The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office claims a gang member was "planning to publicly assassinate Sheriff Joe Arpaio using a high powered rifle."
The first problem with the plot of gangster Samuel Matta was that he couldn't come up with the $1,800 to bond out of jail after he stole a car and tried to run from the cops.
Matta's second problem is that he was just sentenced in May to more than eight years in prison on the charges, so he'll be locked up in Florence for a bit.
Yet another problem for Matta is that MCSO says he and a pair of Mexican Mafia members were planning to kill a fellow inmate, so the outcome of his conspiracy to commit murder charge might also complicate his plans to "publicly assassinate" Arpaio.
According to the Sheriff's Office, detectives got wind about Matta's plans to gun down Arpaio from an inmate facing multiple homicide charges.
The Sheriff's Office says Matta planned to carry out his assassination attempt once he got out of jail, and his motive was that he "believed that the Sheriff was personally responsible for the deportation of some of his members of his family to Mexico from their home in El Mirage."
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
If Matta actually planned to do this, the world may never know, since he couldn't scrape together the $1,800 to post bond.
Meanwhile, while doing a bit of "audio surveillance" -- also known as eavesdropping -- detectives found out Matta and a couple pals planned to off another inmate because he was in a rival gang, according to the Sheriff's Office.
MCSO notes that the alleged murder plot by Matta and the Mexican Mafia members-- Mark Cons and Rudolfo Santos -- to murder a fellow inmate happened around the same time as the lockdown of the 4th Avenue Jail, in which Arpaio claimed the Mexican Mafia had "attempted to control" the jail.
The three pals each face a charge of conspiracy to commit murder.