Bill Montgomery Looks the Other Way at 1,761 Possible Felony Crimes
One party just wants to get ripped, while another party wants to earn enough money to feed his or her family. The latter sounds far nobler to me.
When I asked Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery about this issue for my recent cover story, "Same as the Old Boss," he agreed that a college kid using a fake ID to purchase liquor could be prosecuted for a felony.
So why doesn't he do this? He claims it's because no law enforcement agency submits those cases to him.
I find this very disingenuous. Montgomery works with law enforcement agencies all of the time regarding their investigations. Hand in glove. These agencies are his law enforcement partners.
Given that forgery is apparently rampant in Tempe, why wouldn't Montgomery want to crack down on it? Montgomery regularly hits undocumented immigrants with class four felonies for using false IDs to obtain employment.
So why are the underage college kids from ASU (mostly non-Hispanic whites, according to ASU's own stats) treated differently than the undocumented workers (mostly Latinos)?
The evidence I presented in my cover story proves that the undocumented workers are being treated differently because the MCAO wants to hold these people nonbondable under Prop 100 as a means of coercing a plea to a felony charge that will in turn make them deportable.
Montgomery's office denies this, of course. But this policy is a holdover from the administration of his disbarred predecessor Andy Thomas, who was bald-faced in his anti-immigrant intent.
Montgomery's spokesperson Jerry Cobb argues that it would be difficult to obtain a conviction of the college kid under the forgery statute, and that two other forgery-related statutes on the books have exceptions specifically for those using fake IDs to score booze.
That is true, but ARS 13-2002 has no such exception, and undocumented workers are hit with charges under ARS 13-2002 as well as charges under the other statutes. .
For those who just want undocumented folks kicked out of the country and don't care how it is achieved, I say, thanks, you're making my case for me.
See, Montgomery contends he is only battling ID theft and fraud, not illegal immigration. If he's sincere, perhaps he should give the Tempe PD a call, and look into those 1,761 forgery cases.