Maricopa detective arrested for stealing $1,300

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By Sarah Blais By Sarah Blais

FLORENCE, Ariz. -- A detective for the city of Maricopa was arrested Tuesday on accusations of fraudulent schemes, forgery, tampering with public records, attempted money laundering and theft.

According to police, Jose Lizarraga, 45, allegedly stole $1,300 while on duty in April. He then threw the money out of his department-issued vehicle.

Authorities say the Pinal County Sheriff's Office was tipped off by Pinal County Attorney Lando Voyles. They teamed up with the FBI after they were made aware of many irregularities with the detective's activities on duty.

"Today's arrest is the result of a joint investigation involving the Pinal County Sheriff's Office, the Pinal County Attorney's Office and the FBI," said FBI Special Agent in Charge Douglas G. Price. "Whenever a law enforcement officer allegedly uses their position for personal gain, it diminishes the public's trust for those who wear the badge proudly and serve the American people each day. The FBI is committed to holding public officials at all levels accountable for when they violate that trust."

Police say Lizarraga would likely flee if released due to his firsthand knowledge of law enforcement operations, as well as family ties and frequent travel to Mexico.