steal, and purloin said money and property of the United States.
Jimenez is charged in the conspiracy count, three counts of theft of government money, and with attempted possession with the intent to distribute more than 100 kilograms of marijuana.