27 arrested after MCSO receives a tip
The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office conducted its 71st workplace raid Friday at a Tempe company that makes custom logo wear.
Deputies served a search warrant at Sportex Apparel LLC, near 52nd St. and University Dr. Sheriff Joe Arpaio told reporters at the scene that his office received "a tip from an inside source" about seven months ago, and a subsequent investigation indicated that as many as 19 employees may have used stolen identities to get their jobs.
After deputies arrived, they rounded up and began interviewing the company's 90 employees to determine who might be working illegally. In all, deputies arrested 27 people – 23 for suspected identity theft who were believed to be in the country illegally, and four on warrants.
Arpaio says in the course of his department's 71 workplace raids, more than 700 people have been arrested, most of whom were in the U.S. illegally.
"It takes time to develop these investigations," Arpaio says. "We don't just go in there because someone told us that information. We check records, enough to get search warrants. In this case, that was seven months. That's how we operate."