Minuteman member sentenced for pointing rifle at MCSO deputyPosted: Updated:
PHOENIX -- A member of the Arizona Minuteman border-watch movement has been sentenced to six months in jail for pointing a rifle at a Maricopa County sheriff's deputy who he mistook for a drug smuggler.
Richard Malley, 50, was arrested on suspicion of aggravated assault after the 2013 incident along Interstate 8 near Gila Bend and later pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct.
Malley also received 18 months of supervised probation when he was sentenced Friday.
According to court documents, Malley and two other group members were out looking for illegal activity when two deputies checking areas frequently used in drug trafficking approached in a vehicle. The deputies then began searching on foot.
Malley pointed a rifle at one of the deputies and aimed a flashlight at his face, according to the documents. The deputy identified himself, but Malley did not put down his weapon.
Malley identified himself as a militia Minuteman.
The deputy showed Malley his badge, the patches on his sleeves and the word "Sheriff" across his chest then told him to surrender his firearms, but he refused, according to court records.
Malley was taken into custody after more deputies responded to the scene.
Malley said he was in fear for his life because he was in the middle of the desert and felt that the deputy was a drug smuggler working for a cartel. According to the court documents, Malley said he felt he had the right to point his rifle because he had reasonable suspicion to believe a crime was occurring.
Minuteman arrested for allegedly pointing rifle at MCSO deputy