Arizona pastor arrested for selling drugs to bring people closer to God

Mark Derksen  
By: Ryan Lee Hall 

(Scroll down for video) A pastor claimed that drugs will bring people closer to God, according to police reports.

The pastor from Fountain Hills, Arizona, was arrested for allegedly dealing heroin, methamphetamine and other drugs for what he considered for spiritual purposes.

Deputies are concerned that some of his customers may have been children. Mark Derksen, 63, a youth pastor who visited nursing homes, told deputies that drugs brought his customers "closer to God."

The pastor is a drug addict who had up to 30 clients per day routinely giving drugs away for free to engage potential customers, according to Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

The Sheriff's Office initially suspected Derksen was selling drugs after he received a warning two years ago. But we did not have enough information to act on until deputies said they bought drugs while undercover from Derksen on Wednesday afternoon.

The drug deal led to a search warrant and police raids found heroin, methamphetamine, Oxycontin and weapons in his apartment, according to the local TV station. Derksen was taken to a hospital for an undisclosed reason.

But authorities have yet to locate Derksen’s supplier, a local Arizona newspaper reported.
"This case is not over yet," Arpaio said. "My warning to Fountain Hills, my hometown, is not done yet."

Despite Derksen’s Faith Mountain Christian Church was closed down, he remained active in the local religious community.
Another woman was arrested in the apartment for drugs and outstanding warrants.