A suspicious package addressed to controversial Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio was seized on Friday. The package included a bomb that “would have caused a major explosion” if it had been opened.
The package was first noticed by a postal worker in Flagstaff who thought he spotted gun powder residue on it. Flagstaff police X-rayed the package and saw what appeared to be an explosive device.
Police rendered the package safe by blowing it up with a water cannon. Jerry Sheridan, chief deputy of the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Department, explained the situation on Friday with Arpaio by his side.
Sheridan added that the package was mailed on Thursday, one day after a major drug cartel sent the department a death threat.
Joe Arpaio’s department is no stranger to death threats, but the bomb was a new, more serious threat. Sheridan explained, “This is a very serious threat. It was labeled to come here, to this building and be opened by Sheriff Arpaio.”
Injuries, burns, and even death could have happened if Arpaio had opened the package. The FBI is currently trying to track down who may have sent the package. Arpaio is well-known for his anti-immigration policies that have even led to accusations of civil rights violations.
But the controversial sheriff vowed that he would not be taken down by his enemies. Arpaio stated during Friday’s news conference, “I’m not leaving this office no matter what they do, what they say, I’m staying. That’s my message to all these people who don’t like this sheriff.”
The explosive device mailed to Sheriff Joe Arpaio comes just days after the killings of another law enforcement officer and prosecutors. Two prosecutors were gunned down in Kaufman County, Texas since January. Tom Clements, the chief of the prison system in Colorado, was gunned down last month in his home.
Along with his views on immigration, Joe Arpaio has also been criticized for his ideas on prisoners’ rights and gun control. Are you surprised a bomb was mailed to Joe Arpaio this week?
[Image via Gage Skidmore]