Mesa man threatens to kill Sheriff Joe Arpaio with machine gun

MESA, AZ - A Mesa man is in police custody Monday, accused of threatening to kill Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

According to Sheriff's spokesman Christopher Hegstrom, Ronald Chante, 51, was arrested for criminal damage when he told deputies he wanted to assassinate Arpaio with a machine gun.

When police searched Chante's trailer, they found ammunition but no machine gun.

Neighbors told deputies they had recently seen Chante carrying the weapon in public.

Hegsrom said Chante has an extended criminal history with numerous felony convictions and prison sentences.

Chante's threat against Arpaio marks the third such threat in the last few months.

Deputies have investigated two other men, one in Portland, Oregon, and another in Tennessee who was also arrested for threatening to kill Arpaio.

"It's not often that someone makes an outright threat to kill a cop," said Chief Dave Trombi of the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office Enforcement Bureau. "Sheriff Arpaio has had more threats than most and each one has been taken seriously, investigated and where possible, we have made arrests."

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