Talk about a broken record. The U.S. Marshals Service has once more done Sheriff Joe Arpaio's job for him, this time by nabbing an escapee from Joe's jails, who basically exchanged identities with another inmate, and walked out.
Rocky Marquez had been in jail since 2010 on a slew of charges, including money laundering, hanky-panky with weapons, DUI, perjury, witness tampering and bunch of other stuff.
But in May of last year, he traded wristbands with another prisoner, gave some song and dance to the detention officer guarding the exit, and strolled to freedom.
Sheesh, Tim Robbins' character in The Shawshank Redemption had to tiptoe through the prison sewer to escape. By contrast, in Joe's graybar hotel, if you're slick enough to con the D.O.'s, it's a done deal.
Fast forward eight months, and it's the U.S. Marshals Service that's scored the capture of Arpaio's fugitive, after tracking him to a hideout in Detroit, Michigan yesterday.
According to the USMS's press release, Marquez, 34, was found to be in the possession of "several fraudulent identification documents," and "a loaded AK-47 military assault rifle" when apprehended.
"It was not a matter of if we would track him down, but when," U.S. Marshal for Arizona David Gonzales boasted in the press statement. "His arrest sends a clear message to any would-be fugitive: the U.S. Marshals Service and its law enforcement partners will relentlessly pursue you, across the country if need be, to see justice done."
Gonzales is getting really good at doing Sheriff Joe's job for him, like he and his deputy marshals did in December during "Operation Grinch Stopper," where a marshals' task force cleared 265 warrants statewide, resulting in 143 arrests, 82 in Phoenix.
True to type, Arpaio refuses to participate in such interagency efforts to serve warrants, even though there are an estimated 28,347 unserved warrants in Maricopa County.
See, Arpaio doesn't play well with others, and he doesn't like to share the limelight.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to Phoenix New Times's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Phoenix's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
Is that conducive to good law enforcement? Of course not. But Joe's more interested in getting his mug on the TV news than actually doing his job.
Sadly, this fall, 50.7 percent of voters in this county chose Arpaio's ridiculous vaudeville stunts over effective policing.
Proving that democracy definitely ain't perfect.
Thankfully there are law enforcement agencies out there who can pick up the slack left by Arpaio's MCSO. Perhaps these LEAs owe Joe thanks, as his screw ups are job security for their officers and agents.