Maricopa County, Ariz. Sheriff Joe Arpaio freely admits he has many enemies. The man often called “America’s toughest sheriff” has enacted policies and embraced views that have led members of many groups to speak out vehemently against him.
While conservatives generally celebrate his firm stance against illegal immigration and no-frills approach to housing inmates, many on the left consider him an anachronistic throwback to a bygone era of justice. He has been publicly open regarding death threats against him and his staff in recent years; however, the octogenarian is still going strong in his post and is strongly considering seeking another term as sheriff.
Thankfully, none of his detractors have been successful in carrying out a plot against him. One Oklahoma man, however, allegedly made an attempt by constructing and mailing a bomb to Arpaio.
According to reports, 55-year-old Jay resident Gregory Lynn Shrader was accused of sending a homemade bomb packed with black powder. A woman told authorities she accompanied Shrader to a mail receptacle in Arizona where he donned gloves and deposited the package.
Officials intercepted the parcel en route at a stop in Flagstaff. After carefully examining the bomb, which consisted of wires, a release switch, and a battery in addition to the powder, they determined it was inoperable. The explosives could have reportedly ignited at any time, however.
Law enforcement officials were able to dismantle the bomb before any damage was done.
Shrader appeared in a Phoenix federal courtroom recently, where he pleaded not guilty to charges stemming from the incident. The Western Center for Journalism will provide updates regarding this ongoing trial as they become available.
Earlier this year, a Canadian teen was arrested following increasingly erratic behavior aimed at Arpaio. After sending an email to the sheriff including a direct physical threat, the teen was arrested. At the time of this latest threat, he had just recently been released from an Alberta psychiatric hospital after having made multiple threats against Arpaio and his family.
–B. Christopher Agee
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Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore
This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom