Florence Mayor Tom Rankin's Son Arrested -- Again -- In Connection With Dealing Drugs

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Monica Alonzo

While his father presides over Florence Town Council meetings, Thomas J. Rankin Jr. is accused of slinging drugs in town.

Rankin Jr., known in his hometown as Tom Tom, was arrested this week by the Pinal County Sheriff's Office Narcotics Task Force, several local news outlets have reported.

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Abraham Ortega-Leyva Accused of Throwing Away a Whole Lot of Drugs, Along With a Photo of Himself

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MCSO
A photo of Abraham Ortega-Leyva, similar to the one left with a lot of perfectly good drugs.
Here's a tip -- if you're throwing away about a pound-and-a-half of meth, almost a pound of heroin, a few guns, and almost $20,000 in cash, also tossing pictures of yourself in there may not be the best idea.

Abraham Ortega-Leyva learned that one the hard way.

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Michael Cerise Going to Jail for Pointing a Laser at Three in-Flight Aircraft Out of Curiosity

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Green laser-pointing is Ryan Reynolds' job.
Curiosity will cost 47-year-old Michael Cerise 90 days of freedom after Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Karen Potts sentenced him to jail yesterday.

Cerise must also serve an additional three years of probation following his 90-day bid for the November 2011 laser-pointing that injured three pilots.

"The consequences of this defendant's reckless actions could have been unbelievably catastrophic to passengers in the air and residents on the ground," Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery says in a statement. "This case should send a clear message to anyone thinking about pulling a senseless stunt like this. Pointing lasers at aircraft is dangerous, stupid and illegal."


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"Bath Salts" Not Found in Naked Carjacker John Brigham's System, but Cops Say PCP Was

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MCSO
John Brigham, allegedly naked and high on PCP while he allegedly committed many felonies in Scottsdale.
If you watch Fox News, you may have been led to believe that drugs known as "bath salts" are causing people in Arizona to get naked and steal cars, like in the case of John Brigham's alleged carjacking/car-crashing spree last week.

If you're trusting the cops on this one, it was PCP streaming through Brigham's veins while he frolicked around naked in the streets of Scottsdale before he stole a Toyota Prius and crashed into a bunch of cars, injuring several people in Scottsdale.

According to court documents obtained by New Times, Brigham's spree started on Friday afternoon when he blew through a red light and ran into two cars.

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Carlos Sturgus Found Out It's Pretty Easy to Be Identified in a Shooting With the Yankees Logo Tattooed to His Forehead

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MCSO
Carlos Sturgus, Bronx Bombers fan for life.
If the description of a shooting suspect includes the New York Yankees logo tattooed to his forehead, it really cuts down on the guesswork.

That's how 21-year-old Carlos Benito Sturgus got caught making another awful life decision last week in Mesa, as police say he shot an innocent bystander while he was in a shootout with another man at an apartment complex.

According to court documents obtained by New Times, a witness told police he saw Sturgus and another man arguing on the balcony of the apartment above him, and when the other man walked downstairs to leave, Sturgus started shooting at him.

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"Murdercopa County" Has Some Hometown Pride Locked Up in Jail Right Now

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MCSO
Moses Ulloa (left) and Vicente Valles.
Browsing through the "Mugshot of the Day Leader Board" on the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office website always brings a surprise, like the Sunday booking of Vicente Valles, who has the City of Tempe logo tattooed on his chin, and an Arizona State University logo on his cheek.

It kind of reminded us of Moses Ulloa, the man who has the City of Glendale logo tattooed on the top of his head.

Lo and behold, on the other side of some marginally attractive woman on the MCSO's leader board, there's Ulloa and his Glendale pride again.

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Jason Draper, Accused of Stealing From 25 Walmart Stores, Says He Steals Because He's "Humiliated" Living With His Mom at Age 35

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Chandler PD
Jason Draper
If you're "desperate and humiliated" because you're 35 years old and living with your mother, getting caught stealing more than $45,000 worth of merchandise from 25 different Walmart stores probably won't remedy that.

Still, that's what police are saying Jason Dee Draper did to land him in jail on 28 felony charges, according to court documents obtained by New Times.

Draper -- who police say has a criminal history in Washington and Idaho -- has been hitting up Walmart stores throughout Arizona since January 7, loading up a cart with goods like LCD televisions, laptops, car audio units, and Dyson vacuums, and putting that cart in the store's garden center, according to the documents.

Draper would then pull his car up to the garden center, dismantle the alarm from a door, and make off with his load.

Many of the items were found at pawn shops across the Valley -- and state -- and Draper later admitted to police that he used Craigslist to sell of the stuff, too, according to the court documents.

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Richard Hess Says God Told Him to Kill "Terrorist" Neighbors. Believe it or Not, the Cops Didn't Buy That One

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MCSO
Richard Hess, who claims he was acting upon instructions of God to kill his "terrorist" neighbors.
Sometimes God allegedly tells people to run for public office, and sometimes He'll allegedly tell a Mesa man that his neighbors are "terrorists" trying to murder him with chemical weapons, so it's probably best to kill them first.

For some reason, the cops weren't buying the terrorist-neighbor story allegedly proposed yesterday by 42-year-old Richard Hess.

According to court documents obtained by New Times, police responded to a call on the 3400 block of University Drive in Mesa yesterday evening, where an officer found Hess -- who had allegedly threatened his neighbors with a knife.

Hess first told police that he was going to kill "them," adding that "God told me to do it," according to the documents.

Turns out, "them" was a reference to Hess' neighbors, who "have been trying to poison and kill him with such things as Serin (sic) gas," the documents state.

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In Two Weeks and in Two States, Two Families Find Naked Men in Their Homes

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YCSO
Douglas O'Neil, one of two men arrested in the last couple of weeks for drinking, eating, and getting naked in a stranger's home.
While writing this morning about a Skull Valley family that went home a couple weeks ago and found a naked guy in their house, it seemed like a rare incident.

That's apparently not the case since a very similar incident  happened again last night, this time in California.

In the incident up north, the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office says the residents of a Skull Valley house came home about 10 a.m. on March 29 and found a naked 44-year-old man on their couch, watching their television.

The residents, who had been out of town for a few days, told Douglas O'Neil to get out of their house -- and according to the Sheriff's Office, he complied, as he "stood, put on his trousers, and calmly walked out the front door."

The people told the YCSO that they discovered O'Neil had sipped on some of their rum, ate some of their food, but he didn't actually remove anything from the house while they were out of town except the dignity of the living room.

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Gerald Gonzales Allegedly Brought a Sidekick to His Heroin Deals -- a 3-Year-Old Kid

MCSO
Gerald Gonzales
Police say 32-year-old Mesa resident Gerald Gonzales was selling heroin to an undercover cop.

Gonzales wasn't alone, though, as police say Gonzales had a sidekick with him on a couple occasions -- a 3-year-old kid.

According to court documents obtained by New Times, the officer first picked up a half-gram of heroin from Gonzales in late January, and a lab test confirmed the substance to be heroin.

About a week later, in early February, court documents say the undercover officer picked up another half-gram of heroin from Gonzales -- nothing exceptional noted.

The third time, the officer met Gonzales in a public parking lot for another half-gram sale, and the documents state Gonzales brought a woman and a small kid with him for the deal.

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