Skip to content

Nobody shot the sheriff…

2 August 2010

So, somebody claiming to be the “Sinaloa Cartel” was cold calling cell phones in Arizona offering a reward for shooting Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arapaio, huh?

From the Phoenix New Times, February 21, 2008.

There seemed to be no real threat to the sheriff — though his top deputies have been fixated on the notion that “America’s toughest sheriff” could easily be the target of assassination.

It’s been as though his staff believes that, without anybody trying to kill the sheriff, Arpaio’s hard-on-crime policies lose credibility. So the MCSO hasn’t been above manufacturing a plot to make the boss look like a tough guy.

In 1999, Arpaio and his chief deputy, David Hendershott, attempted to frame 18-year-old James Saville in a phony bomb plot supposedly aimed at Arpaio (“The Plot to Assassinate Arpaio,” August 5, 1999). TV reporters were called ahead of time to chronicle the teenager’s arrest outside an Italian restaurant where Arpaio was dining. Saville’s lawyer noted the obvious entrapment, and Saville was unanimously acquitted by a jury after the MCSO’s unscrupulous antics were aired in court.

Last year, the Sheriff’s Office revealed that it had spent an estimated $500,000 investigating a bogus death threat that involved such highly improbable co-conspirators as the Minutemen, immigrants rights activist Elias Bermudez, and hit men working for the Mexican mafia. On the word of a confidential informant who failed a key question on a lie-detector test about whether or not he was telling the truth about the alleged conspiracy, the sheriff’s Selective Enforcement Unit (the same group that nabbed Lacey and Larkin) staked out a dairy in Tolleson and flew to Connecticut to interrogate a teenage girl whose e-mail was linked to the pseudo-scheme.

Most recently, the MCSO trumpeted the conviction of Matthew Carl Sanderson, a native of Canada, for making an Internet threat against Arpaio. The sheriff flew to Toronto for the three-day trial. In the end, Sanderson received just three months of incarceration.

“There has never been any credible evidence of death threats against our Sheriff,” attorney Manning states in New Times’ notice. “Indeed, the only ‘death threats’ to Sheriff Arpaio have been made-for-TV productions procured or created by the Sheriff’s sizable PR staff.”

Arpaio’s obsession with such dubious threats would be comic if not for their dire, costly, and time-consuming consequences.

You can fool some of the people all of the time, but to fool all the people, you need Fox News.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Solstitial7 permalink
    6 August 2010 6:00 am

    Now that last sentence was funny. Worthy of the entire page.

Leave a reply, but please stick to the topic

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: