Joe Arpaio and MCSO Did Not Arrest a 6-Year-Old

Despite what you may have heard -- and how Joe Arpaio-ish it sounds -- Maricopa County Sheriff's deputies did not arrest a 6-year-old on Friday.

MCSO spokesman Chris Hegstrom tells New Times deputies arrested 16 people during a human-smuggling operation, but the 6-year-old found in the van wasn't one of them.

"We're not arresting a 6-year-old," Hegstrom says.

The 16 immigrants -- 17 including the youngster -- were found by deputies in a van in the northern part of the county.

The Sheriff's Office says they were all smuggled into the United States from Mexico at prices between $300 and $3,500, and were on their way to be dropped off in various states.

Most of the people found were booked into an MCSO jail.

Hegstrom says the girl was taken into "protective custody" and turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials. The kiddo claimed to be from El Salvador.

The youngster was described as "unaccompanied" in the van.

To the credit of everyone who said Arpaio's deputies arrested a 6-year-old, it doesn't even sound that outrageous given the Sheriff's history.

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Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley