Tom Horne Ain't Mad About Justice Department Suing Colorado City

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That's Tom Horne, and he approves this lawsuit.
Believe it or not, an elected official in Arizona is pleased with something the federal government did.

Attorney General Tom Horne handed out his thoughts on the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division suing Colorado City -- the town on the Utah/Arizona border that child rapist Warren Jeffs used to call home -- and he's likin' what he's seein'.

"I am very pleased that the US DOJ has taken legal action to join us in this fight," Horne says. "I have offered the support of my office in pursuing this case and look forward to justice being served."

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Colorado City Sued by Justice Department; Child Rapist Warren Jeffs Still Running the Joint

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Colorado City -- the town on the Utah/Arizona border that child rapist Warren Jeffs used to call home -- is being sued by the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division for religious and housing discrimination.

The feds say the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and Jeffs are still running Colorado City and the neighboring Utah town of Hildale to their fanatical religious liking -- a fact several of Arizona's legislators continue to deny.

Much of the lawsuit brings allegations against the "Marshal's Office" for policing on the basis of FLDS law, instead of enforcing actual laws.

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Tom Horne Sending Cash to Mohave County Sheriff's Office to Patrol Colorado City

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The Arizona Legislature didn't really feel the need to replace the police force in Colorado City with deputies from the Mohave County Sheriff's Office, so Attorney General Tom Horne's pulling out Plan B.

The AG's office announced today that it's sending $420,000 to the Sheriff's Office for overtime pay to patrol the city, on top of the Warren Jeffs kiss-asses that are supposed to be policing the town.

Colorado City, the spot on the Utah/Arizona border that the child-rapist Jeffs used to call home -- and remains the home to members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints -- currently is patrolled by marshals whom Horne believes are loyal to Jeffs instead of the law.

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Tom Horne's Effort to Get Rid of FLDS-Lovin' Cops in Colorado City Killed in Legislature

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Attorney General Tom Horne's efforts to replace the police force in Colorado City with deputies from the Mohave County Sheriff's Office was killed in the state House yesterday, which turned out to be the last day of the legislative session.

Colorado City, for those joining late, is the city on the Utah/Arizona border that child rapist Warren Jeffs used to call home, and remains the home to members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

Horne pushed the bill to legislators, contending that the cops there -- often referred to as the "Marshalls" -- were way too sympathetic to polygamists and friends of Jeffs.

"Numerous cases have been documented where the 'Marshalls' refuse to investigate serious crimes against the property and persons of 'apostates' or other non followers of Warren Jeffs, when the perpetrators were followers of Mr. Jeffs," the AG's office said in February. "The 'Marshalls' have also prevented enforcement of court orders with respect who can occupy land. When a court appointed official came to Colorado City to enforce court orders, the Chief of Police pulled him over and threatened to arrest him for criminal trespass if he attempted to enforce court orders, as opposed to the desires of the FLDS Church."

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Border Agent, Corrections Officer Charged With Helping Traffickers Smuggle Drugs Into U.S.

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A U.S. Border Patrol agent and a corrections officer with the Arizona Department of Correction were arrested yesterday on charges that they helped a drug trafficking organization (DTO) smuggle drugs into the United States.

Ivhan Herrera-Chiang, 29, a U.S. Border Patrol agent stationed in Yuma, and Michael Lopez-Garcia, 28, a corrections officer at the Arizona State Prison Complex in San Luis, have been charged with conspiracy to possess a controlled substances with intent to distribute after federal authorities determined the pair had been helping the DTO since 2010.

According to the feds, Herrera would "obtain and disclose sensitive information--including sensor maps, combinations to gates located near the U.S/Mexican border, computer records concerning prior drug seizures, and the identity of confidential informants--to which he had access by virtue of his membership in a Border Patrol intelligence unit."



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Joe Arpaio Can be Sued by Detained Hispanics: Judge Grants Class Status in Lawsuit to Hispanics Stopped by Arpaio's Deputies, Orders Halt to Human-Smuggling Enforcement in Current Form









Image: Ray Stern
MCSO deputy hassling a Hispanic.

U.S. District G. Murray Snow ruled today that any Hispanic stopped by Sheriff Joe Arpaio's deputies since January 1, 2007 -- or will be stopped in the future -- can sue the Sheriff's Office in a class-action lawsuit. The ruling in the Melendres racial-profiling case also enjoins the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office from detaining any person based only on the belief that the person might be in the country illegally.

