Sheriff Joe Arpaio
A judge on Friday ordered the seizure of identification documents and computer hard drives from Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s office, and chastised his attorneys for failing to turn over the evidence, requested months ago in a racial-profiling case against the Arizona lawman.
The U.S. Marshals Service later raided the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office.
U.S. District Judge Murray Snow ordered the raid after a court-ordered monitor reported the sheriff’s office failed to hand over more than 1,400 identification documents – driver’s licenses, passports and identification cards – as part of a misconduct investigation involving the sheriff’s office.
Arpaio’s immigration smuggling squad and other deputies are accused of regularly pocketing items from people during traffic stops and busts of safe houses used during illegal-immigrant smuggling.
Court monitors claim the IDs belonged primarily to people of Hispanic descent.
Robert Warshaw, the official monitoring the sheriff’s office for the judge, claims the documents were slated for destruction. Warshaw also contends the sheriff’s office ordered employees not to voluntarily reveal the existence of the records.
Arpaio’s attorney John Masterson said the court had no evidence the IDs were handled improperly.
The 50 hard drives are related to Arpaio’s secret investigation involving the judge, who dealt Arpaio one of his toughest legal defeats in 2013 when he concluded deputies had racially profiled Latinos during traffic stops.
Read more at WND