Intelligence unit within jail got wind of plot
Detectives from the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office's Threats Unit have arrested three people – two who are already in jail and one in state prison – for plots that reportedly sought to kill Sheriff Joe Arpaio and another jail inmate.
According to investigators, one of the threats was made by inmates who are members of the Mexican Mafia, and were reported to deputies by an insider in the jail. The two inmates reportedly wanted to kill another inmate who belonged to a rival gang.
The tipster also reported that another gang member, who's a state prison inmate in Florence, was planning to kill Sheriff Joe Arpaio in a public place with a high-powered rifle after he finished his sentence. According to the tipster, Samuel Matta personally holds Arpaio responsible for Matta's family being deported to Mexico from their home in El Mirage.
Arpaio says it's just the latest in a series of threats on his life, many of which are made by the Mexican mafia. "To me personally, that's just a part of doing business," Arpaio tells KFYI News.
He adds that his office established an intelligence unit in the jail that "is always monitoring situations which can potentially lead to violent criminal activity both inside and outside of the jail walls. In this case, their professionalism and perserverance prevented two potential murders."