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Joe Arpaio Kicks Off 20th Crime Suppression Sweep -- and is "So Tired" of Getting Hassled About "Major Criminals" Never Getting Arrested

When asked this afternoon why he spends so much time putzin' around Maricopa County in search of illegal immigrants and petty criminals during his "crime suppression sweeps," as opposed to focusing the resources of the sheriff's office on more dangerous criminal activity, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio said the following:

"I'm so tired of hearing about 'major criminals [not getting arrested during the sweeps]'"

He then groaned that the majority of the people in his jails (who were arrested by other law enforcement agencies) are either "hookers" or petty criminals, and that the media should hassle other local cop-shops about how they don't arrest "major criminals," either.

The difference, of course, is that other local law enforcement agencies rarely -- if ever -- send hundreds of officers into a small area and come away with little more than a few arrests of illegal immigrants and deadbeat dads.

Be that as it may, Arpaio's sickin' the goon squad on southwest Phoenix for the next couple of days, and kicked off the festivities with a press conference/Joe Arpaio comedy hour at the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office's Training Center in West Phoenix this afternoon.

Arpaio yucked it up with a (small) gaggle of reporters while simultaneously attempting to defend the operation to critics.

The target of the sweep is between 19th and 51st Avenues and McDowell Road to Baseline Road in southwest Phoenix.

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When asked if he picked that particular area for the raid because it has a large Hispanic population, the sheriff claimed to be ignorant to the fact that southwest Phoenix is one of the browner sections of Maricopa County.

When asked why so many of the people he arrests during his raids are Latino, Arpaio said "that's the way the ball bounces sometimes. Must be a lot of illegals around."

In any event, about 200 of Arpaio's deputies and posse members will be going gangbusters in southwest Phoenix for the next two days. You've been warned.

Oh...we almost forgot -- the cost of the operation, according to Arpaio, is "hardly nothin.'"

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