Law enforcement authorities arrested a member of the Sen. John McCain campaign team and her live-in boyfriend on Tuesday as a search of their home revealed drugs and drug paraphernalia in the same living space as small children.
Law enforcement officials say the operation is likely part of a larger network.
Emily Pitha, 34, runs LovasCo Consulting which counts the Arizona senator among her clients. She is listed as the contact for a McCain fundraising event.
On Tuesday Pitha’s live in boyfriend Christopher Hustrulid, 36, signed for a package from the Netherlands which contained more the 250 grams of raw ecstasy. It was the package that led authorities to the home for possible drug activity.
The Maricopa County Sheriff’s department, Homeland Security, Border Patrol, US postal inspectors and HIDTA (a Maricopa County Sheriff’s task force) were involved in the investigation and search of the home.
A search warrant was served at 1:30 pm on Tuesday at 1925 E. Bethany Home Rd in Phoenix, Arizona according to Deputy Joaquin Enriquez, spokesman for the Maricopa County Sheriff’s office.
“We found evidence that led us to believe this was an extensive drug operation,” Enriquez told Breitbart News. “We did find what we believed to be explosive materials at the house so we had to bring in the bomb squad to clear that out before we could make entry.” Those materials included chemicals used for labs that were being operated.
During execution of the search warrant, authorities found a quarter pound of meth, several grams of heroin, several meters of MDMA, several hundred ecstasy pills, several grams of crystallized MDMA, marijuana, approximately two grams of cocaine, two hits of LSD, shatter, hash oil and approximately $7,000 in cash.
As the search commenced evidence was also discovered that children lived in the house and it was later confirmed that a five year old and nine year old live in the home. They are children of Hustrulid and Pitha according to the Sheriff’s department.
Pitha and Hustrulid face 4 counts of child endangerment, manufacturing of narcotic drugs, possession of dangerous drugs and narcotic drugs and transportation of dangerous drugs, possession of drug lab equipment and possession of marijuana.
Both are being held on a $20,000 cash bond only as of Wednesday afternoon.
“As far as the investigation it’s still open and we do believe that these aren’t the only two people involved in this,” said Enriquez. “We’re trying to determine if they’re linked up to more organizations.”
McCain’s Senate campaign manager Ryan O’Daniel told reporters on Tuesday that campaign immediately terminated its relationship with Ms. Pitha according to the Arizona Republic.
Long-time U.S. Senator McCain faces a tough re-election bid this year. He has announced that he will skip the Republican National convention to focus on campaigning.
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