At yesterday's hearing, Arpaio's lawyer said such a prohibition would hamper the ability of MCSO to conduct law enforcement in general. While that may have been an exaggeration, it seems clear the ruling will make it difficult for the sheriff to conduct enforcement operations based on the state's human-smuggling law. That law is how Arpaio justifies the saturation patrols in which illegal immigrants are rounded up.




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Federal Judge Slams MCSO Policy, Says He'll Make Ruling in Melendres Racial-Profiling Case Within Two Days

Categories: Bad Cops

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Image: Ray Stern
Lawyer Stanley Young, (left), said he was "encouraged" by a judge's comments in today's hearing on a racial profiling lawsuit against Sheriff Joe Arpaio's office. Next to Young is Dan Pochoda of the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona.

U.S. District Judge G. Murray Snow today criticized the policies of the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office in a lawsuit alleging racial profiling by deputies, and says he'll make a decision in one or two days.

Overall, this morning's hearing in the Ortega Melendres vs. MCSO lawsuit seemed to go well for the plaintiffs in the case, who say they're victims of Sheriff Joe Arpaio's pattern of civil-rights violations.

The four-year-old case highlights the evidence that Arpaio has run race-based investigations and generally makes life tougher for the Valley's Hispanic population, all with the goal of appeasing his right-wing base.

The plaintiffs seek an injunction they hope would end Arpaio's race-based practices.

Today's hearing came just days after the U.S. Department of Justice announced findings that the MCSO routinely and intentionally targets Hispanics. In a probe that began in 2008, the feds said they came to the conclusion that Arpaio oversees the worst racial profiling by a police agency in U.S. history.

Stanley Young, a lawyer for Covington & Burling, (the firm that's representing the plaintiffs along with the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona and MALDEF, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund), said he thought today's hearing was "encouraging in a number of respects."


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U.S. District Judge G. Murray Snow Questions Maricopa County Sheriff's Office's Right to Detain People Based on Scant Evidence of Crime

Categories: Bad Cops







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U.S. District Judge G. Murray Snow

Does the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office have the right to detain you if you seem to be violating one element of a criminal statute?

The office's lawyer, Tim Casey, is arguing with U.S. District Judge G. Murray Snow over that question right now in this morning's hearing in the Melendres vs. MCSO racial-profiling case.

Casey says yes, the deputies can.

Snow is highly critical of the stance. He asks whether MCSO could detain him under a simple premise: "If you'll fix my doorknob, then I'll take you to lunch."




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Joe Arpaio's Not the Only Cop in Phoenix Who Sucks at Investigating Sex Crimes

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Also known as El Mirage, Arizona.
In the wake of the national media attention his office has received over hundreds of botched sex-crime investigations, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio has made no secret that there are "other local agencies" who absolutely suck at investigating sex crimes, too.

The sheriff hasn't named names, but we're stunned to find out he's right...kinda.

The Phoenix Police Department has run into its own issues when it comes to mishandled sex-crime investigations -- and its botched cases exclusively involve children.

Because the mishandled cases don't involve America's self-proclaimed "toughest sheriff," the Phoenix P.D.'s blunders didn't receive national media attention -- and only garnered a small amount of publicity here in the Valley.

Phoenix Sergeant Trent Crump tells New Times that the department is in the process of reviewing more than 2,500 child sex-crime cases that had many of the same problems -- lack of supplements, lack of followup investigations, etc. -- as the MCSO's botched cases.

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Kevin Gerster, Inmate-Beating Former MCSO Detention Officer, Gets Jail Time *VIDEO*

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Former MCSO Detention Officer Kevin Gerster is now MCSO inmate Kevin Gerster.
Former Maricopa County Sheriff's Detention Officer Kevin Gerster is heading back to jail -- only this time as an inmate.

Gerster initially was charged with five counts of aggravated assault for beating up inmates on at least two separate occasions (see the video below), and two counts of computer tampering for allegedly using a jail database to get the home address of a former inmate. He gave the address to a friend, Dennis McCarty, who then used the information to find the former inmate and assault him because he was dating McCarty's estranged wife.

This morning, Gerster pleaded guilty to reduced charges -- two counts of aggravated assault and one count of unauthorized access of criminal records.

For one of the assault charges, Gerster was sentenced to one year in county jail and two years probation. For the other assault, he was sentenced to six months in jail and two years probation. He was hit with a year of probation for the unauthorized access to criminal records.

The sentences will run concurrently.

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