Florence, Ariz. - Much “house cleaning” has occurred in the Sheriff’s Office since January. Though some disagree with me, I believe it is imperative that your Sheriff’s Office is transparent. When government intentionally conceals negative information, it makes citizens suspicious. When you eventually find out, it harms the perishable trust we hold and must maintain.
It is equally important to publicly celebrate the accomplishments of our Sheriff’s Office and employees. This past month has been an outstanding month of achievements here in our Sheriff’s Office. This month, I want to showcase some of our investigators and their professionalism, dedication and discipline. Recently our Sheriff’s Office has been involved in an ongoing serial rape and kidnapping case.
On Wednesday July 22, 2009 Elieel Obed Beltran-Rabago, an illegal immigrant from Mexico, was arrested on suspicion of three counts of sexual assault, armed robbery and kidnapping. He reportedly kidnapped his victims in Mesa and transported them to Pinal County where he committed armed robbery and rape. Beltran-Robago is now being held in our PCSO Adult Detention Center.
Congratulations to Sgt. Ruben Leos, Det. Jeff Pizzi (lead investigator) and Det. Lisa Swinton in this recent serial rape investigation. Their three-day investigation was a multi-agency effort involving Maricopa PD, DPS, Gila River, Mesa and the US Marshals Office. Outstanding investigative work by all involved resulted in the positive identification and subsequent arrest of Beltran-Rabago.
Crime Scene Technician Larry Carpenter processed the scene in the desert for this case and Lanie Bethka processed the two search warrant scenes -- the suspect's home and the suspect's vehicle. Due to the seriousness of the crimes with countless victims, we needed additional support to identify and track down the suspect. Our homicide and property crimes detectives assisted in this investigation. Sgt. Hausman, Cpl. Barton and Detectives Johnson, Rankin, Pacheco, Hinojos, Rushing, and Pile also assisted.
Beltran-Rabago was indicted on a total of 14 felony counts. Special thanks to County Attorney Jim Walsh, Chief Criminal Prosecutor Richard Platt and their team of prosecutors for their full support and guidance. They have worked cooperatively with the Maricopa County Attorney's Office and Mesa Prosecutor’s Office. Mr. Walsh has agreed that his office will take the lead in the criminal prosecution.
I'm very proud of Sgt. Leos, Det. Pizzi, Det. Swinton and every investigator/officer and agency involved. Together, they have built an excellent investigation and apprehended a suspected violent sex offender thereby protecting our County. Thanks to each of them for a job well done!
I taped a video specifically for PCSO staff, where I express my appreciation for key staff. The video provides many updates, reasons for sweeping reforms and outlines the future direction of the Sheriff's Office. You can watch the video on my website www.sheriffpaul.com and click on the red video button. This video will provide you an inside view of the dynamic changes occurring within PCSO. All reforms are intended to improve operations, service and designed to keep our Pinal families safe.
Paul R. Babeu, Sheriff
Pinal County, Arizona