Innocents Hassled by the MCSO in MLB Caper

Categories: News analysis

mcso-building-arpaio-1.jpg
Matthew Hendley
The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office last year initiated an intense traffic stop on an innocent Prescott Valley family while deputies were helping Major League Baseball chase a suspect in an alleged game-fixing scandal.

Plainclothes MCSO deputies went to Prescott Valley -- in Yavapai County -- at the request of the MLB to follow their suspect, although the game-fixing scandal turned out to be nothing. Nonetheless, MCSO deputies told the suspect's family they were all going to jail, and the suspect's brother was handcuffed during the family's run-in with the Sheriff's Office.

A Center for Investigative Reporting writer who covered the story that's in the current issue of Sports Illustrated tells us that one of the family members recorded the traffic stop, and the audio corroborates what's reported.

"These officers really scared those people," Lance Williams says. "His family didn't do anything bad; they were just picking up his car for him."

The story on the supposed game-fixing scandal states that Prescott Valley resident Kris Barr, a childhood friend of Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Jeff Locke, runs a website where he sells tips for gambling on pro sports games. Despite the fact that they hadn't even spoken since they were kids, Barr started advertising his tips by saying he and Locke were colluding in an effort to fix baseball games.

MLB started to investigate, and in February 2013, Barr was certain that undercover cops were following him, and despite a local cop assuring him no one was following him, Barr ditched his car and asked his family to help him get it.

According to the story by Williams and Brian Tuohy:

By that evening, Barr was frantic - "paranoid," said his sister, Savannah. He asked for help retrieving his car. Members of Barr's family piled into two vehicles and drove to the bowling alley. Savannah Barr got behind the wheel of Kris Barr's car with his girlfriend, Kendra Hagerty, and their 7-month-old baby as passengers. Barr's mother followed in her car. Brother Don and a 12-year-old niece trailed in his own car.

They drove a mile on a strip of two-lane asphalt through a semi-rural area west of town. Then, according to Barr's family, all hell broke loose. As many as eight unmarked cars with lights flashing roared down the darkened road, forcing the convoy to pull over. Plainclothes officers jumped out.

According to Savannah Barr, an officer with a drawn gun leaned into the car and declared, "Whoever is driving this car is going to jail!" Frightened and in tears, she got out of the car.

The officer was looking for Kris Barr: Kris had been in "a hit-and-run in New Mexico," he said, and the other driver was in critical condition. Where was Kris?

Don Barr had turned on his cellphone to record the traffic stop. He too was told to get out of his car. He says he could hear officers yelling at his sister, threatening to put her in jail and take her kids away if she didn't disclose Kris Barr's whereabouts. Don called out to her, saying she didn't have to say anything. For that, he says, he was handcuffed.

"You're causing a ruckus," an officer says in the recording.

Don Barr asks who the officers are. "You guys are supposed to tell me why I was pulled over," he says.

"We're conducting an investigation," one officer responds. " ... And I am not giving you any information about what we're investigating. Do I look like a traffic cop to you?

"I'm a very secretive person," the officer continues. "When I feel like you have a need to know, I'll tell you."

By the Barr family's estimates, 15 officers surrounded them that night. To this day, they have no idea who the officers were.

Neither the New York Police Department -- which had detectives assigned to the game-fixing case -- nor baseball would identify which agency was involved, and the reporters had to phone a few agencies before finding out it was Joe Arpaio's Maricopa County Sheriff's Office that was involved with the stop.

From the story:

Spokesman Lieut. Brandon Jones confirmed that the department's fugitive unit had made the traffic stop to assist the New York detectives. He said there was no incident report -- "no records, no nothing," as he put it -- and said the detective in charge of the traffic stop declined to be interviewed. "MLB asked them not to talk," Jones said.
Jones reiterated to New Times today that he didn't have too much information on the stop due to the lack of records.

Jones said there are no records because this was MCSO's only involvement in the case. He says deputies made contact with Barr at the request of the MLB, which was working on an investigation with "a New York agency."

