Mike Lacey and Jim Larkin were arrested by a team of enforcement officers under the command of Maricopa County Sheriff Mr. Joe Arpaio. The two at the time of their arrest were journalists working for Village Voice Media. They were forcibly removed from their houses in Phoenix area by the enforcement officers and shoved into unmarked vehicles that had dark tinted windows and Mexican plate’s numbers. They were then taken to the Maricopa County police station where they were booked in different cells that are under the jurisdiction of Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
Mr. Joe Arpaio who regards himself as the toughest Sheriff was the man behind the arrest. The Sheriff for a long time was outraged by the Phoenix New Times newspaper that published articles that exposed the Sheriff and the County misdeeds. Besides the newspaper also highlighted the pathetic health conditions in Arpaio’s jails, how inmates were mistreated some of which resulted to death and the increased discrimination and unlawful arrests of the Latinos residing in the State of Arizona
Larkin and Lacey were charged for having penned a story revealing the Subpoenas issued to the Phoenix media house requiring that the newspapers gives details about its writers, editors, and readers. The subpoenas went to the extent of requesting for readers personal browsing histories and IP addresses. However, following a public outcry, the two were released the same day, and all the charges were dropped.
The matter did not rest there as the two were aggrieved by the actions of the county Sheriff and as a result decided to sue the County and the Sheriff illegal detention. It was then followed by a series of legal battles in the court of law. The Ninth Circuit which handled the case found out that the subpoenas issued by the grand jury were invalid as the prosecutor did not follow the required legal procedures. The appellate court on its ruling issued Larkin and Lacey a 3.75 million settlement fee which the two decided to form the Frontera Fund. The Frontera Fund initiative was created with the aim of helping the Hispanic community that for the longest time have been marginalized and racially discriminated in Arizona.