• Luckily, powerful explosive device was detected by postal worker
By Pete Papaherakles
Maricopa County, Arizona, Sheriff Joe Arpaio had a bomb sent to him in the mail that was powerful enough to maim or even kill him, his office said. “Had someone opened that package, it would have caused a major explosion and caused serious physical injuries, burns and maybe death,” Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Jerry Sheridan announced at a press conference.
The mail bomb was discovered on April 11 by a very astute postal worker in Flagstaff, a city 140 miles north of Phoenix, who noticed what he thought was gunpowder residue leaking from the package. The Flagstaff police department bomb squad X-rayed the package, noticing what appeared to be an explosive device inside. The bomb was neutralized when the police department bomb squad blasted it apart with a water cannon.
An investigation is under way involving the United States Postal Inspector, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The sheriff’s office has a “person of interest” in the case whom they are trying to locate, said Sheridan. Arpaio said whoever is responsible for mailing the package, if found, would be brought to justice.
“I’m not going to be intimidated by anyone, that’s a promise,” he said. “I’m not leaving this office no matter what they do, what they say, I’m staying. That’s my message to all these people who don’t like this sheriff.”
“America’s toughest sheriff,” who has held his post since 1992, is no stranger to controversy—he’s been the target of death threats before. Nine credible threats have been investigated since 2011, prompting a security detail for Arpaio. But Sheridan said this bomb threat was something that was “brought to the height of seriousness,” and that the office had never received an explosive device in the mail before.
“Of course you worry,” said Arpaio. “[But] that’s the nature of the business.” He cited the recent killings of a West Virginia sheriff, Colorado’s corrections director and two prosecutors in Texas.
Arpaio is known nationally for his strict treatment of jail inmates and his tough law enforcement when it comes to illegal immigration.
It is not known if the soon-to-be-released comprehensive immigration reform bill prompted the mail-bomb. The sheriff has been accused of civil rights violations for his treatment of illegal alien prisoners and for allegedly targeting Latinos in the state with unwarranted arrests.
Arpaio’s latest controversy came weeks after the Newtown, Connecticut mass shooting, when he deployed armed volunteers to patrol schools in the Phoenix metropolitan area.
In an interview with AMERICAN FREE PRESS, Mike Zullo, the chief investigator for Arpaio’s Cold Case Posse into Obama’s birth certificate, and a man very close to Arpaio, said that a campaign to recall Arpaio began just days after he started his sixth term in January.
“Sheriff Arpaio is in the way of a progressive takeover by the central government,” said Zullo. “He believes in the rule of law, and he will enforce it, no matter what. He is the last layer of protection the people have from a police state and just like Sheriff [Jeffrey S.] Christopher in Delaware, they want to get him and all sheriffs out of the way. He would never kick down a door and arrest American citizens unconstitutionally.”
Zullo said the federal government is targeting Arpaio for three things: “His tough stance on illegal immigration, his uncompromising support of the Second Amendment and his role in exposing Obama’s birth certificate as a forgery.”
Zullo would not give details about who was behind the mail-bomb but said that they will find and arrest the guy no matter what. Arpaio has taken this matter very seriously and is determined to get to the bottom of the threat on his life, Zullo said.
Pete Papaherakles, a U.S. citizen since 1986, was born in Greece. He is AFP’s outreach director. If you would like to see AFP speakers at your rally, contact Pete at 202-544-5977.