Meth bust ends in arrest of McCain fundraiser

© Ralph Orlowski
A meth lab in Arizona is standing out not because of the drugs or counterfeit cash police found inside, but rather the person behind the operation: the fundraiser for John McCain’s Senate re-election bid.

Emily Pitha was arrested after the lab was found in her Maricopa County home on Tuesday. Pitha, 34, was a staff member for retired US Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Arizona) and was listed as the RSVP contact for Sen. John McCain’s (R-Arizona) re-election fundraiser, Raw Story reported.

Police investigated Pitha’s north-central Phoenix home after receiving a tip about possible drug activity at her home. The warrant was in response to a parcel from the Netherlands that was signed for by Pitha’s boyfriend, Christopher Hustrulid. The delivery was found to contain over 250 grams of MDMA – raw ecstasy, AZ Central reported.

Unspecified quantities of LSD, cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, and $7,000 in cash along with counterfeit money also turned up in the investigation of Pitha’s home. In addition, a separate building on the property was found to contain a grow operation for marijuana. The drug charges against Pitha and Hustrulid are numerous and have yet to be publicized.

AZ Central also reported there being bomb-making material found in the meth lab. However, it is unclear whether or not Pitha participated in making explosives or if the material for making meth was just particularly volatile.

Pitha and Hustrulid are also facing child endangerment charges related to a 5-year-old and a 10-year-old living in their home. Detective Doug Matteson, the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office spokesman, said that the children "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."

Ryan O'Daniel, campaign manager for Sen. John McCain, issued a response to the arrest on Tuesday, announcing the firing of Pitha.

"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 statement read.