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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.

Mark Remillard,

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