Former Sheriff of Phoenix, Joe Arpaio, was convicted of a criminal charge this Monday for refusing to stop traffic patrols that targeted immigrants.
This marks the final punishment for the politician who had once received a lot of popularity from these crackdowns. Arpaio was ultimately kicked out of office as city voters became irritated over his tactics and expanding legal troubles.
A huge victory for the city and his critics as U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton found Arpaio guilty early on Monday. His efforts to get tough on crime had included putting inmates in tents in the scorching triple-digit heat while in the pink underwear he forced them to wear.
The former sheriff made hundreds of arrests in crackdowns that separated immigrant families.
Arpaio had avoided two other criminal investigation of his office but he was finally unable to avoid legal troubles when his immigration patrols continued for a year and a half after a judge ordered him to stop.
He had spent six terms and 24 years as the metro Phoenix sheriff.
The eight-day trial ended in the lawman being found guilty of misdemeanor contempt-of-court for ignoring the 2011 orders to stop these patrols. The 85-year-old could face up to six years in jail.
Arpaio had acknowledged that his patrols continued but had insisted it was not intentional.
He put the blame on one of his former attorneys for not fully explaining how important the 2011 court order was.
Unlike his fellow local police leaders who left the immigration enforcement to U.S. authorities, Arpaio decided to make hundreds of arrests that sought out immigrants. He also conducted many business raids that targeted immigrants who used fake IDs to get the job.
This is exactly what Trump wants done as he is working to revive a long-standing program that deputizes local law enforcement to enforce federal immigration laws.
Trump had even used some of the same immigration big talk that had made Arpaio a national figure in the debate over the U.S.-Mexico border.