- Associated Press - Monday, May 5, 2014

PHOENIX (AP) - A former Maricopa County sheriff’s deputy mentioned last year in a federal judge’s ruling on racial profiling during immigration patrols has been arrested on drug charges following a barricade situation at his west Phoenix home, authorities said.

Ramon Armendariz, 40, was taken into custody Monday on suspicion of possession of dangerous drugs and drug paraphernalia, sheriff’s officials said.

Phoenix police said Armendariz had barricaded himself in his home for almost nine hours before surrendering peacefully at about 1 a.m. Monday. Officers had gone to the home after friends of Armendariz called 911 because they were concerned that he was threatening to harm himself.

Police said Armendariz was taken to a psychiatric center for an evaluation before his arrest. It was unclear Monday afternoon if Armendariz has a lawyer.

Authorities began investigating Armendariz on Wednesday when he called 911, telling operators that a burglar was in his home. When Phoenix police arrived, officers reported finding Armendariz chasing a phantom burglar while armed with a pepper ball gun.

After determining Armendariz was a sheriff’s deputy, police turned the case over to MCSO and a search warrant was served on Armendariz’s home. He resigned Friday after nearly nine years with the agency.

In May 2013, U.S. District Judge Murray Snow concluded that the county sheriff’s office had systematically racially profiled Latinos in its immigration and regular traffic patrols, and unreasonably prolonged the detentions of people during traffic stops.

Armendariz is mentioned by name several times in Snow’s ruling.

“Approximately 77 percent of the arrests made by Deputy Armendariz during large-scale saturation patrols had Hispanic surnames (and) 100 percent of the persons he arrested during the limited sampling of small-scale patrols had Hispanic surnames,” the ruling said. “The Court concludes that Deputy Armendariz considered race as one factor among others in making law enforcement decisions during both large- and small-scale saturation patrols.”

Sheriff Joe Arpaio has vigorously denied his agency racially profiles people and has appealed Snow’s ruling.

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