A Fountain Hills pastor arrested Wednesday is accused of selling drugs to people to “bring them closer to God,” according to the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office.
Deputies received information that Mark Derksen, 63, was selling drugs out of his apartment to 30 people Tuesday, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio said.
A search warrant was issued for Derksen’s apartment where deputies found large amounts of heroin, methamphetamine and prescription drugs, Arpaio said.
Officials believe the Faith Mountain Christian Church, where Derksen is a pastor, is currently for sale. Arpaio said it is unknown whether or not Derksen ever sold drugs at the church.
A 36-year-old woman was also arrested at the apartment for outstanding warrants for drug-related activity and suspicion of possession, Arpaio said.
The drugs were seized at the scene along with a shotgun and a small caliber pistol, Arpaio said.
Deputies also seized Derksen’s phone and computer. Arpaio said he hopes a search of the phone and computer will reveal Derksen’s clients and possibly his supplier.
“I want to know all the people who went to his house to buy drugs,” Arpaio said.
Derksen admitted to giving drugs to people to “bring them closer to God,” Arpaio said.
Arpaio said what’s unusual about this case is that Derksen is giving drugs to people for free while selling drugs to others. Officials believe Derksen did this to get people hooked on the drugs so he could get more clients.
Derksen is a user himself and is currently in the hospital for an unknown illness, Arpaio said.
MCSO has had information about Derksen for two years but has not had enough evidence to arrest him until now, Arpaio said.
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