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Updated Jan 9, 2014 - 11:14 pm

Sheriff Arpaio to set sights on street-level drug crimes

PHOENIX -- Maricopa County's Sheriff is sending a warning toward small time drug crimes.

Following the shutdown of a massage parlor in Avondale that was allegedly being used as a front to sell marijuana on Thursday, Sheriff Joe Arpaio made mention of a growing drug problem in Arizona.

"When you look at our jail population, a high majority of people in jail for burglaries and every type of crime are there for drugs (or) drug-related crimes," Arpaio said. And that has Arpaio focusing his attention on enforcing street-level drug offenses.

"I want to hit the streets. Everybody wants to get the big guys, but in the meantime you have all these small dealers. We have to do something about this drug problem and I'm going to take special action very soon."

Arpaio did not elaborate much on what that special action would look like, but hinted at the possibility of a new task force aimed at lower-level drug crimes. He said it will be announced in a few weeks.

About the Author

A southern California native, Mark Remillard began working in radio in 2010 while in community college as a host of late night and weekend programming for publicly supported 88.5 FM KSBR. While working through college, Mark also interned for the Bill Handel Radio Program at Los Angeles' KFI AM640, where he began his work in journalism. Mark moved to Arizona in August 2012 to finish his bachelor's degree at Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication and graduated in August 2014. Mark began working as a reporter for KTAR in November 2012.


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