The Wall Street Journal: Notorious former Arizona sheriff found guilty of criminal contempt

Joe Arpaio, the former Arizona sheriff famous for his aggressive pursuit of undocumented immigrants, was found guilty Monday of criminal contempt for defying a judge’s order to stop conducting immigration patrols in the state.

Known simply as “Sheriff Joe,” Arpaio was the sheriff of Maricopa County for 24 years before losing a re-election bid last fall amid mounting legal problems.

He gained national fame for his enforcement tactics against illegal immigrants, as well as his treatment of jail inmates, making them wear pink underwear and holding some outside in tents.  He spent years investigating President Barack Obama’s birth certificate.

U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton ruled Monday that Arpaio “willfully violated” a 2011 court order that prohibited his deputies from stopping and detaining Latinos without reasonable suspicion that a crime had been committed. The 85-year-old Arpaio, who called himself “America’s toughest sheriff,” could face up to six months behind bars. He will be sentenced in October.

An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.

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