Guilty!

Phoenix NewTimes

There is breaking news this afternoon in the criminal contempt case of former Maricopa County Arizona Sheriff Jose Arpaio. He was found guilty by federal District Judge Susan Bolton. Bolton issued the ruling today.

The criminal contempt charges were the result of Arpaio  willfully disobeying a 2011 order from Judge Murray Snow in the Melendres v Arpaio civil case. The order forbade the MCSO from stopping people without cause based on mere appearance in an attempt to round up undocumented aliens. Snow found that Arpaio had ignored his order and referred him for criminal contempt prosecution by the US Justice Department. The case was randomly assigned to Judge Bolton. Since the charges were for misdemeanor contempt Arpaio was not entitled to a jury trial.

This is from Judge Snow’s order in 2011:

MCSO and all of its officers are hereby enjoined from detaining any person based only on knowledge or reasonable belief, without more, that the person is unlawfully present within the United States, because as a matter of law such knowledge does not amount to reasonable belief that the person either violated or conspired to violate the Arizona smuggling statute, or any other state or federal law.

Arpaio’s attorneys had argued that Snow’s order was confusing and that Arpaio had not meant to violate it. Judge Bolton disagreed:

The Court concludes that Judge Snow’s order was clear and definite. This conclusion does not require looking beyond the plain words of the order, but even considering the relief sought by the plaintiffs in Melendres, the conduct Defendant and the MCSO had been accused of, and what Judge Snow was seeking to prevent, there is no doubt that the order prohibited the MCSO from conducting detentions in violation of plaintiffs’ constitutional rights. The Melendres plaintiffs complained that MCSO violated their constitutional rights by detaining them without state charges solely for violating civil immigration law and Judge Snow’s order expressly prohibited the MCSO from continuing that conduct.…

It is clear that Defendant had knowledge of the Order. Mr. Casey testified that on December 23, 2011 he made a phone call to Defendant informing him that Judge Snow had issued an order regarding the Melendres plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment and that a preliminary injunction had been issued. . . . . The evidence also shows that Mr. MacIntyre, an MCSO employee, lawyer and frequent legal advisor to Defendant, read a portion of the preliminary injunction aloud twice to Defendant and others at an MCSO Executive Cabinet meeting in January 2012.

A few weeks ago former Cold Case Posse lead Mike Zullo and his friend Carl Gallups tried to make the same argument that the order was not clear. Zullo appeared on Gallups “Freedom Friday” radio show on July 7 to discuss the contempt trial. Sharon Rondeau an ardent supporter of both Arpaio and Zullo wrote:

Both Gallups and Zullo said that Arpaio’s previous actions to enforce immigration laws were a manifestation of a conflict between state and federal statutes.  Moreover, Zullo said that some of the prosecution’s witnesses, in his view, aided Arpaio’s cause to prove himself innocent of the charge.

“My understanding is the witnesses called by the DOJ to testify against Arpaio actually helped Arpaio,” Zullo said.  “Not one of those witnesses ever said that Arpaio told them to disregard that order…”

At issue is whether or not Arpaio willfully violated Snow’s order.  “When this thing finally gets adjudicated…then we’re going to make arrangements to have his attorney on your show…” Zullo told Gallups.

That Zullo and Gallups got everything about the case completely wrong should come as no surprise. It’s what they do. (Apologies to GEICO)

We look forward to hearing Arpaio’s attorneys discuss the conviction.

Bolton said the order was “crystal clear” and directly addressed the contention that Arpaio had delegated compliance of the order to his subordinates:

Defendant argues that he has not willfully violated the preliminary injunction order because he delegated enforcement of the order to his subordinates. (Ex. 3A, 478:23-479:2, 482:22-25; Ex. 3F 2527:5-10.) However, willful ignorance of a court order  which a person has knowledge of and a duty to fulfill does not excuse non-compliance therewith. United States v. Hoffman , 13 F.2d 269, 277 (N.D. Ill. 1925), aff’d , 13 F.2d 278 (7th Cir. 1926), and aff’d sub nom. Westbrook v. United States, 13 F.2d 280 (7th Cir. 1926)
The evidence shows a flagrant disregard for Judge Snow’s order. Credible Judge Snow’s order. Credible testimony shows that Defendant knew of the order and what the order meant in regards to the MCSO’s policy of detaining persons who did not  have state charges for turnover to ICE for civil immigration violations. Despite this knowledge, Defendant broadcast to the world and to his subordinates that he would and they should continue “what he had always been doing.” The Court concludes that there is no doubt that Defendant knew or should have known that his conduct violated the preliminary injunction order. Greyhound, 508 F.2d at 541. The Court finds Defendant’s violation of the order willful.
Bolton scheduled Arpaio’s sentencing for October 5, 2017 at 10:00 AM MST. The full text of the Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law attached here:

Bolton Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law

Arpaio said he would appeal the conviction and again ask for a jury trial.

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12 Responses to Guilty!

