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Phoenix Criminal Defense Law Blog

Mother of slain Arizona girl may have sold drugs to killer

The mother of a young Arizona girl who was murdered in September may have sold methamphetamine to her daughter's alleged killer, according to authorities. The girl's mother, grandmother and stepfather were taken into custody on Oct. 15 on felony drug charges.

Police investigators said the man charged with kidnapping and murdering the girl claimed he smoked meth in the girl's Bullhead City home on Sept. 2, the day she was reported missing. The child's body was located in a shallow grave on Sept. 3.

3 men accused of weapons trafficking after traffic stop

Various drug and weapons charges were handed to three men in Arizona after a traffic stop on Oct. 4. The incident began shortly after midnight when a Pinal County sheriff's deputy allegedly spotted a driver commit a traffic violation on Interstate 10. After pulling the car over outside Casa Grande, the deputy claims to have discovered over 1,000 rounds of ammunition and 10 AK-47s contained in the vehicle.

The three occupants of the vehicle were held in custody at Pinal County Jail for suspicion of committing several drug and weapons crimes. The men, ages 26, 36 and 52, were each charged for misconduct involving weapons, possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony crime and trafficking in weapons. They also received drug charges for being in possession of marijuana and cocaine.

3 Arizona men accused of drug possession, theft

On Sept. 28, three Arizona residents were taken into custody after an officer's suspicions were confirmed by a K-9 unit during a traffic stop. When the vehicle was searched, the deputies reportedly recovered alleged marijuana, supplies for the distribution and equipment that allowed them to alter merchandise UPC tags.

Their vehicle was stopped on Interstate 40 for unknown reasons. A deputy reported that he smelled the odor of marijuana as officials approached the vehicle. Once a K-9 unit reportedly reacted to the scent, deputies searched the car. In addition to the drugs, authorities recovered a number of electronic equipment that could be used to de-activate security tags. It was believed that the three individuals were stealing merchandise from Walmart and returning the items for cash by printing their own receipts.

Man accused of Phoenix murder may face reduced charges

A 42-year-old man who faced a first-degree murder charge, a capital offense, in relation to a July 2013 incident in Phoenix may face reduced charges. Prosecutors said they were working with the man toward a plea agreement to a second-degree murder charge, which could result in a prison sentence of 10 to 20 years. They indicated that despite the evidence implicating the man in the murder, they were unsure that they could win the case.

Surveillance video allegedly showed the 42-year-old man stabbing the 31-year-old outside a residence. The man reportedly told authorities that he and the 31-year-old had been involved in an argument and that he blacked out afterwards. Several people were also recorded leaving the residence, some stepping over the victim who was lying in the driveway.

Marijuana laws in Arizona

Some Arizona residents may benefit from understanding more about the state's laws against marijuana. Arizona legislature prohibits any person from using, possessing, selling or producing marijuana. Transporting, transferring and importing marijuana are also prohibited in Arizona. State laws draw a distinction between possession for use and possession for sale. People possessing less than two pounds of marijuana for use are to be charged with a class 6 felony.

People possessing between two and four pounds for use are to be charged with a class 5 felony. Anyone possessing more than four pounds of marijuana for use may be charged as a class 4 felony. People possessing less than two pounds for sale, or producing more than two pounds, are to be charged with a class 4 felony as well. Anyone possessing between two and four pounds for sale may be charged as a class 3 felony while producing less than two pounds is a class 5 felony.

5 accused of being involved in Arizona escort agency

Five people were recently taken into custody for allegedly operating an escort business in Arizona. Court documents indicate that the charges resulted from an investigation that began in 2013 and took months complete.

The investigation reportedly began on April 30, 2013. According to officers, one of the accused, a 40-year-old man, was allegedly using a limousine company as a cover for an escort agency. They claim that proceeds garnered through prostitution were financing the agency. Undercover detectives reportedly placed a number of calls to the escort agency between April 2013 and September 2014 in order to arrange deals.

18-year-old Arizona man charged in shooting that killed 1

An 18-year-old Arizona man who was accused of being involved in a shooting that left one person dead was taken into police custody on Sept. 3. According to the report, the incident occurred in the parking lot of a Taco Loco Grill located near the intersection of First Avenue and Fort Lowell Road on Aug. 29.

Immediately following the shooting, the injured man was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead. Detectives say that the 18-year-old was responsible for the shooting, though the report did not state why they suspected him. A felony warrant for the man was issued. He was taken into custody following a traffic stop that occurred near the intersection of North Castro and West Kelso without incident on the morning of Sept. 3. At the time the report was released, he remained in custody after being charged with first-degree murder.

Man detained after multiple thefts at woman's home

Police have charged a 29-year-old man with the burglary of an Arizona home and say that he may be responsible for at least one other burglary at the residence. The homeowner has been living elsewhere due to a hoarding problem that left the house uninhabitable, and volunteers have been cleaning out and renovating the Maryvale house for her.

The first burglary occurred on Aug. 17. In that case, copper piping was taken from the woman's air conditioning. On Aug. 24, the house was burgled a second time. This time, around $1,000 in personal possessions belonging to the woman were stolen. Following the second incident, police were asked to occasionally patrol the property. On Aug. 26 around 7 a.m., officers allegedly found the man in the backyard with more copper piping. They also claim that he was stealing locks. The man fled, but officers caught him.

Arizona man accused of kidnapping and assaulting ex-girlfriend

An Arizona man was taken into police custody on Aug. 16 after he was accused of assaulting and kidnapping an ex-girlfriend. According to the report, authorities were alerted after a driver called 911. The motorist was reportedly waived down by the woman on Highway 180 after the alleged incident.

When the authorities questioned the woman, she claimed that she was in the downtown area of Flagstaff when the accused man pulled up beside her and allegedly ordered her to get into his car. When she attempted to leave the vehicle, she stated that the man physically assaulted her and bound her before driving to a nearby location where he allegedly sexually assaulted her. Additionally, she claimed that he was in possession of a handgun. She told authorities that she was able to leave after the man fell asleep.

Heroin laws in Arizona

The state of Arizona is known for having particularly tough laws regarding the possession of and the selling of heroin. Depending upon the person's criminal past, even simple possession could result in a lengthy prison sentence and an expensive fine. Consequences for trafficking or selling of heroin can be even more severe.

Under Arizona law, possession of heroin is a Class 4 felony. Thus, the consequences are automatically assumed to be a minimum of two years and six months in prison. However, the drug charge can be potentially changed to a Class 1 misdemeanor depending upon the street value of the amount the person was accused of being in possession of. The selling of heroin is considered to be a Class 3 felony while trafficking heroin is a Class 2 felony. Both of these charges have associated consequences that are more severe than possession.