PHOENIX (AP) — The son of a U.S. Senate candidate in Arizona was arrested and booked on drug charges, accused of selling narcotics to college students, officials said.
The 24-year-old son of former state Democratic Party chairman Jim Pederson was taken into custody Friday after a search of his home, deputies said.
James Robert Pederson was charged with possession of narcotics, marijuana and paraphernalia, and misconduct with weapons, among other charges, Lt. Paul Chagolla said. He was released on his own recognizance Saturday morning.
The elder Pederson, who is challenging Republican Sen. Jon Kyl, asked for the public to respect his family's privacy.
"This is a personal matter that is obviously very troubling and being dealt with within our family right now," Pederson said in a statement.
Detectives began investigating the younger Pederson five weeks ago after receiving information that he was using drugs and selling them to college-age students, deputies said.
Sheriff Joe Arpaio said politics weren't involved.
"It was brought to my attention that he was selling to students," Arpaio said, "and I make that a top priority."
Kyl also issued a statement, expressing empathy for the Pederson family "as they deal with this difficult problem."
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