MCSO detention officer arrested, accused of attempting to smuggle fentanyl, meth into jail
Jan 11, 2023, 4:16 PM | Updated: Jan 12, 2023, 7:34 am
PHOENIX — Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone announced Wednesday a detention officer accused of attempting to smuggle fentanyl and methamphetamine into a jail was arrested.
Andres Salazar, who worked at the Lower Buckeye Jail, had been coordinating with inmates to smuggle the pills into the jail, Penzone said during a press conference.
Penzone believed Salazar was caught on his first smuggling attempt. About 100 pills were found, Penzone said.
“A trusted member of this organization was willing to do something so egregious that it could have cost people their lives,” Penzone said. “That disgusts me.”
Salazar had worked at MCSO since October 2019.
He was booked on one count of possession of use of a narcotic drug, one count of promoting prison contraband and one count of transport for sale.
Lower Buckeye Jail is a 670,000-square-foot facility located near 35th Avenue and Lower Buckeye Road in Phoenix.
It can house 2,427 inmates and was built in 2005.
Penzone said an investigation into the incident is ongoing.
“The strongest statement I can make to you is this — I will never, ever allow for any employee to act in any way that defies the integrity of this office and that endangers the inmate population for whom we are responsible,” Penzone said.