Sheriff Joe Arpaio, MCSO launch 'Tent City shakedown'

PHOENIX - The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office targeted potential contraband coming into Tent City and Durango complex jails with a Friday night "shakedown."

In a press release from his office, Sheriff Joe Arpaio said the aim of the operation was to ensure no weapons or drugs are making their way into Maricopa County jails.

Beginning at 4 p.m., about 100 deputies, detention officers and posse members began searching for illicit materials inside the facilities or being brought onto jail property. Arpaio was on hand at Tent City to oversee the operation.

Inmates and visitor vehicles coming into Tent City and Durango were also of primary focus during the operation. Officials were looking not only for contraband but people with outstanding warrants.

"We take the safety and wellbeing of inmates and officers very seriously and these shakedown operations help to enhance that overall safety," Arpaio said.

Among the items confiscated were lighters, cigarettes, drugs, pills, and a knife and a mop handle with three nails attached with twine.

Arpaio said August will mark the 20th anniversary of Tent City.

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