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Maricopa County Sheriff's Deputies Testify In Arpaio Contempt Trial

It was a slow start for the government. Attorneys began the day by calling Randy Murray, the creator of a documentary called the "Joe Show."

The government was trying to use clips from the documentary to show former sheriff Joe Arpaio would go against a court order to gain media attention and help him politically.

Judge Susan Bolton struck several of the clips calling them irrelevant and prejudicial. The judge is focused on the time between 2011 and 2013 when Arpaio is accused of violating the preliminary injunction order.

Two Maricopa County sheriff’s deputies testified Wednesday that their actions were in violation of a federal court order. The question is: were they violating the injunction on former Sheriff Arpaio’s orders?

Lt. Brian Jakowinicz ran the Human Smuggling Unit within the MCSO for two years. He testified he was not aware of the preliminary injunction order issued in 2011 until 2013.

He told attorneys Apraio personally instructed him in 2012 to turn immigrant detainees over to federal officials if they couldn’t hold them for breaking state law.

When ICE stopped taking detainees from MCSO, Jakowinicz said Arpaio told him to work with Border Patrol instead.

Sgt. Michael Trowbridge was a member of the Human Smuggling Unit during the time in question. He also testified he did not know about the preliminary injunction preventing their immigration patrols until more than a year after it was issued.

Arpaio’s attorney contended both men were improperly briefed on the matter by their superiors. The defense has consistently argued that while the order was repeatedly violated, it was not done intentionally.

The government still has exhibits pending before the judge, but the defense was allowed to present their first witness.  A border patrol agent told the court the MCSO was like many other local agencies that would partner with then on immigrant detention and deportation.

To hear an interview with KJZZ's Jimmy Jenkins on The Show, click here.

Jimmy Jenkins was a producer and senior field correspondent at KJZZ from 2014 to 2021.