Arizona DPS trooper accused of misusing agency resources

Pedro Aguila Muniz (MCSO)

An Arizona Department of Public Safety trooper was arrested on suspicion of forgery, fraud, theft and other charges.

DPS said Pedro Javier Aguila Muniz, 27, of Mesa, was arrested Wednesday at the agency’s headquarters.

He had been assigned to the Highway Patrol Division’s Metro (Phoenix) Bureau for about two years.

“Aguila’s extensive misuse of department-issued property and his willingness to violate clear and specific laws, policies and rules was evident throughout the investigation conducted by our detectives,” DPS Director Col. Frank Milstead stated.

Mr. Aguila is accused of fraudulent schemes and artifices/practices, fraudulent use of a credit card, forgery, theft of a credit card and unauthorized access of criminal history.

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Mr. Aguila allegedly defrauded off-duty law enforcement employment vendors by leaving off-duty job sites and logging at least 45 hours he never worked, court documents state. The off-duty vendors were billed at least $2,500 for Mr. Aguila’s non-existent services.

DPS said there were also discrepancies with Mr. Aguila’s record-keeping relating to his on-duty time sheets and patrol vehicle mileage usage. At some points, he logged between 500 to 800 more miles than anyone else.

DPS also said Mr. Aguila allegedly used his assigned patrol vehicle for personal use, hid nearly $700 in unauthorized fuel purchases, and illegally used the Arizona Criminal Justice Information System prior to driving to an unknown location near 67th Avenue and Bell Road in Glendale. In a release, DPS said Mr. Aguila was querying persons without having a criminal justice purpose.

Court documents state Mr. Aguila traveled between his two residences in Mesa and Goodyear, even though he only notified DPS that he resided at one address. They also learned Mr. Aguila would stop at two residences in the area of 67th Avenue and Buckeye Road, one where his ex-wife lived, and another by a school. These homes were miles away from his off-duty job sites, and yet Mr. Aguila still allegedly billed the vendors for his time away from the job site.

Mr. Aguila was released on his own recognizance with court dates July 25 and 31.

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