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'We Build the Wall' fundraiser has several Arizona connections

Heads of the organization, including former President Trump aide Steve Bannon, were arrested on fraud charges.

PHOENIX — Former Trump aide Steve Bannon and founder of the We Build The Wall fundraiser Brian Kolfage have been arrested after federal prosecutors say the men took hundreds of thousands of donated money meant to build a private border wall.

Several well-known Arizonans were part of "We Build the Wall," including former Diamondbacks pitcher Curt Schilling, along with Angel parents Steve Ronnebeck and Mary Ann Mendoza.

“It’s something no parent should ever ever ever have to endure,“ Steve Ronnebeck said in an interview with 12 News in 2019.

Steve Ronnebeck’s son Grant shot and killed by an undocumented immigrant.

Mary’s son Sgt. Brandon Mendoza was killed by a wrong-way driver who authorities say was also in the country illegally.

Those deaths have seen the two crusades for more border security, including supporting "We Build the Wall."

“It’s worth it to keep fighting and keep doing this if it is going to save one life,” Ronnebeck said. 

“We Build The Wall” capitalized on that emotion, raising more than $25 million on the idea that if Congress wouldn’t fund a wall the people would.

According to a New York indictment, Bannon allegedly schemed away more than $1 million through non-profits and sham invoices, hundreds of thousands of dollars lining the pockets of those arrested because of the indictment. 

“You’ve gotta follow the law and if you don’t there are consequences,” Gov. Doug Ducey said when asked about Bannon's arrest. 

In a text message, Mendoza says “I am an advisory board member only," adding "I am not privy to any financial records or procedures of the organization.”

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