Married detectives accused in thefts, pawning of state guns

DES Detective Maya became a suspect because she had access to the safe and her fingerprints were found inside the envelope's flap, on its tape seal and on a sticky note inside the envelope, according to a DPS probable-cause statement filed in court.

April 6, 2018

PHOENIX — A married couple who worked as detectives, one for Arizona's social-welfare agency and other for the Phoenix Police Department, have been arrested in the alleged thefts of numerous state-owned guns and other law enforcement equipment, officials said Thursday.

The state Department of Public Safety said the arrests a day earlier stemmed from an investigation that began when 133 pieces of cut-up paper — instead of nearly $3,500 in cash that should have been there — were found in a sealed envelope in a Department of Economic Security evidence safe last November.

The DES, a large state agency that runs programs such as food stamps and unemployment benefits, has law enforcement officers who conduct fraud investigations.

DES Detective Autumn Maya became a suspect because she had access to the safe and her fingerprints were found inside the envelope's flap, on its tape seal and on a sticky note inside the envelope, according to a DPS probable-cause statement filed in court.

Court records say Maya, 39, was arrested on suspicion of theft, fraud, forgery, trafficking in stolen property, money laundering and conspiracy, while her husband, Phoenix police Detective Michael Maya, 45, was arrested on suspicion of trafficking in stolen property, money laundering and conspiracy.

DES spokeswoman Tasya Peterson said the agency fired Autumn Maya on Wednesday. Sgt. Jonathan Howard, a Phoenix Police Department spokesman, said proceedings to terminate Michael Maya were underway.

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