Arizona (The Gaslamp Post) – A former Pima County sheriff’s deputy was sentenced to 5 years in prison for his part in a conspiracy to shake down drug dealers for money and drugs and then in turn sell them on the street. In all reality, everything he had stolen was planted by the FBI.
Former Deputy Sheriff Francisco Jimenez was sentenced to 5 years in prison this past Thursday in U.S. District court in Tuscon. He was then ordered to pay $12,000 in restitution and serve a further 3 years of supervision after release.
In 2010, Jimenez and a co-conspirator were among 4 subjects of an FBI investigation, into allegations that they had been involved in the illegal drug trade. In at least two set-up traffic stops, Jimenez had reportedly stolen several thousand dollars from the glove boxes of suspect cars whom they had pulled over and searched.
Jimenez had also reportedly taken marijuana seized from those stops as evidence and was attempting to sell it.
According to a press release from the US Attorney’s Office in Tuscon, Jimenez and the man whom recruited him, another former deputy sheriff, Miguel Avizu, had split the money and seized drugs, and were attempting to make a profit for themselves. Both he and Arvizu were also accused of breaking into a storage locker where they believed that drugs and money were being hidden.
“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,” said U.S. Attorney Dennis K. Burke. “The public must be able to rely on their sworn officers of the law to protect and serve. That is why this office and our partners at the Federal Bureau of Investigation will aggressively investigate and prosecute public corruption wherever we find it.”
…The Superseding Indictment alleges that Arvizu arranged for Jimenez to perform traffic stops on vehicles which purportedly contained money belonging to drug trafficking organizations, and to steal the money. On June 26, 2010, Jimenez performed a traffic stop on a vehicle which purportedly contained drug proceeds, searched the vehicle, and stole $4,000 from the glove compartment of the vehicle. Jimenez later met with Arvizu and gave him a portion of the stolen money. Again, on or about October 8, 2010, Jimenez pulled his patrol car behind a vehicle parked at the Tucson Mall which purportedly contained drug proceeds. He searched the vehicle and stole $4,000 from the glove compartment, again meeting Arvizu later and giving him a portion of stolen money.
The Superseding Indictment also alleges that on November 24, 2010, Arvizu arranged for Deputy Sheriff Jimenez to provide “security” while co-conspirators stole controlled substances and drug proceeds from a storage facility in Green Valley. On this date, Jimenez drove his patrol car near the storage facility while co-defendants, Frankie Cancannon and Emerick Rene Parra, broke into a storage unit that they believed contained drugs and drug proceeds.
According to the Arizona Daily Star, Jimenez reportedly pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges this past June. Arvizu reportedly pleaded guilty to similar charges this past July. He has also received a 5 year prison sentence.
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