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Former Arizona detention officer charged with smuggling methamphetamine and fentanyl in Phoenix jail arrested again


A former Arizona corrections officer who was arrested in January for allegedly trying to smuggle narcotics into a Phoenix jail was re-arrested Friday for failing to appear in court.

Andres Salazar, 27, was detained by the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office of Fugitive Apprehension and Tactical Enforcement and the Desert Hawk Violent Crimes Task Force on two outstanding warrants.

They include $25,000 bail and two counts of promoting prison smuggling, and the sale or transportation of drugs on $100,000 bail, local television station KPHO-TV reported.

Salazar was arrested Jan. 11 for allegedly attempting to smuggle approximately 100 fentanyl and methamphetamine pills into the Lower Buckeye Jail.

Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone announced his arrest during a press conference on January 11, when he told reporters about an “ongoing investigation” into drug smuggling in Maricopa County jails.

Salazar, who was hired in October 2019, was working “with inmates and some outsiders” to get the drugs into the jail.

He was arrested after investigators saw him receiving $1,000 to transport the drugs.

We have strong reasons to believe This was his first try.” Penson said.

“This young man, whatever led him to this decision, will now not only lose his career, but the future he has for himself will most likely definitely be adversely hindered,” he added.

Last year, there were 282 narcotics-related incidents at county jails, according to numbers Penzone shared during the news conference.

The deaths of 17 inmates were caused by an overdose, or drugs were a major contributing factor, according to the medical examiner.

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