with Laura Foote Reiff

On August 9, 2012, deputies from the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office raided a General Nutrition Corporation (GNC) warehouse and detained five people for allegedly working under fraudulent documents. The warehouse for the well-known vitamin and health supplement retain chain currently employs over 250 people and serves as the main distribution point for GNC retails outlets in the Phoenix metro area.

According to Sheriff Joe Arpaio, a key figure in the state’s controversial effort to control illegal immigration with far-reaching legislation, the investigation into GNC employees began with a tip from a fellow warehouse employee in 2011. At this time, the Sheriff’s Office believes that as many as 21 workers may be implicated in using false documents to gain employment and that two suspects have been using the Social Security numbers of deceased people. Sheriff Arpaio also noted that several employees hid from authorities during the raid.

According to a GNC spokesman, the company is fully cooperating with the investigation and has commenced an internal review of the allegations.