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Universe-shattering investigation revealed in court testimony Friday

It was somewhat of an anticlimax when Chief Deputy Jerry Sheridan revealed in federal court Friday details of the “universe shattering” investigation Mike Zullo hinted about a year and a half ago. We already knew much of the story. Let’s view the facts chronologically.

Mike Zullo was the one who exposed the universe-shattering investigation in November, 2013. Carl Gallups tweeted:

Zullo spoke to the Surprise Arizona Tea Party Patriots about that time. Sharon Rondeau interviewed an attendee:

Zullo “said that the investigation that they started ‘turned very dark…’

We can place a proximate time on the start of the investigation from a confidential informant inside the Sheriff’s Office. Stephen Lemons of the Phoenix New Times newspaper wrote (in June 2014) that he had discovered:

My sources — one of whom is a former detective with the MCSO’s Special Investigations Division and is well-acquainted with SID and those in it — say Anglin and Mackiewicz were involved in an odd investigation dating back to October 2013.

Zullo, Anglin and Mackiewicz were the team working on the universe shattering investigation of some really deep, dark stuff. Zullo himself confirmed this the following February, 2014, that two MSCO deputies were involved in the secret investigation with Zullo. Zullo said:

You’re correct, Carl. I don’t know how this is all gonna play out. I know that the criminal investigation that we’re working on now, Sheriff Arpaio has dedicated resources in two full-time Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office detectives. These are seasoned pros that are working this. These are the guys that go hunt down the really bad guys.

Notice that Zullo said “we” on the Carl Gallups radio show, and for that story I refer readers to Mitch Martinson’s February 10, 2014, article at Arizona’s Politics, “BREAKING: MCSO Confirms Sheriff Arpaio Now Has 2 FT Detectives Working On Investigation Related To President Obama Birth Certificate Investigation.” Zullo had made the claim of the two deputies, and Martinson got confirmation from the Maricopa County Sheriffs Office, who had referred Martinson to Zullo for more information:

We have two Sheriff’s detectives assigned to look into other issues surrounding the birth certificate, however they are not investigating the birth certificate issue itself.

But then the Sheriffs Office walked back that confirmation, correcting it to say:

MCSO Lt. Brandon Jones states that he “was misinformed” when he had confirmed the information earlier.  He now states that “The detectives are not working on anything regarding the birth certificate. Not even surrounding. Mr. Zullo was incorrect, they are working on other sensitive cases not even related.”

I glean two facts from this series of statements: 1) Two deputies were working on a sensitive investigation with Mike Zullo was involved and 2) it had nothing to do with Obama’s identity documents.

Now, to the investigation.

Stephen Lemons of the Phoenix New Times uncovered much of the story in June of 2014. He disclosed that a notorious scammer, Dennis Montgomery, was the confidential informant driving the investigation. Montgomery bilked the Pentagon out of millions with claims that he had computer software that could determine the geographic coordinates of terrorist attacks using bar codes he claimed to find in noise from Al Jazeera TV broadcasts.

Starting around the time of that disclosure, we heard not a single word more from Zullo about the universe-shattering information and the deep dark investigation. The scam had been exposed.

Now for what was disclosed in court:

Deputy Sheridan, himself a subject of the contempt hearing, confirmed what Sheriff Arpaio said Thursday about the Seattle scammer-sourced investigation, but added (as reported by Lemons at the Phoenix New Times):

The chief deputy initially told the court, under questioning by defendants’ attorney Michelle Iafrate, that Montgomery had info about “computer tampering crimes” and purported to have evidence that the CIA had “hacked into 50,000 bank accounts in Maricopa County, and had the names and dollar amounts.”

and

Montgomery told them he had data left over from his time doing work for the government, which the pseudo-guru promised he could “mine” with “super computers.”

So there you have it (and read the Lemons article for more detail). Scammer Montgomery claimed that he had data that, with the help of super computers,” could dig out secret information tying the CIA, the Justice Department and the federal courts in a grand criminal conspiracy. This was to be the universe-shattering story that Zullo couldn’t keep in his pants.

What happened to the investigation? Sheridan tells us the rest of the story:

But Montgomery ultimately gave them nothing usable.

“We finally realized he was stringing us along,” said Sheridan.

Zullo spent time, along with MCSO deputies in Seattle in a condo they rented for Montgomery. It has been estimated that between $500,000 and $1,000,000 in public funds were wasted for Montgomery, the deputies, Zullo, the condo and computer equipment. It was all a con job, but Sheriff Joe and Mike Zullo fell for it.

The great universe-shattering investigation was just a scam.

Further reading:

PS: I had previously thought that Montgomery had offered some birther tidbit to entice Zullo alongside his attempt to find dirt on Eric Holder for Arpaio. There is no justification for this speculation. The investigation as disclosed by Sheridan fits what Zullo said and did. It was just me and the birthers who jumped to the conclusion that Zullo said something that he really didn’t say.

Arizona Auditor General may look into Cold Case Posse donations

According to the Arizona’s Politics blog, the Arizona Auditor General will consider information about the County/MSCO/Posse relationship. Information published on this blog, Brian Reilly’s first hand accounts of the Posse, and my investigation of the lack of CCP financial accountability, are things that may be considered.

I do not understand, however, how the Arizona Auditor General can audit the Cold Case Posse when they are a private non-profit.

Flash: Arpaio has 2 full-time detectives investigating Obama! (or not!)

Yes friends, the inmates are running the asylum in Maricopa County, Arizona!

or not!

Here’s the story as it stood at 3:40 PM this afternoon, Phoenix time:

The Arizona’s Politics blog reported statements direct from the Sheriff’s Office saying that Arpaio has assigned two full-time detectives to the Obama investigation. They are investigating issues “surrounding” Obama’s birth certificate.

Arpaio spokesperson Lt. Brandon Jones confirmed to Arizona’s Politics that the detectives are working on the related investigation. After first referring the matter to Zullo for comment, Jones stated: "We have two Sheriff’s detectives assigned to look into other issues surrounding the birth certificate, however they are not investigating the birth certificate issue itself."

It will be interesting to see what the citizens of Maricopa County and the Board of Supervisors think about that!

but not so fast!

Arizona’s Politics now reports a change in the story:

MCSO Lt. Brandon Jones states that he "was misinformed" when he had confirmed the information earlier. He now states that "The detectives are not working on anything regarding the birth certificate. Not even surrounding. Mr Zullo was incorrect, they are working on other sensitive cases not even related."

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Not related to what? Did the MCSO throw Zullo under the bus? What’s a fellow to think? Here’s the dialog on the Gallups show, starting about the 2:50 minute mark.

Gallups: You continue to work, because it’s my understanding, and I’m going to be very general here, you can be more detailed if you want, but it’s my understanding even recently you guys have uncovered even more stuff, so I mean… you’re shooting for March, but it might even be a little delayed if you guys keep finding more of this heavy-duty stuff. Am I anywhere near right on all that?

Zullo: You’re correct, Carl. I don’t know how this is all gonna play out. I know that the criminal investigation that we’re working on now, Sheriff Arpaio has dedicated resources in two full-time Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office detectives. These are seasoned pros that are working this. These are the guys that go hunt down the really bad guys …

I suspect there will be more to come!