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Authorities arrest fundraiser for Sen. John McCain on drug charges

(MCSO Photos)

PHOENIX — A woman who has worked for Arizona politicians, ambassadors and a preschool faces numerous felony drug charges after a daytime raid of her Phoenix home.

Authorities arrested Emily Pitha, 35, a consultant who had recently been organizing fundraisers for U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) at a house near 20th Street and Bethany Home Road on Tuesday.

Her boyfriend, Christopher Hustrulid, 36, was also taken into custody.

Detectives found methamphetamines, LSD, heroin, cocaine, what appeared to be a meth lab, numerous chemicals and a large amount of cash.

A Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office spokesman said the couple was taken into custody after Hustrulid signed for a package containing more than 250 grams of Ecstasy.

Undercover detectives and U.S. Postal Inspectors raided the home after the delivery.

A 10-year-old and a 5-year-old live with the couple.

According to Pitha’s LinkedIn profile, she worked for U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) in 2013 and former U.S. Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) in 2006 and again from 2007-2012.

Pitha worked as an administrative assistant for Kyl’s Phoenix area office and later trained staff in Flake’s office, among other duties. She also worked briefly for Barbara Barrett, then-U.S. ambassador to Finland.

McCain’s campaign — he is running for re-election — released a statement:

“We are thankful for the hard work and dedication of Arizona law enforcement to keep our communities safe. Like everyone else, we are shocked and saddened by the news regarding Ms. Pitha. Upon learning of her alleged involvement in the operation, the campaign immediately terminated any relationship with her.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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