Internal investigation involves former deputy of MCSO's human sm - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Internal investigation involves former deputy of MCSO's human smuggling unit

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A major internal investigation has been launched into MCSO's human smuggling unit. Thousands of secretly recorded traffic stops were taken by one of their own who made news weeks ago when he killed himself.

The findings could affect the racial profiling case against MCSO and Sheriff Arpaio.

MCSO's Deputy Chief says when they found those videos they were completely surprised.

For one year, one of their deputies was secretly recording his traffic stops, wearing a camera he owned on his glasses.

Attorneystold a judge they believe this deputy could have been shaking down illegal immigrants.

Former MCSO Deputy Ramon Charley Armandariz was under criminal investigation when MCSO says he took his own life. The officer said they found heroin, meth, and cocaine inside of his home and that's not all. According to unsealed court transcripts, investigators also found 900 hours of video.

The video footage involves anywhere from 2,500 to 5,000 recorded traffic stops. Eight MCSO internal affairs detectives have been assigned to review the video.

MCSO's attorneys told a Federal Court Judge that they found two "problem videos", both involve white subjects who were pulled over in traffic stops.

Those videos were played for a judge in a closed door meeting, in Federal Court. Jack Macintyre said the following to a judge in response to the videos; "When you go on and sermonize someone for 40 minutes, now is the stop still justified? Yes, it is. Is it something that we would condone? No".

Investigators also found hundreds of identification cards inside of Armandariz's home. MCSO told the court that 80% of the documents could involve Hispanics. Deputy Chief Macintyre said he believes most of the ID's were forged or altered.

"He was very aggressive at issuing tickets, but he was not aggressive at turning in evidence and records that were part of those tickets," said Macintyre.

"Every single patrol deputy has to send a memo in by Thursday indicating whether they have ever used a body cam or video or audio device to record any stops," he said.

No complaints, the suspects may have been issued tickets but Armandariz may have never sent them to court. People did not ever have to face the ticket.
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