9 Illegal immigrants working at Scottsdale restaurant arrested for ID theft, forgery

Posted: Updated:

SCOTTSDALE -- Maricopa County sheriff's deputies took nine people into custody Friday after a yearlong ID theft investigation of a Scottsdale restaurant.

Sheriff's deputies from the human smuggling/employer sanctions unit served a search warrant on Arriba's Mexican Food Restaurant, 15236 N. Pima Road, in Scottsdale Friday morning.

Sheriff Joe Arpaio said information developed since February 2009 indicates that several employees at the restaurant are not only working in the country illegally, but may also be using stolen IDs taken from U.S. citizens.

Last February, the sheriff's office reportedly received a tip from a former Arriba's employee, who claimed many workers at the restaurant admitted to him that they were in the country illegally.

Deputies began a comprehensive search using various employee databases to determine the validity of the informant's claims.

Nine people, including one person believed to be the restaurant manager, were arrested for felony identity theft and forgery charges.

Deputies also executed a search warrant at Arriba's corporate headquarters where they seized documents and employee records.

MCSO indicated there is a possibility that this type of activity might be happening at other restaurants in the Arriba chain.