Feathered Bastard

Joe Arpaio Shakes Down Arrests Maids for Cleaning at ADOT Buildings without Papers

Talk about what Catholics call an "occasion of sin". . . on Friday, the MCSO announced that it had staged yet another worksite raid, this one supposedly the 83rd since Sheriff Joe Arpaio started wasting taxpayer cash on them instead after going after murderers, child rapists, gang-bangers, and other so-called "real criminals."

You know, like Arpaio himself, and allegedly some of his deputies.

According to the MCSO's press release, the raid took place last week at "several Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) buildings in the Phoenix Capitol complex," and nabbed nine undocumented women and one man, their U.S. citizen manager, on charges of forgery.

All apparently were employees of the Upright Cleaning Company, which has a government contract for such work.

Call it an early birthday present for Joe, who turned 82 on Saturday, and is the biggest unindicted criminal in the state.

I mean, any way you cut it, the misdeeds of a few cleaning people who may have used fake identities to work (horrors!) pale by comparison to Arpaio's gross misconduct while in office (e.g., misspending $100 million, abuse of power, jail deaths, etc.).

See also: Joe Arpaio's Deputy Charley Armendariz Implicated MCSO "Command Staff," Says Activist Lydia Guzman Deputy's Death Opens the Door Onto a World of Corruption in Sheriff Joe's MCSO Joe Arpaio's Investigating Federal Judge G. Murray Snow, DOJ, Sources Say, and Using a Seattle Scammer To Do It

Moreover, the deputies involved in such workplace investigations currently labor under a pall of suspicion for crimes worse than forgery.

See, there is crossover between the MCSO's Criminal Employment Squad, which did this raid, and the Human Smuggling Unit, which has become the subject of scrutiny in the wake of the arrest and apparent suicide of ex-HSU detective Ramon Charley Armendariz.

At Armendariz's house, MCSO detectives discovered a cache of fake and false IDs, wallets, passports, license plates, and so forth, along with various illicit drugs, and a sawed-off shotgun.

Oh, and 900 hours of video, which was not disclosed during the federal civil rights case Melendres v. Arpaio.

Speculation by even some MCSO brass has been that Armendariz and other deputies may have been ripping off illegal immigrants.

And as I recently reported, activist Lydia Guzman said that in the year prior to his death, Armendariz had contacted her, seeking to speak with the U.S. Department of Justice, and implicating his supervisors in unspecified criminal activity.

In light of such suspicions and an ongoing investigation by the MCSO into what was found at Armendariz's residence, you might think that the MCSO would suspend its worksite raids, at least till its whitewash "investigation" into Armendariz's alleged co-conspirators is concluded.

But a dead man makes for a good fall guy, right, Joe? So these worthless raids continue, despite their presenting some allegedly corrupt individuals with further opportunity to commit illegal acts.

That's not to say that all MCSO detectives are corrupt. There are some good men and women in the sheriff's office who despise Joe's shenanigans.

Unfortunately for them, Arpaio's efforts pre-Melendres to transform his agency into a mini-version of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement or the U.S. Border Patrol evidently has brought with it the kind of corruption that has plagued the U.S.-Mexico border for decades.

Rather than address the corruption in his own backyard, Arpaio continues to pour resources and man-hours into a bogus investigation of the DOJ and federal Judge G. Murray Snow, who ruled against Arpaio in Melendres .

So far, the MCSO has, according to sources, paid Seattle's Dennis Montgomery, "The Man Who Conned the Pentagon," at least $100,000 to churn out reams of useless info that -- in Arpaio's mind -- proves some ill-defined conspiracy to "get" him.

You all know the line about fish rotting from the head down. And so it goes at the MCSO, as long as Arpaio remains in power.

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Stephen is a former staff writer and columnist at Phoenix New Times.
Contact: Stephen Lemons