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Suspected serial sexual assault offender extradited back to Arizona

PHOENIX — A man wanted for more than 50 counts of criminal offenses in Arizona was extradited back to the state last Saturday.

Derrick Gardner, a 50-year-old former Surprise resident, was serving time in custody in California on other criminal charges before being brought back to Arizona.

A warrant for Gardner’s arrest in Arizona was initially issued on Sept. 1, 2010. According to Surprise police, Gardner was wanted for 57 counts of criminal charges, including kidnapping, sexual assault, child prostitution, sexual abuse, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, sexual exploitation of a minor, aggravated assault and involving a minor in a drug-related offense.

The charges stemmed from several different incidents that allegedly occurred in the West Valley town in 2008.

Surprise police said several interviews with multiple victims were conducted as part of a two-year-long investigation prior to the warrant for Gardner’s arrest.