On Tuesday afternoon, Maricopa County sheriff’s deputies arrested Emily Pitha, an independent political consultant working for Senator John McCain’s re-election campaign, during a drug bust at her home in Phoenix, Arizona. Police made the arrest after her boyfriend signed for a package from the Netherlands containing more than 250 grams of MDMA.
A Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office spokesman, Detective Doug Matteson, said that detectives executing a search warrant at Pitha’s home discovered an active meth lab, along with unspecified quantities of LSD, cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, about $7,000 in loose cash, and counterfeit money.
“Also in the backyard were the beginning stages of a building they were building with a fake wall that would possibly to be used for growing illegal marijuana,” Mattheson said. According to KPHO/KTVK, the detective also alleged that there were bomb-making materials on the property.
Two kids, one five and one 10 years old, “had easy access to all of (the) drugs and materials, even the bomb-making materials that were located in the back with the meth lab,” Mattheson said.
Pitha, Arizona Central reports, was previously listed as the RSVP contact for McCain’s re-election fundraisers. In a statement provided to Gawker, McCain’s campaign manager, Ryan O’Daniel, said: “We commend the hard work and dedication of our law enforcement officers in their fight to keep our community safe from illegal drugs and associated criminal activity.”
“The campaign immediately terminated any relationship with Ms. Pitha upon learning of her alleged involvement in the operation.” The campaign did not clarify its relationship with Pitha further.
The independent consultant previously worked for Ambassador Barbara Barrett, Senator Jeff Flake, and Senator Jon Kyl. “Following Sen. Kyl’s retirement, Emily Pitha was retained as a constituent services representative in the Phoenix office from January through March 2013,” Flake’s communications director, Jason Samuels, said in a statement.
Pitha and her live-in boyfriend, Christopher Hustrulid, who was also arrested, are expected to face numerous felony drug charges, in addition to possible child-endangerment charges.