Sat, Oct. 19

Arizona State trooper faces felony charges for forgery, fraud, theft

PHOENIX – After an internal audit and investigation, Arizona Department of Public Safety detectives arrested Pedro Javier Aguila Muniz on felony charges of forgery, fraud and theft.

Aguila, 27, had been assigned to the Highway Patrol Division’s Metro Bureau for the past two years. He was arrested after “an extensive investigation revealed a pattern of defrauding the agency and an employment contractor in Phoenix,” according to a press release from DPS.

In May 2019, DPS initiated a criminal investigation into Aguila after discovery was made of “his willful pattern to defraud off-duty law enforcement employment vendors,” the press release stated.

Discrepancies with Aguila’s record keeping relating to his on-duty time sheets, the release stated, and patrol vehicle mileage usage revealed he used his assigned patrol vehicle for personal use and to hide unauthorized fuel purchases with a State of Arizona fuel credit card.

Detectives gathered evidence of Aguila using a state issued credit card to purchase and dispense fuel 21 times, into four personal vehicles between January and July of 2019, the prelease stated.

“Aguila’s extensive misuse of department issued property and his willingness to violate clear and specific laws, policies and rules was evident throughout the investigation conducted by our detectives,” said Colonel Frank Milstead, DPS director.

The Arizona Department of Public Safety is a law enforcement agency whose mission is to protect human life and property by enforcing state laws, deterring criminal activity and providing vital support to the State of Arizona and its citizens.

Aguila was booked into the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office 4th Avenue Jail on charges of fraudulent schemes and artifices/practices, fraudulent use of a credit card, forgery, theft of a credit card and unauthorized access of criminal history.

He also was found to be using the Arizona Criminal Justice Information System in violation of state law and policy by querying persons without having a criminal justice purpose, the release stated.

-- Bill Helm

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