Joe Arpaio's Deputy Charley Armendariz Implicated MCSO "Command Staff," Says Activist Lydia Guzman

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More than a year before his alleged suicide by hanging on May 8, Maricopa County Sheriff's Office Detective Charley Armendariz reached out to Phoenix human-rights activist Lydia Guzman, telling her he had information to share, and implicating MCSO supervisors in illegal activity.

Guzman says Armendariz approached her on February 28, 2013, as she was giving an interview to a Spanish-language TV news outlet in front of one of Sheriff Joe Arpaio's jails. They went to a local Jack In The Box, where for the next hour, he opened up to her.

"He had just been disciplined or talked to because of some sort of work behavior," Guzman remembers. "He was talking about how his supervisors were ganging up on him...because he told them that he was not going to participate in their illegal activity anymore."

charley.JPG
MCSO
Charley Armendariz's booking photo, taken a few days before he allegedly committed suicide

Armendariz was vague on what this "illegal activity" consisted of.

"He said, `You know what goes on in [the MCSO]?'" she recalls. "So I just acted like, oh yes, I do know what's going on."

She says it was the beginning of an unlikely, on-again, off-again, acquaintance, one in which Guzman, a committed anti-Arpaio activist, counseled a troubled member of the MCSO's infamous Human Smuggling Unit, who would, a year and two months later, be arrested on drug charges after barricading himself inside his Phoenix home.

The deceased deputy is the focus of an ongoing investigation by the MCSO. A federal judge has ordered the Sheriff's Office to turn over evidence of Armendariz's allegedly shaking down illegal aliens to both the Maricopa County Attorney's Office and the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Along with pot, heroin, meth, and other illicit drugs found in Armendariz's residence, MCSO deputies discovered a cache of foreign and fake IDs, wallets, and passports; license plates; numerous, never-filed citations; stolen MCSO evidence bags; and more than 900 hours of videotaped traffic stops, captured by Armendariz with dash cams and with an eyeglass camera.

But in early 2013, Guzman knew little of Armendariz. What they had in common was the 2012 civil trial in Melendres v. Arpaio, the ACLU's big racial profiling case against the sheriff.

Both she and Armendariz testified during the trial: Guzman as a witness for the plaintiffs, Armendariz as a witness for the defense. Now here they were, in a fast-food restaurant, with Armendariz sitting across from her, out of uniform, and emotional.

"He kept saying to me, `Lydia, [the plaintiffs' lawyers] didn't ask me the right questions,'" remembers Guzman.

Armendariz told her that he had been instructed not to give up any unnecessary information during the trial. He also claimed he was being monitored. In each case, specifics were not readily offered.

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51 comments
mark
mark

what did MCSO think charlie would do when he was told to come back in the morning for your ankel bracelet? In the future bracelets go on before being released from court.

Keen_Observer
Keen_Observer

All of this is starting to come together with other tidbits of information we had in the past, like the shakedown that "Nicklebag Joe" did as mentioned by another poster, as well how fast the MCSO was to give the media damming and discrediting information about the deputy.  One would figure that those types of remarks would be made after the investigation is over. I find all of this very suspicious and hope that the feds take another look at it, at least remove this investigation from the hands of the MCSO.

goodguess
goodguess

armendariz: just because he is paranoid does not mean they  were not out to get him

Nick Gonzaga
Nick Gonzaga

Lol they wait til they're dead to look into it hahahahahaha

Vizzini
Vizzini

When I read about warrantless phone searches I am reminded why I encrypt my phone, have a dash cam and a video app that streams directly to the web... because I live in Maricopa County, home of the corrupt Brown Shirts...  Bill of Rights?  What rights?

Roger Morris
Roger Morris

150,000,000 million dollar 4th Avenue two for one MCSO Arpaio at SWATPOINT days are crumbling down. Someone didnt erase all those MCSO DAV DES SSN email redflagging citizens caging and provisionalizing voters. Stopping military Vets from getting benefits at the VA because of a outstanding traffic ticket. All those illegal stops detaining and then rendering unto Andrew for 287G Border Security High Impact grant dollars. 5k per man/woman and 250.00 per child up to three. Yep its all crumbling down. Its just a matter of time before the Video shows Papers Please Live at MCSO Motor Vehicle 4th Reich Avenue is shown.

ExpertShot
ExpertShot topcommenter

It all makes sense - When Arpaio was known as Nickel-Bag Joe (because he would bust small time drug buyers/dealers) he shook them down.  Then he got other officers to do it and made them give him a cut of their take or he would blackmail them.  He built a network of other officers which all fed him cuts of their take from the shakedowns - hundreds of officers - that's why no one in the Feds wants to touch him, they're too many who may be blackmailed or exposed as common criminals - probably some that are now federal judges. 

