A former Pima County sheriff's deputy was sentenced to five years in prison Thursday for his role in a conspiracy to steal government money and to possess and distribute marijuana, the U.S. Attorney's Office in Tucson said.
Francisco Jimenez of Tucson was ordered to pay $12,000 in restitution to the government and to serve three years of supervised release at the end of his prison sentence. U.S. District Judge Jennifer G. Zipps imposed the sentence.
Jimenez was caught in an FBI undercover investigation in which he and four other defendants were charged with stealing marijuana and money they believed was from drug transactions, the Attorney's Office said in a written statement. Jimenez pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit offenses against the United States on June 25, 2012.
According to the Attorney's Office, Jimenez, who was then a Pima County sheriff's deputy, made two traffic stops in June and October 2010 on a vehicle purportedly containing drug proceeds. Jimenez "stole $4,000 from the glove compartment of the vehicle," the statement said.
On Nov. 24, 2010, according to the Attorney's Office statement, Jimenez used his patrol car to "provide security" while his co-conspirators broke into a storage shed in Green Valley "to steal marijuana and drug proceeds that were supposedly in the storage unit."
A co-defendant in the case, Miguel Arvizu, was sentenced on July 10, 2012 to five years in prison for participating in the offenses and for recruiting Jimenez and others into the conspiracy, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
Arvizu was a former Pima County deputy at the time, the statement said.