"Baseball reached out to us after investigators discovered he lived here [in Arizona]," Jones says.

Despite the fact that Barr accurately predicted the winner of five consecutive games in which Locke started, Barr admitted he had made up his stories about colluding with Locke, and baseball has cleared Locke of wrongdoing, according to the story. It also was concluded that Barr committed no crime.

We wonder about whether this is true about the MCSO, though.

Got a tip? Send it to: Matthew Hendley.

Follow Valley Fever on Twitter at @ValleyFeverPHX.
Follow Matthew Hendley at @MatthewHendley.


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54 comments
rickiedanger
rickiedanger

wow.  law enforcement works for MLB?  making traffic stops out of county?  this seems like a big deal

DNichols
DNichols

Arpaio's M.C.S.O. "Ass Hats" patrolling from Hawaii to Prescott Valley, and all points in between.


Doing every thing but their real job.

Lisa Jensen
Lisa Jensen

Why would MLB ever call upon that idiotic ran department....obviously they didn't do their homework. These sheriffs aren't trained to do anything except to cover up their boss's and their own lame ass poor decisions and police work.

Drako Phx Sosa
Drako Phx Sosa

If we let the police do this to us once, best believe they will try twice.

Todd Higgins
Todd Higgins

You pledge allegiance to the dollar of the divided states of America and to the corporations for which it stands one nation totally divided with inequality and injustice for all where law enforcement serves fines and protects corporations and vote for a Harvard law school graduate then get shocked when he lies what do you think they teach there ...how to tell the truth rotflmfao

Sean Downey
Sean Downey

Why is this legal, allowed of tolerated? How can MLB make a few calls and get this to happen over nothing. When did the police become a tools to be used against citizens?

lennygarbo
lennygarbo

Arpaio is still pissed off about the Black Sox scandal back in 1919. He wasn't let in on it, and he lost three dollars!

wtf...
wtf...

Since when does MCSO have jurisdiction in other counties to stop people and threat them to arrest them? they would only be able to pull this stunt if Yavapai county is in it.



MaskedMagician1967
MaskedMagician1967 topcommenter

Anyone wanna bet twice-disgraced, corrupt, narcissistic and mentally sick Pearce will be cutting the checks to settle the lawsuits stemming from this bullshit?

MaskedMagician1967
MaskedMagician1967 topcommenter

We need some fucking accountability on the part of government officials and agents.

Seriously, i think the people ought to be able to fire any government agent or official at our pleasure.

MaskedMagician1967
MaskedMagician1967 topcommenter

Why were MCSO dep a tees in yavapai county?

They have their own sheriff's office. I wonder if Sheila Polk will get involved?

MaskedMagician1967
MaskedMagician1967 topcommenter

I wonder how much this will cost county taxpayers?

Keep an eye out for Mike manning filing a lawsuit against the MCSO for this latest bullshit. I bet MontyPug will get involved as well. I think criminal charges are warranted.

Oh, and no records of the stop on the part of MCSO will make the settlement that much more expensive.... The county can't defend itself.

danzigsdaddy
danzigsdaddy topcommenter

Well whoever okayed this move should be trying to polish up his resume. ................ (Joe maybe???)

Robert Johnston
Robert Johnston

Your tax dollars at work. In Yavapai County... For the MLB.

submarine1
submarine1

So MCSO has a secret police force that acts on behest of the MLB? 

eric.nelson745
eric.nelson745 topcommenter

That MCSO is saying that they have no record of the operation, no incident reports, no nothing that could explain in detail what went down that day. That Joe's deputies were acting outside their jurisdiction should certainly raise some eyebrows. In a nutshell, the whole thing stinks and this Lt. Brandon Jones must by lying to cover shit up. And the manner in which the deputies responded to questions posed by that Barr fellow are unprofessional and disturbing at best. The question, then, is whether this thing has legs or have we not only heard about it a year late but those LEOs involved are doing everything necessary to keep it from exploding in their faces.