He did the same thing at the Sheriff's office, getting his officers to shakedown "contacts" and then getting a cut which probably distributes to command staff to buy their loyalty/silence.


Stephen, have you thought of this already?

La Messa Qvo
La Messa Qvo

wait till they discover AZ "Judicial"process

danzigsdaddy
danzigsdaddy topcommenter

Not doubting Lydia, BUT, I am wondering how much of Armendariz's story was a drug influenced paranoia? With him dead, we might never know for sure. Much of it may be 100% accurate or it could be the product of a drug altered mind. (I believe a lot of it could be true though.......just not sure how much)

alwesley
alwesley

This has to stop.. The MCSO is an embarrassment to law enforcementand made a laughingstock of justice in Arizona.

hepcat11
hepcat11

I wonder why nobody ever investigates Jenny Service Company in Sparks, NV to find out if the rumours are true that it really belongs to Sheriff Arpaio & company. 

It seems like nobody cares about the peanut butter, moldy bread & oranges and tainted slop called meals -- served twice a day to MCSO detainees, including the dozens of pregnant women there -- can make people sick and suffer for weeks from green diarrhea. 

It's just that the County collects $85 a day for each inmate and probably spends no more than $3 on his or her two meals a day. Since vendor snacks are the only alternative, they're extremely popular and cost the county nothing to provide because the money comes out of the detainees' accounts. The deputies organizing the sales each week cost the company nothing, either, their salaries are paid by the county.

And always there is this story that Jenny Service Company is owned by Arpaio's wife or brother-in-law, and it's a real moneymaker, it has to be. Their website is pretty cheesy, it looks like something that a brother-in-law would come up with, and good luck trying to track down any real owners, there's not one name mentioned anywhere. I don't believe Jenny Service Company is even one of Maricopa County's approved vendors, or if they even have any other customers besides MCSO. 

I sure wish someone would investigate, because it would be a real shame if Sheriff Joe was connected to a company that profited from providing vendor snacks to detainees because the food the County pays for is mostly inedible. That would be a conflict of interest like nobody's business as well as a big waste of taxpayer money. Somebody might care about that.

Cozz
Cozz topcommenter

Geez, Arizona sucks.

I wish I could get out of this cesspool.

It took a court order to get back the property MCSO had of mine that they were trying to steal.

Never did get everything back either.


eric.nelson745
eric.nelson745 topcommenter

This whole business is just too sickening for words. But what's mysterious to me is, when the hell are the indictments coming down? The fibbies and the AZ USA have been looking into this cesspool of corruption for eons and it's time to start rounding up all the usual suspects. We shouldn't have to wait until Joe is 6 feet under to learn the whole, sad truth.

Original-American
Original-American

I find it egregious that the FBI wasn't taking the complaints reported to them by Mrs. Guzman, in regards to a possible organized crime ring disguised as a law enforcement agency under the name of a Sheriff Department. Wherein, valuables and money were stolen from both citizens and non-citizens alike. Malfeasance is so whimsical under arpaio, that it makes the Mafia look like blue collar criminals in comparison. Federal and state laws are constantly being broken as long as arpaio is in office. What is the FBI waiting for?

Flyer9753
Flyer9753 topcommenter

This entire thing stinks... mainly on MCSO's part as more and more information becomes available.


Seriously beginning to wonder about how this guy died and the 'evidence' that was found at his house...

bunnywhiteboots
bunnywhiteboots

seven pages? I don't think so. I'm going to stream beavis and butthead do america instead.

ExpertShot
ExpertShot topcommenter

This evidence leads me to speculate that the deputies and posse of the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office have been shaking down people they "contact" for years and extorting them with a cut of the money going to Arpaio and his top command staff - and it makes you wonder where Arpaio got the money to buy all that property on his paltry Sheriff's salary? 


I wouldn't doubt that the MCSO hired a hit man to kill Armendariz!

shadeaux
shadeaux

See why I keep saying Joe has turned the MCSO into something that more closely resembles an organized crime family?


Still think it's an exaggeration?

shadeaux
shadeaux

"Judge Snow asked if the MCSO was investigating whether Armendariz had been "shaking down some illegal aliens."

Sheridan replied, "That is part of our understanding; he very well could have. What's mysterious to me is why we didn't get any complaints from those people."

ARE YOU FUCKING SERIOUS..............IT'S A "MYSTERY" TO YOU JERRY????????

Is this the level of intelligence that Joe deems appropriate to be in "command" of anything other than, maybe, his own bowels? and I do mean MAYBE.



