Buckeye Firefighter Arrested
On Thursday, February 21, 2019 at approximately 7 a.m., Buckeye police detectives arrested Frank R. Zepeda, 39. Zepeda is a suspect in a felony burglary in Buckeye and weapons violations in Glendale.
Zepeda is a 12-year veteran firefighter/paramedic with the Buckeye Fire Department, having joined the agency in March 2007.
If true, the allegations against Zepeda are unsettling. The Buckeye Fire Department is offering its full cooperation with the ongoing criminal investigations by both Buckeye and Glendale Police Departments. Buckeye Fire has faith in both agencies to conduct a thorough and fair investigation resulting in the appropriate outcome.
Due to the seriousness of the criminal allegations and additional concerns, which developed during the course of the investigations, Buckeye Fire Chief Bob Costello immediately began termination proceedings of Zepeda.
“The Buckeye Fire Department remains committed to providing the very highest level of service to the community and will work tirelessly to continue to provide transparency to the City of Buckeye residents,” said Chief Costello.
On April 29, 2018 at about 7:30 in the morning, Buckeye police responded to Buckeye Fire Station 706 at 25821 W. Magnolia after an on-duty firefighter realized equipment had been stolen from a parked fire truck. Among the stolen items were fire turnouts and accompanying gear, the engine’s drug and IV boxes, as well as a number of ballistic vests. The items were estimated to total $10,000.
Earlier this month, Buckeye detectives received information implicating Zepeda of orchestrating the burglary which was allegedly carried out by members of a motorcycle club in which Zepeda is president.
During the course of the investigation, Buckeye police received information that Zepeda was involved in a shooting in March 2018, in the area of 63rd Avenue and Bell Road in Glendale. Glendale police verified they did received a report of a car having been riddled with bullets. No one was struck. All information gathered by Buckeye investigators was then turned over to Glendale police.
Buckeye police served search warrants at a number of locations including Zepeda’s Glendale home. Cocaine, marijuana and drug paraphernalia were among the items seized.
Zepeda will be booked into the Maricopa County 4th Avenue Jail on the weapons charges out of Glendale. Additional charges are anticipated.
The investigations by Buckeye and Glendale into Zepeda’s alleged criminal actions continue.
Any questions regarding the shooting should be directed to Glendale Police.