Crime scene tape blocks of an area.
David Goldman/AP

Fundraiser for John McCain campaign arrested in drug bust

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.

Emily Pitha. (Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)
Emily Pitha.
Photo by Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office
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 Wednesday.

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 Wednesday 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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