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Fundraiser for John McCain arrested in drug bust in Phoenix

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. listened to testimony by U.S. Forces-Afghanistan Commander and Resolute Support Commander Gen. John Campbell, on Capitol Hill in Washington, on Feb. 4 during the committee’s hearing about the situation in Afghanistan. A Phoenix woman has been dropped as a political fundraiser for McCain’s re-election campaign after being arrested on suspicion of drug possession and other charges.

PHOENIX » A Phoenix woman has been dropped as a political fundraiser for U.S. Sen. John McCain’s re-election campaign after being arrested on suspicion of drug possession and other charges.

Maricopa County Sheriff’s officials said Emily Pitha and her live-in boyfriend were taken into custody Tuesday after deputies served a search warrant at her north-central Phoenix home.

Christopher Hustrulid allegedly signed for a package containing more than 250 grams of Ecstasy.

Undercover detectives and U.S. Postal Inspectors raided the home after the delivery, according to sheriff’s officials. Detectives also reported finding methamphetamines, LSD, heroin, cocaine, an active meth lab and about $7,000 and counterfeit cash, the officials said.

Neither Pitha, 34, nor Hustrulid, 36, had a lawyer at their initial court appearance today.

Each was being held on $20,000 bonds on various drug-possession charges along with child endangerment. Authorities said two children — ages 5 and 10 — live with the couple, but they were at daycare at the time of the bust.

McCain’s campaign manager Ryan O’Daniel said in a statement today that the campaign had “terminated any relationship” with Pitha.

Pitha was working as a consultant arranging fundraisers for McCain. She also has worked for top Arizona Republicans, with her LinkedIn profile noting previously work for Sen. Jeff Flake and former Sen. Jon Kyl.

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