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Press Release

Former Maricopa County Deputy Public Defender Sentenced for Drug Trafficking

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Arizona

PHOENIX, Ariz. – Sally Joyce Nyemba, 33, of Phoenix, was sentenced on Monday to 18 months in prison by United States District Judge Susan M. Brnovich. Nyemba pleaded guilty to Attempted Possession with Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine on August 31, 2023.

Nyemba was a practicing attorney and is a former Maricopa County Deputy Public Defender. On May 11 and 12, 2020, Nyemba negotiated the purchase of two pounds of methamphetamine for $3,600 and 4,000 M30 pills for $10,000 from an undercover Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agent.

On May 12, 2020, Nyemba met with the undercover DEA agent in Phoenix, and was arrested after she provided the agent $3,600 for the drugs. Agents searched Nyemba’s vehicle and seized approximately $14,158 in U.S. currency.

This effort is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) operation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at

The Drug Enforcement Administration East Valley Drug Enforcement Task Force conducted the investigation in this case. The U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Arizona, Phoenix, handled the prosecution.

CASE NUMBER:            CR-21-01094-PHX-SMB
RELEASE NUMBER:    2024-055_Nyemba

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Public Affairs
Zach J. Stoebe
Telephone: (602) 514-7413

Updated April 24, 2024

Drug Trafficking
Press Release Number: 2024-055_Nyemba