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.

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