Over 250 employees at GNC distribution center
Maricopa County Sheriff’s deputies, armed with a search warrant, entered a GNC vitamin distribution warehouse yesterday in South Phoenix seeking numerous suspects who employment records show are likely using false identifications to gain employment.
The warehouse, located at 1002 South 63rd Avenue in Phoenix, currently employs over 250 people and is the main Phoenix metro area distribution site for GNC retail outlets, a popular vitamin and health supplement retail chain with over 70 stores throughout the valley.
According to Sheriff Joe Arpaio, his deputies received information from an employee at the GNC distribution site that dozens of workers might be using false identifications. After a thorough search of employment records, deputies determined that about 21 employees at the warehouse were using false identification to gain employment there. Two suspects were even using the social security numbers of deceased persons, Arpaio says.
The operation is the 63rd criminal employment operation undertaken by the Sheriff’s Office since 2008. In previous operations, a total of 626 suspects were arrested by Sheriff’s deputies, 446 for identify theft, a class four felony. About 162 of those arrested in previous operations were determined through immigration records to be in the country illegally and were subsequently turned over to ICE for possible deportation. All of the suspects arrested for identity theft were later determined to be undocumented entrants.