President Donald Trump pardoned Sheriff Joe Arpaio on Friday evening, citing his record of service to his country.
“Arpaio’s life and career, which began at the age of 18 when he enlisted in the military after the outbreak of the Korean War, exemplifies selfless public service,” read a statement from the White House.
The Arizona sheriff, now 85-years-old, is considered a hero among supporters of immigration enforcement. Arpaio served in the Army before becoming a police officer in Washington DC and Las Vegas and a special agent in the DEA. He became the Sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona in 1992.
“After more than fifty years of admirable service to our Nation, he is worthy candidate for a Presidential pardon,” the statement concluded.
Arpaio was convicted in July 2017 for violating a federal judge’s order to not detain suspected illegal immigrants. He faced up to six months in jail for the conviction and possible fines.
Arpaio endorsed Donald Trump for president in January 2016, as he was campaigning against primary challengers in Iowa.
“I have fought on the front lines to prevent illegal immigration,” Arpaio said when he endorsed Trump. “I know Donald Trump will stand with me and countless Americans to secure our border.”