Feathered Bastard

Joe Arpaio Takes .50 Caliber Machine Gun To Desert, Looking for Undocumented (w/Update)

This just in: MCSO's fearless leader Sheriff Joe is heading into the desert today to hunt for illegal aliens in the oven-like temperatures. And he's breaking out the big guns, or at least one of them -- a .50 caliber machine gun, in case they run into any of them-thar narco-terrorists.

His latest media advisory, which asks that this info be embargoed till 5 p.m., states that the sheriff's office "will be launching a crime suppression/saturation operation this afternoon in a desolate desert corridor south of Gila Bend."

"Desolate desert corridor"? That's straight out of an episode of Scooby-Doo. Or it would be, were Arpaio not rolling out everything but his tank. (Whatever happened to that, BTW?) Maybe it's too hot for the tank.

The embargoed release states: "The Sheriff has also ordered the deployment of his .50 caliber machine gun as a precautionary measure based on recent reports of heavily armed human and drug traffickers."

Shucks, this is starting to sound like neo-Nazi J.T. Ready's Vekol Valley patrol. Maybe the sheriff could give J.T. a call and ask him to lend a hand.

BTW, when Arpaio announces a "crime suppression" operation, he means a Hispanic-hunting sweep, where people are pulled over for broken tail lights and such so MCSO deputies can try to suss if they're undocumented or not.

Hopefully, Arpaio won't need to unleash the machine gun on some of those deadly scofflaws.

The media is invited to share the sheriff's command post, which will be at "the end of Butterfield Trail near Gila bend south of Interstate 8 as it turns into the desert."

Would love to make it, but he almost never lets me into his press conferences anyway. Plus, watching Arpaio's hair wilt in the 111 degree heat while he stands next to a machine gun is not my idea of a story.

Update: You can read the press release for the operation, here. (This one was sent out after my blog post.) They were in the Vekol Valley. You know, just like the neo-Nazis. According to a KPHO report, the 100 posse members and deputies had collared only 11 people by night's end. 

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

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