With actor Steven Seagal in tow, Sheriff Joe Arpaio rolled out his tactical unit and armored vehicle to apprehend a cockfighting suspect.
The Maricopa County (Ariz.) sheriff sent tactical deputies with the agency's Lenco Bear Armored Rescue Vehicle (ARV) to open up a locked iron gate at the residence of Jesus Llovera, who was wanted on a cockfighting warrant, Sgt. Jesse Spurgein tells POLICE Magazine.
Llovera was unarmed at the time, and arrested without incident while sleeping in his home. When choosing the level of force to use, Sgt. Spurgein said the agency factored in intelligence provided by the Phoenix Police Department that Llovera may have been connected to a kidnapping involving a Mexican drug cartel. Llovera has a prior conviction for running a cockfighting ring.
We use a certain degree of force with any law enforcement operation," Sgt. Spurgein tells POLICE. "We did have enough intelligence that we certainly wanted to err on the side of caution."
Actor Seagal was present for the inclusion of the raid in the police reality show, "Lawman" on A&E. His participation was strictly coincidental, Sgt. Spurgein said.
"Steven Seagal had been given approval to work with the SWAT team," Sgt. Spurgein said. "It was not staged for his benefit of the benefit of A&E."