October 18, 2007 Mike Lacey and Jim Larkin were forcibly removed from their Phoenix homes and arrested by Maricopa County deputies, and booked into two different Joe Arpaio’s jails.
Arpaio had heavily involved in the arrests of Lancey and Larkin. Phoenix New Times had reported on things that made Joe Arpaio angry. Some of these reports were about Financial mismanagement in the sheriff’s office, abuses of power, substandard health conditions in Arpaio’s jails, mistreatment and deaths of jail inmates, and much more.
Lacey and Larkin had covered a story for the Phoenix New Times that revealed an assault to the constitution. Allies of Arpaio’s at the Maricopa Attorney’s office issued grand jury subpoenas asking for details about the news papers writers, editors and readers. They even wanted personal browsing histories and IP addresses of their readers.
With help from a very loud national outcry both Lacey and Larkin were released less than 24 hours later and all charges dropped. The Ninth Circuit had made it clear that they were arrested without probable cause and that the subpoenas served on them had actually been invalid.
In 2013 Maricopa county paid a settlement to Lacey and Larkin for $3.7 million. That money went to the Frontera Fund, an initiative intended to benefit the Hispanic community that has received the brunt of racial animus and civil abuse in Arizona. Soon after receiving the money Lacey and Larkin quietly began handing out Frontera Fund money to worthy nonprofit advocates for Hispanic civil rights and causes.