Former deputy facing drug charges after barricade situation ends peacefully

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

PHOENIX -- A former Maricopa County sheriff's deputy is undergoing a psychiatric evaluation and facing a variety of charges after a late-night barricade situation in Phoenix.

It happened Sunday night in the neighborhood of 33rd Avenue and Thunderbird Road.

According to Officers James Holmes of the Phoenix Police Department, friends of Ramon Armendariz called 911 because they were concerned that he was threatening to harm himself.

When officers arrived on the scene, Armendariz, 40, retreated into his home and refused to comply with their commands.

"We almost immediately went into a barricade-type situation," Holmes said.

Police evacuated several nearby homes as a precaution.

The standoff went on for more than five hours. Armendariz surrendered peacefully at about 1:30 a.m. Monday.

Neighbors said this is not the first time police have been to the home.

"An MCSO investigation indicates there are charges pending against the subject and he will be booked into jail once released from the evaluation," Holmes wrote in an email to media outlets.

According to MCSO, Armendariz resigned Friday, May 2, after deputies served a search warrant on his home in the wake of a 911 call he made regarding an intruder several days earlier.

"When Phoenix officers arrived, they found Armendariz armed with a pepper ball gun and chasing a phantom burglar," MCSO Deputy Joaquin Enriquez wrote in an email to media outlets.

While he did not say exactly what deputies found when they searched their former colleague's home, Enriquez said Armendariz was arrested for "possession of dangerous drugs and drug paraphernalia."

Armendariz was an MCSO deputy for just shy of nine years. His ninth anniversary with the department would have been at the end of the month.

The investigation into possible criminal conduct by Armendariz  is ongoing.

Commissioner Alysson Abe released Armendariz on his own recognizance, although she mandated electronic monitoring and supervision by the Pretrial Services Agency.

Armendariz is due back in court for a status conference on May 19, followed by a preliminary hearing on May 23.