Authorities have confirmed that an apparent bomb addressed to Maricopa, Ariz., County Sheriff Joe Arpaio was uncovered and diverted, and now investigators are beginning to look into a list of his enemies for any links or connections.
Those who have had conflicts with him, those who might be coming under investigation, those who have been unsuccessful in fights with him.
That should be a job.
Arpaio, who has described himself as the “toughest sheriff in America,” has had conflicts over the past few years with advocates for illegal immigration, those who don’t like his enforcement of state laws in Arizona, and those who don’t like him investigating certain topics, including the validity of Barack Obama’s birth documentation. Others don’t like him because he’s been aggressive in fighting the war on illegal immigration in his border state, and his stand on law-and-order.
Historically, he’s made enemies for his procedures of dressing jail inmates in pink and letting them live in tents in the Arizona heat.
A spokeswoman for his office today told WND that five members from Mexican drug cartels in just the past few years have threatened Arpaio’s life, including offering a $4 million bounty announced by one suspect just this week.
The spokeswoman told WND that over the last 18 months there have been a dozen threats to the sheriff’s life, resulting in four arrests so far.
She said there even has been concern among authorities about a recall-petition group that has organized to oppose Arpaio’s tenure in office, and one man associated with that effort recently was investigated for threatening Arpaio.
While there apparently are no links between the current case and the sheriff’s past conflicts with the federal government – which launched two investigations of him and later closed them down, the overall atmosphere could be a contributing factor, she said.
“The rhetoric is at all time high which may be encouraging the increase in threats,” she told WND.
Asked whether confirmation was available that the sheriff would remain committed to his law enforcement and investigatory responsibilities, she said, “That’s an understatement!”
According to reports, an explosive device in a package addressed to the sheriff was found in Flagstaff last night, and an X-ray revealed a "device," which quickly was neutralized.
The debris was being examined, according to Postal Inspector Patricia Armstrong, to try to determine exactly what it was. Reports say she credited a "very astute" carrier for noticing the suspicious package in collecting mail in the Flagstaff area.
Arpaio brushed it off as an occupational hazard. "I'm getting many threats. This isn't the first time," he told reporters.
He cited the recent deaths of a sheriff in West Virginia as well as the murder of two prosecutors in Texas and the corrections chief in Colorado.
Arpaio's bold leadership and dedicated rule-of-law stance has irritated many over recent months.
Just in the past few weeks he's made statements that a brash agenda of gun restrictions, rules and regulations may be stepping over the line established by the Second Amendment.
And he joined a growing list of more than 340 sheriffs who have reportedly vowed to uphold the Constitution against efforts to undermine Americans' gun rights, a list compiled by the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association.
"I took [multiple] oaths of office, and they all say I will defend the Constitution of the United States," Arpaio told Mike Broomhead of KFYI Radio in Phoenix, Ariz. "Now if they're going to tell the sheriff that he's going to go around picking up guns from everybody, they're going to have a problem. I may not enforce that federal law."
Broomhead pushed even further, asking Arpaio if the feds passed a law banning ammunition magazines that hold more than 10 rounds, would his deputies confiscate such magazines?
"No," Arpaio said. "My deputies, I said before, I'm going to arm all my deputies – a month ago I said before this – with automatic weapons and semi-automatic weapons. We're going to be able to fight back. … I don't care what they say from Washington."
Arpaio also infuriated a contingent of county residents with his successful re-election campaign recently. He's been in office for two decades, and an organization called Respect Arizona is demanding through a petition recall procedure that he be removed from office.
A group called Citizens to Protect Fair Election Results, or CPFER, immediately formed to defend their sheriff, and it said, "The dangerous, subversive-like activities of Respect Arizona have the potential to launch this county and possibly the entire state in what can only be called an 'Electoral Civil War' that could cost the citizens of Arizona millions of taxpayer dollars; and a civil war where others could well start their own recall efforts against every newly elected officials at the county, city and state levels, and quite possibly, appointed officials, too, including judges."
The defense team charges that claims from Respect Arizona are fraudulent.
A situation that earned Arpaio piles of hate mail developed when a group of his county's residents asked him to look into the validity of the documents through which Barack Obama claims to be eligible for the Oval Office.
Entire books have been written about the problems with the "birth certificate" that was released by the White House purportedly documenting Obama's birth in Hawaii.
Computer imaging experts have found it to be fraudulent and the conclusion of an official law enforcement investigation assembled by Arpaio is that it is just not real.
The special cold case posse investigators said there is probable cause to believe there was forgery in the creation of the birth document presented and fraud in its presentation to the people of Arizona as a valid document.
Christopher Monckton of Brenchley found himself agreeing, after going through the probabilities that each of the anomalies in the document was a random error.
He said he figured the chances of all of those circumstances simply developing at one in 62,500,000,000,000,000,000. (That's 62.5 quintillion).
In a column for WND, he crunched the numbers to show that such things developing in the ordinary course of events and those "mistakes" carrying no meaning are, well, unlikely.
And the U.S. Attorneys office had launched an investigation of Arpaio's office alleging financial improprieties as well as civil rights abuses through racial profiling, only to close them later without action.