Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio said Monday his office is investigating a report of a $1 million bounty on his head.
Sheriff’s spokeswoman Lisa Allen said the death threat was relayed by the FBI and a caller who told Fox affiliate KSAZ-TV in Phoenix that it was from a Mexican drug cartel.
Allen said it wasn’t known whether the threat actually came from a drug cartel, but she said authorities believe the threat was made using a disposable cell phone in Mexico.
Arpaio said it’s not unusual for him to receive death threats as sheriff and an outspoken advocate of immigration enforcement. He said the last bounty against him was for $5 million.
“The economy must be bad down there in Mexico,” Arpaio said, referring to the $1 million offer for his life.
He said the threats do not deter him from his work.
“I’m going to keep doing what I’m doing. It doesn’t matter to me,” Arpaio said.
Allen said the office has to take such threats “credibly because, you know, he’s such a lightning rod, and so many people don’t like him because of his stance on this issue,” Allen said.
The sheriff’s office said the threat was posted on the Internet and has presumably been viewed by thousands of people.
Allen said the office was concerned because a crazy person might take the offer of money and act on it.
The FBI is aware of the threat against Arpaio but doesn’t have an active investigation into it, said Manuel Johnson, a spokesman for the FBI’s Phoenix division.
“We will assist the Sheriff’s Department if asked. They have not at this time,” Johnson said.