3 arrested in MCSO raid on Mesa construction company

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by Catherine Holland

Video report by Gibby Parra

Posted on October 5, 2011 at 8:20 AM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 5 at 4:39 PM

Map: C&M Homes, Mesa

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MESA, Ariz. – Three people are in custody in the wake of an operation by the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office at C&M Homes in Mesa Wednesday morning.

The operation was the result of an investigation into alleged identity theft and employer sanctions violations. Deputies were looking for 15 suspects.

C&M Homes is a construction company specializing in home building, including custom homes. The company’s office is located at Greenfield and McDowell roads near Falcon Field.

Sheriff Joe Arpaio said he expected deputies to make more arrests.

Wednesday's raid is the fourth such operation in Mesa in the past six months. More than 55 people have been arrested in the course of those raids.

"I don't know what's going on in Mesa," Arpaio said.

The sheriff said Wednesday's operation would kick off his 20th crime-suppression operation, which is slated to begin Thursday afternoon in Phoenix.

Arpaio said his primary goal is to cut down on identity theft by illegal immigrants.

"They just don't learn," Arpaio said. "They don't seem to care, these businesses that keep hiring illegal aliens with false ID. I'm going to keep cracking down. ... I think they should do more, be more vigilant."

Arpaio said he has taken all kinds of flak for his operations, but he said his opponents, including the president, are missing the point. According to the sheriff, the majority of people his deputies arrest in these raids allegedly are using somebody else's identity.

"All they [my opponents] do is accuse me of breaking up families ... but they never talk about that violation of the law."

Identity theft is a Class 4 felony.

C&M Homes released the following statement Wednesday afternoon:

We at C&M were more surprised than anyone that the Maricopa County Sherriff's Department came to our headquarters earlier today. According to the Sherriff's office, a very few of our employees may have been using falsified employment documents. If this is the case we were completely unaware of the situation.

C&M is very conscientious about our employees. All of our employees are on our payroll system with all applicable taxes being withheld. All of our employees provided the required documents to verify their right to work. We are cooperating fully with the Maricopa County sheriff's department in this investigation. We are very concerned about the situation and are diligently working on preventing any future issues.

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