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Package for Sheriff Joe Arpaio posed a serious threat, authorities say

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Ross D. Franklin/AP/File

(Read caption) Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio speaks with the media in Phoenix in January. Authorities say law officers in Arizona have intercepted an explosive device that was earmarked for Arpaio.

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A package addressed to Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, the self-described “toughest sheriff in America,” could have caused serious injury or death if opened, Arizona authorities say.

A postal carrier collected the suspicious package Thursday evening from a parcel locker in rural Coconino County, near Flagstaff, Ariz., which was addressed to Arpaio at his office in downtown Phoenix, said Jerry Sheridan, chief deputy of the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office, at a news conference Friday.

The carrier brought the package to the Flagstaff post office, where postal officials X-rayed it and found an improvised explosive device. The Flagstaff Police Department bomb squad used a water cannon to neutralize the explosives, said US Postal Inspection Service spokesman Keith Moore.

Arpaio told reporters that this is not the first time he has been threatened.

“That’s the nature of the business,” he said at the news conference, citing the recent killings of Colorado’s corrections director, two Texas prosecutors, and a West Virginia sheriff.


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