Criminal Justice & Policing


GOP proposal would make a fentanyl overdose first-degree murder in Arizona

BY: - January 26, 2023

Fentanyl dealers linked to an overdose death could face the death penalty under a Republican proposal that critics say will also sweep up drug addicts and send them to death row.  The legislation from Sen. Anthony Kern, R-Glendale, would expand the state’s first-degree murder statutes to include deaths by fentanyl if the drug is able […]

Amid substation attacks, GOP bill would enhance penalties for damaging utility infrastructure

BY: - January 25, 2023

In the wake of attacks on substations across the nation, a bill at the Arizona legislature would increase penalties for those who damage utility infrastructure or trespass on utility property in an attempt to create a “deterrent” for similar attacks.  “It is becoming a problem, and we want to get everybody’s attention,” Rep. Gail Griffin, […]

Joe Arpaio lost four elections and his coveted county sheriff job — but not his lasting influence

BY: - January 24, 2023

Street signs and a doormat posted outside former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s office refer to him as “Sheriff Joe.” He hasn’t held the position in six years, but he still sometimes slips into the present tense. “I am the sheriff for this county,” Arpaio said in an October interview, before switching back to speaking […]

Civil rights group objects to using federal COVID aid for prisons

BY: and - January 23, 2023

The American Civil Liberties Union is asking the Treasury Department to take a harder line on states and local governments using federal American Rescue Plan Act money to build and expand correctional facilities. One of the projects it cited is in Arizona, where prison officials said they planned to spend $4.2 million to renovate executive […]


Fentanyl bill aims to protect kids, but could mean a manufacture charge for 1 pill

BY: - January 19, 2023

A Republican bill that would establish manufacturing fentanyl around a minor younger than 12 as a dangerous crime against children, and, according to some, would decrease the amount in a person’s possession that could land them a charge for intent to sell, passed its first hurdle to become law Thursday. Sen. Anthony Kern, R-Glendale, crafted […]

BIA, FBI update criminal investigation guidelines for Indian Country

BY: - December 13, 2022

To provide a more unified response for investigating crimes on tribal nations, including the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Peoples crisis, the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Federal Bureau of Investigations updated their guidelines on criminal investigations in Indian Country. “Interagency coordination is absolutely critical given the complexities of jurisdiction in Tribal communities,” Assistant Secretary […]

Two leaders of True the Vote jailed by federal judge for contempt of court

BY: - October 31, 2022

Federal marshals escorted two leaders of True the Vote out of a Houston courtroom on Monday morning and into a holding cell. Catherine Engelbrecht and Gregg Phillips have been held in contempt of court for refusing to release the name of a person of interest in the defamation and computer hacking case against them, who […]

Homeless man who burglarized the Hobbs campaign allegedly stole camera and computer equipment

BY: - October 28, 2022

The man arrested for breaking into Katie Hobbs’ campaign headquarters this week allegedly stole a camera and computer equipment Tuesday evening, according to court records. The records, obtained by the Arizona Mirror, also show that the homeless man had attempted to burglarize another nearby office building multiple times.  Daniel Mota Dos Reis, 36, was initially […]

Drop box watchers in Arizona connected to national effort from ‘2000 Mules’ creators

BY: - October 28, 2022

The movement to try to catch illegal voting at ballot drop boxes in Arizona, which is spurring complaints and lawsuits alleging voter intimidation, is not the local grassroots effort it appears to be. The drop box watchers are part of a coordinated fast-growing national effort with thousands of volunteers who say they want to help […]

Kari Lake says Arizona’s strict abortion laws will put more rapists in jail. Critics say that’s nonsense.

BY: - October 26, 2022

Kari Lake claimed in an interview on Sunday that new abortion restrictions could lead to “locking up a lot more rapists.” But exactly how that would happen is unclear, and critics say the idea is utter hogwash. Lake, the Republican nominee for governor, made the assertion during a televised interview by KTAR radio host Mike […]

Experts warn of extremist push to expand sheriffs’ role in elections

BY: - October 24, 2022

Prominent Arizona Oath Keeper Jim Arroyo turned on his hands-free microphone and stepped in front of the bright yellow banner of the Yavapai County Preparedness Team to explain “Operation: Drop Box.” “We’ve already coordinated with Sheriff (David) Rhodes,” Arroyo said during a July meeting of the Yavapai County Preparedness Team (YCPT), an Oath Keepers group […]

Mark Lamb constitutional sheriffs

Arizona ‘ground zero’ for extremist, anti-government sheriff movement

BY: - October 21, 2022

Susan Wortman, 79, recognized the voice of the man approaching her from behind as she attempted to slip out of the Pinal County Board of Supervisors meeting on Aug. 3. Wearing a badge on his belt and gun on his hip, Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb’s tone was different from the warm greeting he’d given […]