Two former deputies with the Pima County Sheriff’s Department were indicted on federal charges of stealing drugs and money during traffic stops, officials said.

Miguel Arvizu and Francisco J. Jimenez Jr. were indicted in early May but the indictment was kept sealed until Friday, said Robert Sherwood, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Arizona.

Jimenez was on duty and in uniform in his patrol car when he took about $8,000 during two traffic stops in June and October of 2010, the indictment says. Arvizu is accused of setting up those traffic stops.

In November 2010 Jimenez  provided “security” in his patrol car while co-conspirators stole controlled substances and drug money from a storage facility in Green Valley, Sherwood said in the news release. Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Tucson conducted the investigation.

Arvizu is accused of posing as a sheriff’s deputy and convincing co-conspirators he could help steal money from drug trafficking organizations, according to the indictment.

The two would share the stolen cash, the news release said.

Arvizu was charged with eight counts, including theft of government money and property as well as attempted distribution of marijuana and cocaine.

Jimenez was charged with three counts of theft of government money and with attempted possession with the intent to distribute of more than 100 kilograms of marijuana, the news release says.

Arvizu was hired by the sheriff’s department in June 2003 and resigned as a deputy in April 2010, said Deputy Jason Ogan, a department spokesman. Arvizu was not employed  by the department when the incidents took place. Jimenez was hired June of 2006 and resigned March 17, Ogan said.

Contact reporter Fernanda Echavarri at fechavarri@azstarnet.com or 573-4224.

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