I knew something was up on July 9th when my sister texted me to let me know that a detective from Arizona called her looking for me. Why they would call her I have no idea, I’m not exactly hard to find as my email address is all over the internet. Next, SOFREP received an e-mail from the detective stating that they wanted to talk to me in regards to an ongoing case. The detective said his name was Det. Sgt. Jonathan Halverson, serial number 1674. I called him to follow-up shortly after.
Picking up the phone, Detective Halverson informed me that he was in New York City and wanted to meet with me so that I could help them out with an ongoing case. He then asked if I had ever heard of someone named Joseph Asarisi. I hadn’t, and told him so. He then began speaking about how Asarisi was under arrest by the counter-terrorism office for leaking classified documents. I informed him that I had never seen any classified documents. At this point I realized that an accusation was being leveled against me by Detective Halverson and that we could not proceed in good faith, after which I informed him that he needed to contact SOFREP’s legal team if he wanted to proceed further.
Halverson works at the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Homeland Security and Counter-terrorism office in Arizona. The Maricopa County Sheriff is none other than the controversial Joe Arpaio. Arpaio has made headlines for cozying up to law enforcement experts such as Steven Seagal and his crusade to find President Obama’s birth certificate. Perhaps he is best known for his “tent city” prison camp, but at any rate, Joe Arpaio has made a career creating controversy.SOFREP reached out to the detective in question for his comments but he did not return our email.
The news broke on August 12th that Joseph Asarisi had been arrested and was now facing criminal charges. Associated Press reporter Jacques Billeaud wrote that Asarisi, “portrayed himself as an officer to access dozens of documents through a homeland security network and the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department. The Peoria man is accused of then giving documents to author Jack Murphy. The documents were supposed to be viewed by only law enforcement officers.” Additionally, Corina Vanek at AZ Central wrote, “Officials said the New York-based author originally denied knowing Asarisi and then referred deputies to his lawyer.” Jacques Billeaud followed up with me only after he already published his article.
What is so curious about these media reports is that they not only had my name (Arpaio apparently did not mention it to the press) but they also knew the details of my phone conversation with Detective Halverson. Only Halverson and I know the details of that conversation, and I know that I didn’t leak them to the Associated Press or AZ Central. What this means is that, par for the course in this amateurish investigation, Joe Arpaio’s office leaked the details of that conversation to some kept journalists. I’m guessing this was done out of spite because I refused to help them in their investigation without legal counsel.
It is unlikely that Halverson leaked this information on his own volition. More than likely, it was one of his superiors or Arpaio himself. The irony of leaking a story about an investigation about leaks is thick, to say the least.
Right now the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Department is trying their hand at one of the CIA’s specialties, selectively leaking information to favored journalists for political reasons. More than likely they are deeply embarrassed by the entire investigation. You see, Asarisi wasn’t some high level counter-terrorism officer, he was actually the Sheriff’s laundry man!
Good luck Sheriff Arpaio, and thanks for the endorsement as a “anti-government author.” I suppose I can put that on my resume if I ever apply for a job at the Rolling Stone.
Editor’s Note: Looking for more information about this story? You can contact the Sheriff or any of their commanders by mail at:
Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office Headquarters
550 West Jackson Street
Phoenix, AZ 85003
You can contact the Sheriff, staff and departments by phone at:
Sheriff Arpaio: (602) 876-1801
Chiefs and Commanders: (602) 876-1801
Non- Emergency or (Crime Stop): (602) 876-1011
Jail Information: (602) 876-0322
Records Request: (602) 876-1070
Request a Report: (602) 876-1078
Political Corruption (AZ Attorney General): (602) 542-5025
You can file a complaint with the Maricopa County Sheriff on their website.
(Featured Image Courtesy: UPI