Sheriff's deputies raid car wash; Arrest 25 workersPosted: Updated:
PHOENIX - A family car wash was flooded on Saturday, not with customers, but with sheriff's deputies.
Sheriff's deputies storm car wash in latest raid - azfamily.com's Tyler Baldwin reports a family car was was flooded but not by customers...but sheriff's deputies conducting an immigration raid.
Sheriff Joe Arpaio says the business hired more than two dozen illegal immigrants.
3TV is told that as armed deputies covered the car wash grounds at 30th Street and Indian School Road, more than a dozen of the employees raced to the roof to try and escape.
3TV was also told around 25 people were cuffed with the plastic rip-ties and taken into custody.
As investigators searched the records inside the car wash, outside one of the owners defended their hiring practices. Sandy Lindstrom Martin, one of the owners, says, "We check everything that comes through. We are law-abiding citizens." She says they have been there for more than 25 years and were just now starting to recover from the recession. Lindstrom Martin tells 3TV, "We are finally getting out business back again, finally coming back and they come in here and they do this to us."
The employees who were not arrested tell 3TV it was a frightening scene when deputies first stormed in.
Sheriff Joe says the majority of people arrested will face felony identification fraud.
He says, "They're going to talk about the sheriff about how all he does is go after gardeners and dishwashers and now they are going to throw in car washers but they are going to forget that 25 of the people working in there have violated the felony laws with phony identifications."
The sheriff's supporters are happy he is here. One says, " Sheriff Joe is a wonderful sheriff. We need someone that is tough."Nevertheless, after this bust some of his fans say they will support him no more. One woman admits to 3TV, "I voted for Sheriff Joe. I'm a Republican but this is wrong and he needs to stop."