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Goddard upset after drop house misunderstanding

The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office arrested 24 suspected illegal immigrants at a central Phoenix drop house, but one deputy had Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard on the defensive when he unknowingly parked across the street from the official's home.

Goddard is the subject of a long-running investigation from the county's attorney and sheriff's offices related to Goddard's investigation into former State Treasurer Doug Peterson.

Deputies said the human-smuggling investigation would have lasted longer and resulted in more arrests if Goddard's representatives hadn't alerted the media to the marked car parked in front of his house.

Goddard said he had no way of knowing whether the sheriff's car May 22 was a result of his comments.

"I don't rush to conclusions," he said. "It is a disturbing coincidence."

Arpaio insisted it was a coincidence, adding that he didn't know where Goddard lived before May 22. "There seems to be a little paranoia with the elected officials that we're looking into," he said.

The sheriff's office began conducting surveillance on the drop house at about 6 a.m. May 22 after receiving a tip.

Deputies saw at least three vehicles drop people off at the house, and they expanded the perimeter with marked sheriff's cars prepared to pursue any smugglers who might try to flee.

One of those marked cars was several blocks away, parked across from Goddard's house.

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