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Former youth pastor accused of selling drugs

FOUNTAIN HILLS, Ariz. – A former youth pastor, 63-year-old Mark Derksen, Sr., of Faith Mountain Christian Church in Fountain Hills is accused of selling drugs.

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio said it took deputies 24 hours to go from undercover buys at Derksen’s apartment to an arrest but there’s a lot more work to be done in the investigation.

“We seized his cell phone, we seized his computers so we’re going to go through every name to see who in this town are using drugs,” Arpaio said.

Heroin, meth and prescription drugs were found at Derksen’s home. MCSO first received a tip that Derksen may have been selling drugs two years ago but Arpaio said the department did not have enough evidence to go on at that time.

What Arpaio finds disturbing in this case is that investigators believe Derksen was giving drugs out to customers for free in order to get them hooked and build clientele. Another person in the Fountain Hills apartment, 36-year-old Kelly Hovey, was also arrested for outstanding drug warrants and possession of illegal substances.

Arpaio said his office believes 30 people visited Derksen’s apartment Tuesday. Derksen is currently in the hospital and not speaking with authorities.