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

It seems pretty clear that the bad guy here is the asshole who took advantage of his family by making them take the heat for him. If it had been him driving the car, we wouldn't be reading about this, because it would have just been another arrest.


truthandjustice
truthandjustice

Almost guaranteed that good ol' Jerry Sheridan is involved as payback to the MLB for those Yankee tickets.  Just ask Sands about the future chapter in his book.

DNichols
DNichols

@lennygarbo 

Arpaio made up the three dollars with his fighting cocks, and prostitutes.

peter007phxaz
peter007phxaz

@wtf...  POST Certified peace officers can enforce the law anywhere in Arizona.  And  it is exceedingly rare to find a officer not post certified.

MaskedMagician1967
MaskedMagician1967 topcommenter

Joe's too stupid to formulate something like this Zigs. I suspect Sheridan or a dep a tee chief ordered this.

Cozz
Cozz topcommenter

@submarine1 

Absolutely, and anyone else thats a $$$ contributor to Arputo

Cozz
Cozz topcommenter

@eric.nelson745 

Lt Brandon Jones, thats another scumbag that fits right in with Arputo, Sands and Sheridan.

I've had my dealings with that lying cock sucker myself.

DNichols
DNichols

@valleynative 

Remember Valley, "innocent until proven guitly", unless you are "Wrongfully Killed" by M.C.S.O. "Goon Squads' before you ever see a Court Room that is.

MaskedMagician1967
MaskedMagician1967 topcommenter

Valley, no crime had been committed. Why would there have been an arrest?

MaskedMagician1967
MaskedMagician1967 topcommenter

Lol I have better odds of winning the lottery than the DOJ actually doing something about public corruption concerned.

DNichols
DNichols

@Cozz 

With those qualities LT. Jones would be hired instantly in the Pinal County Sheriffs Department.


He could be Babeu's "Head" Deputy.

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@MaskedMagician1967 

I didn't say there should have been an arrest, but then, I wasn't there and haven't reviewed the details.  They had reasonable cause to stop the vehicle and to suspect the occupants of being involved in a crime.  Perhaps somebody resisted.


wtf...
wtf...

@MaskedMagician1967 Masked, trust me they would have made up the charges, i don't know why you have so much confidence in out justice system.

MaskedMagician1967
MaskedMagician1967 topcommenter

Sands can pound sand Cozz.

He's slimier than the slugs running for governor.

Cozz
Cozz topcommenter

@DNichols @Cozz

He's certainly qualified, he's had lots of experience sucking Arputo's dick for sure.

DNichols
DNichols

@valleynative @DNichols 

If they "Wrongfully Kill "  Our Non-Criminal War Veterans for defending our Nation, how do you think this guy would have survived once inside Arpaio's Death Camp/Jail?!

MaskedMagician1967
MaskedMagician1967 topcommenter

I doubt MontyPug would have the intestinal fortitude to say no to the old man.

After all, MontyPug is the old man's lap dog and does whatever his master tells him to do.

MaskedMagician1967
MaskedMagician1967 topcommenter

Oh trust me wtf, I don't.

I personally think it's sad that our constitution no longer protects the people against abusive government.

James Madison (he was the father of the constitution and bill of rights) in particular, but all the founding fathers, would cry at today's America.

MaskedMagician1967
MaskedMagician1967 topcommenter

Yes indeed Cozz.

All the more reason why I detest that pos Arpaio. I hope he has a massive stroke and can never work again.

DNichols
DNichols

@valleynative @DNichols 

I'd like to see you?!


Dip Sh..t

DrugLordRetard
DrugLordRetard

@valleynative "They had reasonable cause to stop the vehicle and to suspect the occupants of being involved.  Perhaps somebody resisted."

fishingblues
fishingblues topcommenter

@DNichols


Hey dnicky, if you type "sh..t" instead of shit, do you believe yourself to be pure and innocent?

In reality, you are still a grossly offensive fuck.   

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