Joe Arpaio "Kidnapped"? Ex-DEA Honcho Phil Jordan Cries Foul
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I thought I'd heard every Sheriff Joe Arpaio story there was to hear, tall tales and otherwise. But there seems to be one more in the kitty.
This new bit of Joe lore is mentioned in the sheriff's latest, nauseating campaign ad, "It's time you met the real Joe Arpaio."
Like after 20 years, we don't know this carnival barker coming and going. Sheesh.
The ad relates Sheriff Joe's bio in about 30 seconds, which is all you need, if you cut out all the corruption, lies, malfeasance and criminal activity.
"As a top official with the DEA, he traveled the globe, fighting criminals and drug dealers,"
says the voiceover at one point. "He was shot at, even kidnapped. All while raising a family with his wife Ava of 55 years."
Um, wait, kidnapped? When exactly did that happen, I wonder?
I've read both of Arpaio's books in the past, Joe's Law and America's Toughest Sheriff, each co-written with Arpaio's slimy amanuensis Len Sherman.
The autobiographical parts of those books are the same, literally, word for word, and cover Arpaio's time in the Army, as well as his stints as a flatfoot in D.C. and Las Vegas, then as an agent with the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, which eventually became the DEA.
Both accounts are full of massive whoppers, as I detailed in a 2008 column. Arpaio claims to have helped shut down the French Connection. You know, as in the 1971 film of the same name.
For the 2008 column, I spoke with Sonny Grosso, one of the New York City cops involved in that historic investigation. (The "Russo" character Roy Scheider played in the film was based on Grosso.)
Grosso said he didn't know anything about Arpaio being involved in the investigation, and he told me, "The only thing that stopped [the French Connection] was our case."
And, no, that wasn't Gene Hackman playing Joe in the movie.
Arpaio boasts that he single-handedly shut down the Turkish drug trade, though Time magazine reports that the opium trade pumped along, unaffected, long after this stereotypical "ugly American" had amscrayed back to the U.S.
As a cop in Las Vegas, he says he pulled over Elvis. No way to prove or disprove it.
And so on.
Arpaio's war stories are full of drug stings gone bad, Mexican standoffs, gun battles, and how clever and tough ol' Joe was back in the day.
One thing I didn't recall from the books was a kidnapping. So I dusted off those volumes and scanned through them again. Didn't see any kidnapping tale.
I downloaded Joe's Law on Kindle and did a search for "kidnap." Kidnapping was mentioned, but only in the context of illegal immigration.
Nor is Joe's kidnapping mentioned on his campaign website, as it currently reads.
I searched Nexis and Google, came up blank. So I called around to folks who know Joe all too well. None of them could recall a kidnapping caper.