Deputy in desert shooting on leave after 'troubling' interview

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by Natalie Rivers

azfamily.com

Posted on December 1, 2010 at 5:17 PM

Updated Thursday, Dec 2 at 8:38 AM

FLORENCE, Ariz. - Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu has placed Deputy Louie Puroll on paid administrative leave pending a new Internal Affairs investigation.

According to a release from PCSO, the administrative leave stems from comments Puroll allegedly made to Phoenix New Times reporter Paul Rubin.

The Professional Standards Unit with the Pinal County Sheriff's Office will handle the investigation.

A release from PCSO stated, "According to an article published in the Phoenix New Times on November 25th written by Mr. Rubin, Deputy Puroll made statements regarding meetings he has had with known Mexican Drug Cartel operatives, who 'have approached him four or five times over the years wanting to do business.'"

The article makes further claims about Puroll answering questions on other comments regarding other possible shooting incidents.

"If the statements reported in the article written by Mr. Rubin are in fact proven accurate, the conduct of Deputy Puroll is not consistent with Pinal County Sheriff's Office policies nor do I approve of the way in which he represented our sworn profession," Babeu said.

There is no word on how long the investigation will take.

Puroll first made headlines on April 30 when he was involved in a shooting with suspected drug smugglers in the Vekol Valley.

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