It looks like Renzi may get his because federal authorities are involved. But corrupt local officials like Joe Arpaio are ever safe as long as immoral creeps like [County Attorney] Andrew Thomas and cowards like [Attorney General] Terry Goddard are in office in Arizona.

Our only hope is to vote Arpaio out, and for that matter, Thomas. I just wish Dan Saban [Arpaio's principal opponent] didn't have skeletons in his closet.
Andrew P. Smith, Phoenix

Buzzkill: Sheriff Joe is bulletproof Teflon. The best shot to defeat him was four years sago when Republican party-liners were mad because he had [earlier] endorsed Janet Napolitano against Matt Salmon.

If liberals had re-registered as Independents, as I did, we could have voted in the 2004 Republican primary for sheriff and Dan Saban would have won. Don't count on Saban winning this year as a Democrat, however.
Gary Klahr, via the Internet

Maybe the Devil will save us: I find it strangely reassuring that Gary Peter Klahr propounds the invincibility of Uncle Joe [this and the previous letter also ran on this Web site under comments]. Had he instead trumpeted Arpaio's imminent downfall I would be concerned; if there is such a thing as Murphy's Law, surely Klahr is Murphy's lawyer.

As an advocatus diaboli, Klahr is no doubt more familiar with the contract terms imposed by Mephistopheles than I, but his pacts traditionally involve ironic and interlinking loopholes, and it wouldn't surprise me to learn that he had promised Arpaio immunity "until the day that Gary Peter Klahr declares you undefeatable."
Emil Pulsifer, via the Internet

You're still talking about Honduras, right?: I don't know Sheriff Arpaio, but we applaud his efforts with Honduran police. While it may be true that his office does not have all the funds for all police activities required in Phoenix, you have plenty resources compared to Hondurans.

Most importantly, you take your personal safety for granted, but you haven't the slightest idea what it is like to live in a place where you feel insecure at all times. Police have inadequate training and equipment, are grossly underpaid, and our government is practically bankrupt. In case you are not aware, murders occur here on a daily basis.
Carlos Archuleta, via the Internet

We'll dig to China if necessary: Dig deeper. There could be others involved in the Honduras scandal. When will the feds step in to investigate this corruption by Sheriff Joe and his Dick Cheney, David "Jabba the Hutt" Hendershott?

This story keeps getting better and better. This could be serious and bigger than we thought. Neo-cons, be prepared to be embarrassed once your disgraced sheriff is exposed for the evils he has done. Talk about real betrayal of the public trust. This case could make Rick Renzi look like a small-timer.
Names withheld by request


Yuma County could just tax the pot: I'm outraged by your story on the U.S. Border Patrol checkpoints between here and the California state line ("Doggy Style," Ray Stern, March 13). It's bad enough that we have people like Sheriff Joe Arpaio throwing the book at us for next to nothing in Arizona, but now the Border Patrol is helping Nazi local authorities enforce Arizona's stupid drug laws.

Yes, I know Arpaio has nothing to do with the situation in Yuma County, but as your story notes, he tried to institute similar checkpoints on this county's roads and was slapped down by saner authorities.

It just annoys the hell out of me that the feds add more agents to the Yuma Sector, when there are very few, relatively speaking, illegal aliens coming through that part of the border.

So what do they do with hundreds more agents? They use them to bust people with tiny amounts of pot. What a waste of tax money, even if it does help Yuma County pay its bills.
Raul Montoya, Phoenix

"Are you all U.S. citizens? Okay, then, are you high?": The story says: "The Border Patrol takes pains to explain that it's running immigration checkpoints, with the secondary mission of detecting illegal drugs," which justifies its checkpoints under a U.S. Supreme Court ruling.

Wouldn't the fact that the Border Patrol makes hundreds of times more drug busts than immigration busts (and presumably spends an equivalent proportion of time on drug busts vs. immigration busts) mean that drug busts are no longer their "secondary" mission?
John Semple, via the Internet

Now entering an altered state: Come on! You've been smoking weed for too long if you try to take it through a federal checkpoint, whether or not you realize dogs might be there.
Michael Mathis, via the Internet

Think of your rights as The Club: Mary and her friends in "Doggy Style" were asked if they'd consent to a search of their car. It is important to remember that a police officer or federal agent without a warrant can always be told no!

Then the officer or agent has to make an argument that proves his "reasonable" cause. If you tell him yes, he can search without impedance.

Hold your rights dear to you lest they be stripped, people. Never let officers convince you that it would be easier or better if you cooperated. Be silent and allow them no quarter. If you make them have to back up every decision, they'll let you go. Much like a car thief, they'll just wait and find an easier target.
Name withheld by request

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