Listen to "Heartland Newsfeed Radio Network" on Spreaker.

Ex-Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio guilty of contempt in immigration stops

PHOENIX (UPI) — A Federal judge on Monday found Joe Arpaio, a former sheriff in Arizona, guilty of ignoring a judge’s order to stop racial profiling in immigration enforcement.

Joe Arpaio, then-sheriff of Maricopa County, Ariz., speaks on the final day of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland on July 21, 2016. On Monday, a judge found him guilty of criminal contempt. (File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI)

U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton said Arpaio is guilty of contempt of court for failing to comply with an order from U.S. District Judge G. Murray Snow in 2011 to stop detaining people based only on the belief that they are in the United States illegally.

Arpaio, 85, the Republican sheriff of Maricopa County, Ariz., for 24 years, was a staunch opponent of illegal immigration and instituted policies that led some supporters to refer to him as the “toughest sheriff in America.”

Arpaio’s lawyers argued that Snow’s order was unclear and that willful intention was required to prove criminal contempt.

The former sheriff issued a statement to the Arizona Republic, saying he plans to appeal the ruling so that he may get a trial by jury.

“Today, Judge Susan Bolton violated the United States Constitution by issuing her verdict without even reading it to the defendant in public court,” the statement said. “Her verdict is contrary to what every single witness testified in the case. Arpaio believes that a jury would have found in his favor, and that it will.”

Bolton scheduled sentencing to take place October 5.

Written by UPI writer Danielle Haynes. Doug G. Ware contributed to this report.

About the Author

- United Press International is an international news agency whose newswires, photo, news film, and audio services provided news material to thousands of newspapers, magazines and radio and television stations for most of the 20th century.

Ex-Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio guilty of contempt in immigration stops