Sheriff's Detention Officer among 18 arrested by DEA
SIERRA VISTA — Eighteen people, including a Cochise County Sheriff’s Office Detention officer, were charged with being part of a cocaine trafficking and purchasing ring, according to federal and county law enforcement officials.
“The majority of the arrests were in the Bisbee, Douglas and Sierra Vista areas,” said Drug Enforcement Agency spokeswoman Ramona Sanchez, adding the investigation includes suspected participants from Tucson.” at this time.”
For Cochise County Sheriff Mark Dannels the arrest of one of his officers, Mario Serrano, is particularly disappointing.
“Members of the Cochise County Sheriff’s Office occupy a position of trust not only within this organization but in our community. When they fail to live up to the oath that each and every one of them has taken, they no longer deserve the privilege to work in these positions,” Dannels said.
Serrano, who has been a county detention officer since December 2001, resigned from his position immediately, according to the sheriff, who noted the arrest was part of a multiple agency investigation.
Sanchez, who works from the DEA’s Phoenix office, said the arrests took place during two days, based on search warrants issued by the Pima County Superior Court
The Arizona Attorney General’s office will be handling the prosecution, through the state court system, she added.
“It’s unfortunate people in all professions can become involved in such criminal activities,” Sanchez said, adding a list of all the names of those charged is expected to “be released today (Wedmesday).”
EDITOR’S NOTE: This story was updated after an original breaking item was published by Adam Curtis earlier in the day on Tuesday, June 4.
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