Conspiracy plot to assassinate Arpaio thwarted

Detectives from the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office’s Threats Unit today arrested three maximum security inmates for conspiracy to commit murder stemming from a complex plot from assassinating Sheriff Arpaio to killing a fellow inmate.

Mark Cons, and Rudolfo Santos, members of the Mexican Mafia currently housed in the Sheriff’s 4th Avenue Jail on serious felony charges, were served with arrest warrants by Sheriff’s detectives this morning.

Samuel Matta, a member of a documented street gang and who is currently incarcerated in the state prison in Florence, was served this afternoon. All three inmates are charged with conspiracy to commit the murder of another jail inmate.

The investigation began in March of this year after Sheriff’s detectives were tipped off by an inmate in jail on multiple homicide charges that Samuel Matta was allegedly planning to publicly assassinate Sheriff Joe Arpaio using a high powered rifle.

Matta, who was planning to carry out the assassination plot once he was released from jail, believed that the Sheriff was personally responsible for the deportation of some of his members of his family to Mexico from their home in El Mirage, Arizona.
The investigation into the Arpaio murder plot then led to yet another plot where these three inmates were conspiring to kill another inmate, a rival gang member.

Matta was not successful in his bid to be released on a $1,800.00 bond therefore could not carry out his plan to assassinate the Sheriff.

The detectives, however, did capture audio surveillance which unveiled a conspiracy to murder another inmate for the sole reason that he is a member of a rival gang. That murder plot was also foiled by Sheriff’s detectives.

The entire investigation unfolded in April of this year, a month which saw higher than usual levels of gang and racial tensions inside Fourth Avenue Jail. One such situation involving dozens black and Hispanic inmates in April prompted Arpaio to order a near two-week lock down of the Maximum security jail in downtown Phoenix.

Sheriff Arpaio says, “Given our jailhouse clientele, my staff is always monitoring situations which can potentially lead to violent criminal activity both inside and outside of the jail walls. In this case, their professionalism and perseverance prevented two potential murders.”

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