It all began when an Arizona grand jury was on Lacey’s case, looking for information about him. Like he recalls, the information sought after was not a little but published on his entire social media. Just because he went through the Phoenix New Times interactive website, the jury demanded to know his IP address. Moreover, the court demanded the browser he used. Additional demanded reports included the web pages he browsed and the time intervals in which he visited the office. Additionally, the grand jury demanded information contained in the Phoenix New Times’ cookie that enclosed his hard disk. The cookie had data about his web browsing and for that matter; it was possible to deduce the IP address and history.
Initially, Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin were working on a case on the atrocities of Sheriff Joe Arpaio. As the owners of Village Media, they retrieved information regarding his misconduct in the Maricopa County. Allegedly, he promoted racial profiling. Other than that, he instigated corruption and the mishandling of inmates by his deputies. On that note, Lacey and Larkin were on his wrong side. Therefore, on the night of 18th October 2007, when the two were in their homes, police from the county of Maricopa ambushed them citing an arrest warrant from the legal department.
A few hours later, Lacey and Larkin were locked up. Apparently, the jury was secretly, carrying out investigations on their contribution to the leaked information on an on-going case. With the assistance of Sherriff Joe Arpaio, the jury established arresting grounds for Michael and Lacey. A few hours behind bars were enough for their fan base to riot and demand their release. Alongside that release was a compensation package from the county jail of Maricopa.
It is critical to note that their illegal detention set off complicated court battles surrounding the first amendment rights as well as abuse of power. Five years after their arrest, the Circuit Court of Appeals cited that it was complicated to conceive a direct assault based on the first amendment. Moreover, the Ninth Circuit established that Lacey and Larkin’s arrest was invalid because the prosecutor sidelined legal procedures.
Lacey and Larkin directed their compensation to the Frontera Fund. According to the duo, immigrants needed extensive support from the community. Given that most law enforcement officers were against them, the amount was sufficient for them to provide all immigrants with legal documents and better living standards.