Jim and Michael were taken to court over allegations of money laundering. The duo appeared before Magistrate Judge Bridget Bade in Phoenix, Arizona. The activists denied the charges. The trial was to take place on June 5, 208.
Michael Lacey was recently married. He was to celebrate his marriage at his home before he was arrested by a team of law enforcement officers from the federal government. According to a report, the FBI officers were very armed when they arrested him.
His wife was also present during the arrest. The couple was preparing to host a celebration the following weekend. According to witnesses who talked to Front Page Confidential, the FBI agents carried some of his possessions. The officers also raided Jim Larkin’s home and he was arrested. The duo started the Village Voice Media which they later sold in 2012.
Michael Lacey was born and raised in Newark, New Jersey. His father worked in the construction industry. He acquired his higher education from Arizona State University which he joined in 1960. Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin also started the New Times.
He was the executive editor. The two activists used the New Times to talk about social and political issues in the country. The New Times became popular among many people for the fearless highlights of important issues in the society. The group grew and acquired other publishers such as the Denver’s Weekly and the Arts Weekly.
In 2017, Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin were arrested after revealing that the employees of the Phoenix New Times were targeted by the grand jury subpoenas. According to the duo, they have a right of speech and expression as provided for in the constitution of the United States.
The arrest was authorized by the Maricopa County sheriff, Joe Arpaio. All the charges against them were dropped after immense pleasure from the members of the public who demanded their immediate release.
The arrest was made with counterfeit warrants, this was revealed after an investigation into the matter. The prosecutor who issued the warrants broke the law and violated basic human rights.
The arrests by Joe Arpaio were also made after the Phoenix New Times revealed the financial mismanagement in the sheriff’s office. The report accused the sheriff of abuse of office and keeping the prisoners in jails that posed health risks to them.
The inmates were allegedly being mistreated and discriminated against based on their races. The Latinos were reported as the main victims of the sheriff’s misconduct as they were jailed without any legal basis.
The defense team of Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin based their arguments on the violation of the provisions of the First Amendment. They won the case when the court ruled that the arrest was without probable cause.
The duo was to get $3.7 million from Maricopa County as the compensation. The money was used to launch the Frontera Fund to fight for the rights of immigrants in the country.