  1. trader jack says:

    these are always interesting things. The court order, the way that I read it, says that even if you have knowledge that the person is in violation of laws, that you must have more than that to detain the person. How can you get more than what you already know?
    So, if a person states that they are from Mexico and are now in the USA, and just swam the river, and was coming here to look for work,you can not detain them, because you only have his confession of such action

    What in the world are the courts thinking?

    • tbfreeman says:

      Unsurprisingly, you read wrong.

      Presence alone in the United States is not a crime (neither is “looking for work”). So “knowing” someone is a foreign national (and is in the United States) is not probable cause that a crime has been committed.

      The courts are following the U.S. Constitution. You?, not so much.

      • trader jack says:

        Perhaps you think that,, and perhaps you are wrong.
        A cop sees a person wade the rio, asks his what he is doing, and the person says he is coming from Mexico to work, and admits that he has no visa,
        Now the cop has knowledge of the facts, but he can not detain the person until he has confirming evidence, just not that the person has admitted breaking the law by not getting permission to enter the USA?

        http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/8/1325
        “(a) Improper time or place; avoidance of examination or inspection; misrepresentation and concealment of facts

        Any alien who (1) enters or attempts to enter the United States at any time or place other than as designated by immigration officers, or (2) eludes examination or inspection by immigration officers, or (3) attempts to enter or obtains entry to the United States by a willfully false or misleading representation or the willful concealment of a material fact, shall, for the first commission of any such offense, be fined under title 18 or imprisoned not more than 6 months, or both, and, for a subsequent commission of any such offense, be fined under title 18, or imprisoned not more than 2 years, or both.

        • tbfreeman says:

          Again, you prove your ignorance: look at a map and locate Maricopa County. Is it at the border? No. So section 1325 — which is about entry — does not apply to anyone in Maricopa County because they’ve already entered. Again: PRESENCE ALONE IN THE UNITED STATES IS NOT A CRIME.

          Your Rio crossing hypothetical has nothing but nothing to do with what Arpaio was actually doing. Which is why the courts ruled his detaining people without probable cause was unconstitutional. This is all explained in the courts’ rulings, which you obviously haven’t read.

          • trader jack says:

            perhaps you missed the second word in the post, which is “alien
            If an alien is in the USA he must have entered through legal means , or he Is subject to the stated law.
            Or, perhaps, you think that an alien Is not subject to the same treatment that applies to US citizens, who can be detained almost at will by the police,

            • Northland10 says:

              Citizen’s can be detained at will? Apparently, you missed that silly 4th Amendment to the Constitution.

            • tbfreeman says:

              Thanks for proving my point: You have no idea how the 4th Amendment actually works, or what Arpaio was actually doing.

              It is unconstitutional for law enforcement to decide, without any evidence whatsoever, that someone “looks” like an alien and arrest them. Which is exactly what Arpaio was doing.

        • Northland10 says:

          The claim that Arpaio was just enforcing the law is BS. The named plaintiff in the original civil suit, Manuel Ortega Melendres, was a legal visitor who had a visa to be in this country. Even after showing his paperwork, he was arrested, detained for hours, and then given to ICE, who then released him.

          He was arrested and detained because he was Latino, not for breaking any law. The purpose of the whole charade was to get support from the anti-immigrant crowd.

          • trader jack says:

            Where you there when that action took place, or do you have ability to see things far away from you, or do you just believe the stories plaintiffs state in court.

            • Northland10 says:

              Calling the Plaintiffs a liar when not even the defendants did that?

              From a finding of fact by the court:

              Deputy Rangel and Sgt. Madrid began questioning the passengers. Sometime thereafter they received from Mr. Ortega Melendres his B-1/B-2 visa. They may have also received from him his valid I-94 form.83 (Id. at 910:19–25.) At some point, after examining the documentation provided by Ortega-Melendres and the information provided by his fellow passengers, Deputy Rangel determined to arrest the Hispanic passengers. He handcuffed them and arranged for their transportation to ICE. (Id. at 915:5–7.)

              So did he have is I-94? According to ICE, he did.

              83 Deputy Rangel disputes that Ortega Melendres ever produced an I-94 form. According to ICE documentation, however, when he was presented at the ICE detention facility, “Ortega-Melendres did have his I-94 in his wallet.” (Ex. 1093.) After being held for several more hours at ICE pending investigation Ortega-Melendres was released without further action being taken against him.

              https://www.justice.gov/crt/file/785491/download

              The point in this case is that the MCSO was detaining people on suspicion of being undocumented, based on their being Latino. Another 2 named plaintiffs were US Citizens.

              I see you still do your “how do you know” trolling.

            • tbfreeman says:

              I believe the facts found true by a judge more than the “facts” that known liars spread on the Internet. You?

  2. The racist anti-Constitution crowd at the Post & Email are rejoicing over Trump pardoning Arpaio. The only care about the Second Amendment and Article II (you know the part where it says a ni–er can’t become president). The don’t give a crap about the rest of it including the Fourth Amendment.

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