McCain Fundraising Consultant Fired After Meth Lab Found in Her Home

By May Wilkerson 04/29/16

Emily Pitha reportedly had an active meth lab, LSD, cocaine, heroin, marijuana, ecstasy and counterfeit cash in her Arizona home.

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McCain Campaign Fundraiser Fired After Meth Lab Found in Her Home
McCain's campaign immediately severed ties with Pitha upon learning of her involvement in the drug operation. Photo viaAlan Freed/Shutterstock

A Phoenix woman who was working as a political fundraiser for US Senator John McCain’s re-election campaign has been fired from the campaign after she was arrested Tuesday when authorities found a meth lab and a huge quantity of illicit drugs in her home, local officials said. Emily Pitha and her live-in boyfriend, Christopher Hustrulid, were taken into custody after Hustrulid signed for a package containing more than 250 grams of MDMA (raw ecstasy) from the Netherlands, said Detective Doug Matteson, spokesman for the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office.

Undercover detectives and US Postal Inspectors were issued a search warrant and reportedly found: an active meth lab, a quarter-pound of meth, 10 hits of LSD, about 2 grams of cocaine, several grams of heroin, several hundred ecstasy pills, marijuana and hash oil plus about $7,000 in loose currency and counterfeit cash. 

​Matteson said they also found what appeared to be the beginnings of a marijuana grow.

Pitha, 34, was identified as a former member of the staff of retired US Senator Jon Kyl, Republican from Arizona, who most recently worked on GOP campaign fundraising.

Pitha and Hustrulid, 36, are each being held on $20,000 cash-only bonds on suspicion of manufacturing of narcotic drugs, possession of dangerous and narcotic drugs, marijuana possession, other drug charges, as well as child endangerment. 

Two children, ages 5 and 10, who live in the home, were in daycare at the time of the arrests. “Most of the LSD and the methamphetamine and cocaine was easily available and able to get grabbed by these children,” Detective Matteson told a local news station. He added 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.”

Pitha had been working as a consultant arranging fundraisers for McCain. Following the arrest, McCain's campaign manager, Ryan O'Daniel, announced that Pitha had been fired from the campaign. "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,” he said in a statement. “The campaign immediately terminated any relationship with Ms. Pitha upon learning of her alleged involvement in the operation.”

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May Wilkerson is a writer, comic and Managing Editor @someecards. Co-host of the podcast Crazy; In Bed w/alyssalimp. She is also the top Google result for "insufferable lunatic." Follow this insufferable lunatic on Twitter.