Veteran detective Fabian Pacheco to lead PCAO Detectives Division


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Det. Pacheco has been tapped to lead the Detectives Division, taking over for Chief Keith St. John, who is retiring after 45 years in law enforcement.

TUCSON, ARIZONA – February 8, 2022 – Pima County Attorney Laura Conover announced today that veteran detective Fabian Pacheco will take over as Chief of Detectives at the Pima County Attorney’s Office (PCAO), effective Feb. 11.

Pacheco’s law enforcement career has included serving as a homicide sergeant, Operations Division Captain, and Public Information Officer, all for the Tucson Police Department. He joined PCAO four years ago and was assigned to work with the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Keith St. John, the current PCAO Chief of Detectives, is retiring after a 45-year career in law enforcement, serving with both the Pima County Sheriff’s Department (PCSD) and PCAO. St. John’s tenure as PCAO’s top detective left the unit so strong and able that the field of internal candidates to succeed him was impressive, Conover said.

“Our search for Keith’s replacement upon his retirement turned up solid gold candidates,” Conover said. “The candidates truly blew us away, but one candidate rose to the top to be our new Chief Detective. I am so pleased Fabian was interested, fought graciously for the position among stiff competition, and has accepted.”

Born and raised in Nogales, Pacheco enlisted in the U.S. Navy, eventually served as a Reservist, and rose to the rank of Master Chief Petty Officer. Following his military service, Pacheco began his prominent career with the Tucson Police Department.

“As the Public Information Officer, he routinely interviewed with Telemundo and Univision and worked directly with our Consulate Office to ensure that all of Pima County knows it’s safe to ask for help,” Conover said.

Pacheco’s experience as a homicide detective also gives him valuable experience he will use working with PCAO’s Major Crimes Bureau, Homicide Panel, and overseeing 88-Crime, Conover said.

“Fabian said to me during his interview, ‘No one should live in the shadows, underground and in fear. Everyone should feel safe to report crime, and everyone should feel comfortable seeking help,’” Conover said. “If that doesn’t sum up the People’s Office, I don’t know what does.”

St. John has served as PCAO’s top detective since 2015, building an extraordinary, diverse and multicultural Detectives Division. He joined PCAO in 2001 after serving 24 years as a PCSD deputy, including as a homicide detective. St. John was instrumental in prosecuting several cases, including high-profile cold cases.

Laura Conover

Laura Conover

Pima County Attorney