Shoplifting leads to drug arrest

SAFFORD — Shoplifting $6.10 worth of items from a local convenience store landed a local man in jail on multiple drug charges.

Safford Police contacted two men suspected of shoplifting at the Circle K on U.S. Highway 70 near Firth Park. The first, identified as Deryk Martinez, reportedly admitted to shoplifting $12.40 worth of items. He was cited and trespassed from the store.

A search of the other man, identified as Robert Merino, turned up a bag with two pills and two SIM cards. A further search of the suspect’s vehicle found an unspecified number of pills later identified as Oxycodone. Merino reportedly admitted to possession of the pills.

A records check found Merino had an outstanding warrant and he was taken into custody for booking into Graham County Jail.

A search at the jail found a piece of tin foil with yet another pill, as well as items stolen from Circle K.  Told he could be charged with bringing contraband into the jail, Merino reportedly said he should have been searched better at the time of arrest.

Safford Police is asking the County Attorney’s Office to review the case for charges of possession of a narcotic drug, possession of drug paraphernalia and shoplifting.