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MCSO investigating deputy who took own life

PHOENIX -- The Maricopa County Attorney's Office is investigating items that were found in the home of a deputy who took his own life.

Over 900 hours of videos of over 2,000 traffic stops were found in April after Deputy Ramon Charley Armendariz reported a burglary at his home. No evidence of a burglary was found, but officers did the find the videos as well as thousands of driver's licenses and other items.

Armendariz committed suicide a week later.

Court records show that Armendariz may have been "shaking down" immigrants during the traffic stops. County Attorney Bill Montgomery said he has not seen any of the videos, but knows one of them does not support what the records claim.

Montgomery said the video makes it clear Armendariz's car was parked in such a way that he could not see the driver.

"There's no way that he could have known the race, ethnicity, or sex of the driver unless he actually got up to the vehicle and had contact with the driver," he said.

Montgomery wants to know if any of the videos may have an impact on any criminal cases.

"With the individuals who are the subjects of those traffic stops, if we have to go through and try to figure out who they are, that could be very time consuming," he said. "My expectation would be that law enforcement would try to identify who those folks are."

Montgomery said that MCSO is cooperating with the investigation. Montogomery also said that his office is checking to see if any names on the licenses found at Armendariz's home match those found in any court records.

About the Author


Years with the company: I started on January 2, 2006.

Education: I was born in San Antonio, Texas, but we moved to Phoenix when I was one-year-old in 1957. I grew up here and graduated from Alhambra High School and attended Phoenix College.

Family: I live in north Phoenix with my wife Rene' and my son Devin.

Favorite food: Lots of favorite food, but our favorite restaurant is Fajitas.

Favorite spot in Arizona: The Little America Hotel in Flagstaff.

Favorite news memory: We have to go back to October 15, 1979. I was a country music air personality at KROP Radio in Brawley, California, when we had a 6.7 earthquake. Thankfully, there were no deaths and only minor injuries, but the entire community was pretty freaked out and listening to the station on their transistor radios. I would not want to go through an earthquake again, but it sure was a great night to work in radio and see how it can make a difference in people's lives.

First job: Working as a stringer for 'The Arizona Republic' at high school football games. My first real job was flipping burgers at the old Sandy's Hamburgers at 51st Avenue and Indian School Road. My first radio job was as announcer at KALJ radio in Yuma in 1977.

First concert: My Dad took me to see Jimmy Dean at the Arizona State Fairgrounds in the 1960's. It was before the Coliseum was built. The only thing I remember is Jimmy Dean singing his big hit "Big Bad John."

Favorite sports team: Phoenix Roadrunners minor league hockey. My dad took me to a game when I was in grade school, and I was hooked. I wanted to be a radio hockey play-by-play man. I used to take my cassette recorder and sit up in the rafters of the Coliseum and do play-by-play. It was great later in life to also take my son to Roadrunners games. Too bad the team just folded, I'll miss them. (Going to the Coyotes is fun, but they're not "my" team.)

Outside interests: My family and I are active in our church - Shiloh Community Church in Phoenix. Devin is a high school student at Scottsdale Christian Academy. He plays on the baseball, football, and basketball teams and sings in the choir. Obviously, we keep busy trying to go to all his events! We enjoy going to movies, sporting events, and long road trips. We like to vacation at the Beach Cottages in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego. And I love to play catch, basketball, football with my son.

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