Arizona pastor arrested for allegedly dealing drugs


by Jared Dillingham

Bio | Email | Follow: @JaredDillingham

Posted on November 29, 2012 at 6:47 AM

Updated Monday, Dec 3 at 12:09 PM

FOUNTAIN HILLS, Ariz. -- A Valley pastor is under arrest for allegedly dealing drugs.

Deputies arrested Mark Derksen of Fountain Hills, and say he was selling heroin, meth and prescription drugs to people of all ages.

As a pastor, Derksen, 63, worked with youth groups and senior citizens.

Although his Faith Mountain Christian Church in Fountain Hills is closed, Derksen was still active in the community.

After receiving tips about Derksen, the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office put together an undercover sting operation in which deputies were able to buy drugs. Investigators say they witnessed 30 other people buy drugs at the pastor's apartment in a single day.

Sheriff Joe Arpaio made the announcement Wednesday night, saying the pastor's apartment was not far from his home in Fountain Hills.

Arpaio says the pastor would give drugs away for free in an attempt to hook new clients.

Deputies seized Derksen's phone and computer and are hoping data on those devices will lead them to his supplier.

"This case isn't over yet," Arpaio said. "My warning to Fountain Hills, my home town, is we're not done yet."

Derksen also reportedly told deputies the drugs were bringing clients 'closer to God.' Derksen has been booked on a variety of drug charges.