MCSO: Mesa man threatens to kill Arpaio with machine gun

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Ronald Chante By Jennifer Thomas Ronald Chante By Jennifer Thomas

PHOENIX -- A 51-year-old Mesa man allegedly threatened to kill Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio during an arrest.

According to the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office, Ronald Chante was being arrested for criminal damage late Sunday night when he told deputies he wanted to assassinate Arpaio with a machine gun, which he claimed to possess.

While no such weapon was found in Chante's trailer home, ammunition was located and a number of neighbors told deputies they had recently seen Chante carrying the weapon in public, according to MCSO officials.

Chante has an extended criminal history with numerous felony convictions and prison sentences. He is prohibited to possess any weapons.

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

"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."