by Megan Cassidy , Dianna M. Náñez and Michael Kiefer, The Arizona Republic
Federal prosecutors said Tuesday they will pursue a criminal-contempt charge against Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio for defying orders to halt the immigration-enforcement operations that made him a national lightning rod.
If convicted, Arpaio could spend up to six months in jail.
The move has few precedents in US history, as prosecutors endorsed a federal judge’s findings that the lawman intentionally violated the judge’s orders.
Dozens of protesters who lined the sidewalk outside the federal courthouse Tuesday morning erupted in cheers, hugs and tears when they heard the news.
© 2016 The Arizona Republic