A 37-year-old Toronto man was arrested Friday in Canada on suspicion of threatening Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio and his family.
Canadian authorities released Matthew Carl Sanderson shortly after his arrest and he remains free, said sheriff’s spokeswoman Lisa Allen.
Detectives are going to sift through Sanderson’s computer and other evidence obtained in a search of his home to determine his motive, what charges to bring and whether he should be extradited to Arizona or prosecuted in Canada, Allen said.
The threat came in an email June 2 through the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office Web site, Allen said.
She said the site gets 1 million hits a month and many of the messages left are hate mail, but this message was more specific than others.
The sheriff ’s office provided the Tribune with a copy of the e-mail, which had the sender’s identifying information redacted in black ink.
“This is not a joke, Joe, you are scheduled for termination,” the sender wrote.
The sender said Arpaio and his family were targeted for death because of his “flagrant disregard for basic human rights and flippant attitude towards the life of another American.”
The sender wrote that Arpaio’s life is worth $250,000 to a “group of individuals who, not only want you out, but also want you dead!”
The sender said federal authorities couldn’t protect Arpaio and that he worked “for our federal government in a certain capacity” and had access to FBI, Department of Homeland Security, CIA, Interpol and “witness relocation” databases.
Investigators also seized a police badge and fake identification from Sanderson’s home.