The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office announced yesterday that a gang member was "planning to publicly assassinate Sheriff Joe Arpaio using a high powered rifle."
The problems with Samuel Matta's alleged plot included the fact that he couldn't scrape together the $1,800 bond to see the light of day, and he was subsequently convicted of his charges. He's now locked up in the Florence prison for more than eight years.
Not surprisingly, most seasoned New Times readers weren't buying a lick of MCSO's claim.
"The investigation began in March of this year after Sheriff's detectives were tipped off by an inmate in jail on multiple homicide charges that Samuel Matta was allegedly planning to publicly assassinate Sheriff Joe Arpaio using a high powered rifle," MCSO said in a statement.
MCSO Sergeant Brandon Jones tells New Times that the existence of Matta's plot was confirmed through detectives' surveillance of the people involved.
The Sheriff's Office says Matta planned to carry out his assassination attempt once he got out of jail, and his motive was that he "believed that the Sheriff was personally responsible for the deportation of some of his members of his family to Mexico from their home in El Mirage."
Matta -- along with two members of the Mexican Mafia -- was eventually found by MCSO detectives to be involved in a plot to kill another inmate because he was in a rival gang, according to the Sheriff's Office.
Matta doesn't face any charges for the alleged Arpaio plot.
That said, based on the MCSO's explanation thus far, does the plot sound legitimate?
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