 

Keen_Observer
Keen_Observer

@goodguess He may have been paranoid, he also may have been doing drugs if that's what MCSO alleges.  But its understandable given the pressure he was under. I probably would be too.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Vizzini ... they can have my encryption key when they pry it from my cold dead hands!


Dontbelieveit
Dontbelieveit

@danzigsdaddy I've been trying real hard not to think about this but DAMN IT ...............I think somewhere between court and when he talked to the reporter SOMEHOW (we know they have their ways) they drugged him and created the scenario that we now know as the crime scene . BULLSHIT. That man had mcso by the BALLS with what he knew and was getting ready to spit out when POOF all of a sudden he decides to hang himself? Fuck You arpaio  I don't believe for ONE second that his death was his own doing .How long will it take for the truth to come out . I hope for this mans family it is soon .it's driving me up the wall and I'm not even related!

Irish326
Irish326

@hepcat11 You have no idea how bad I want to find out if Arpaio is connected or profiting somehow from the Canteen.  The only way those inmates don't starve to death is from the canteen.  Talk about a a conflict of interest!!!  I spend minimum of $50.00 a week for a family member.  (And he is one of the probably many that are sitting in jail that are innocent).  The court system is so dragged out it's ridiculous!! 

MaskedMagician1967
MaskedMagician1967 topcommenter

Me too Cozz.

What did the criminals at MCSO steal from you?

MaskedMagician1967
MaskedMagician1967 topcommenter

The US Attorney closed his investigation in 2012 Eric. Bullshit I say.

bobunf
bobunf

@Original-American I think the DOJ closed their criminal case because they knew they could never get a jury to convict Arpaio and his hangers-on.  There were bound to be at least one old white guy from Sun City or thereabouts empanelled.  

The voters are getting what they deserve: lawless law enforcement, a criminal enterprise instead of a Sheriff's Office.  Sadism and bigotry have their own price.  Maricopa voters are, and will, pay it in many ways.  

MaskedMagician1967
MaskedMagician1967 topcommenter

Hell to freeze over Original.

"What is the FBI waiting for?"

danzigsdaddy
danzigsdaddy topcommenter

@ExpertShot i doubt it..................but i wouldnt be surprised if it could be proven

Cozz
Cozz topcommenter

@ExpertShot 

A little far fetched, but with the slimeballs at MCSO, who knows.

bobunf
bobunf

@shadeaux It's no exaggeration.  It's hitting the nail on the head.

MaskedMagician1967
MaskedMagician1967 topcommenter

With that line, Sheridan proved he's even dumber than our puppet of a governor shadeaux.

And that's saying something.

danzigsdaddy
danzigsdaddy topcommenter

@Dontbelieveit if he did or didnt, if he was or wasnt..............we will never know. we have seen all too frequently just how thoroughly things get investigated out here and just how easily things get tossed aside (Atencio death, Pearce accident, El Mirage sex crimes, VA waiting list, over 6000 CPS cases, Arpaio racial profiling case, Horne case............etc etc etc) 

Cozz
Cozz topcommenter

@MaskedMagician1967 

Computers, files, metals, office equipment and supplies and my Pantera GT-5.

Got most of it back after 5 months and a court order. Many things were still missing.

Much of what I did get back had been wiped clean computer and hard drives wise. Never got the hundreds of pages of MCSO research back.

My Pantera had 5,000.00 worth of body damage and was missing about 3,000.00 of parts off of it.

MaskedMagician1967
MaskedMagician1967 topcommenter

I don't trust them as far as I can throw them Cozz....

danzigsdaddy
danzigsdaddy topcommenter

@Cozz 5,000 in body damage??? be glad Joe or Pearce didnt test drive it...................boulders and Nissan Cubes are all over this town, it could have been way higher

MaskedMagician1967
MaskedMagician1967 topcommenter

The Pantera is a super rare car isn't it Cozz?

That fucking sucks. My dad used to work for the old man. He left in 96 after the atrocious jail conditions nearly killed him.

The old man, I suspect, tried to kill me 3 years ago on July 4, claiming I was part of an armed robbery gang when I don't own a gun, hadn't been to the location of the robbery, and had Lisa Aubuchon on retainer for a contractual dispute.

WhoKnows
WhoKnows topcommenter

@MaskedMagician1967 If you don't know about Coz, there is a very good report of things here in the New Times..  just do a search on "jim cozzolino"!


danzigsdaddy
danzigsdaddy topcommenter

@Cozz its getting to the point where you might be better off trusting the person before the judge before you trust the judge or the people who arrested him.  you'd be screwed either way, it would just be less of a shock when they both turn out to be criminals (or would it?????)


Cozz
Cozz topcommenter

@danzigsdaddy 

After what I've seen Judges allow to go on, they are last people I would trust.

Most of them are x-prosecutors..

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