Breaking News!!: Phoenix, AZ: Former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio found guilty of criminal contempt.
A United States District Judge on Monday, July 31st, 2017 has found former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio guilty of criminal contempt.
United States District Judge Susan Bolton found the former Maricopa County Sheriff, 85 year old Joe Arpaio, with misdemeanor contempt of court for allegedly defying a judge’s 2011 order to stop traffic patrols that targeted immigrants.
His trial started in June 2017 and during the trial, prosecutors allegedly told the judge that Joe Arpaio blew off a court order in 2011 to stop picking up suspected illegal immigrants, and handing them over to ICE and Border Patrol, where there were no state charges against them.
Prosecutors claim Joe Arpaio did this because he was running for reelection in 2012, and that Joe Arpaio allegedly used his defiance to raise millions of dollars and brag about it to the media.
Joe Arpaio’s lawyers argued that he didn’t intend to break the law.
** Picture from NBC affiliate KPNX Channel 12: **
The former Maricopa County Sheriff, self-named “America’s toughest sheriff,” was known for, among other things, cracking down on illegal immigration and using controversial “crime suppression sweeps” to round up those suspected of being in the United States illegally which those operations, which went on for years, are what landed him in court.
The former Maricopa County Sheriff was voted out of office in November 2016 after serving 6 terms.
Joe Arpaio’s lawyer Jack Wilenchik said they will be appealing the verdict to get a jury trial and released the following written statement,”Today, Judge Susan Bolton violated the United States Constitution by issuing her verdict without even reading it to the Defendant in public court. Her verdict is contrary to what every single witness testified in the case. Arpaio believes that a jury would have found in his favor, and that it will. Judge Bolton found that an order by her fellow Judge G. Murray Snow, who is in the same building and sits on the same Arizona court, clearly said something that it did not even say: that the MCSO was prohibited from turning illegal aliens over to Border Patrol or ICE. Every witness in the case testified that the order was not clear, even though Judge Bolton and her fellow judge say so. Numerous law enforcement agencies also continue to do this. In fact, the DOJ now goes after agencies that refuse to do this.” It’s not clear when the appeal will be filed. “Joe Arpaio is in this for the long haul, and he will continue his fight to vindicate himself, to prove his innocence, and to protect the public,”
The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office also released the written statement saying, “Although the election in November was a statement by this community to put an end to the prior administration’s practices, the verdict today by U.S. District Court Judge Susan Bolton is a conclusion to the disservice and distractions caused by former Sheriff Joe Arpaio. We have a great respect for the justice system and the process and responsibility to carry out justice. As for this office, we remain steadfast in our efforts to serve the needs of public safety, to improve quality of relations with the community and to ensure that the men and women of this organization have the utmost respect for the law and the authority for which we are empowered.”
Joe Arpaio will be sentenced at 10:00am MST on Thursday, October 5th, 2017.
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