President Donald Trump may soon pardon Joe Arpaio, the former sheriff in Maricopa County, Ariz. who was convicted two weeks ago of criminal contempt for defying a state judge's order to stop traffic patrols targeting suspected undocumented immigrants.
Trump is "seriously considering" a pardon for the man who was called "America's Toughest Sheriff" and strongly supported the president during the 2016 campaign, Fox News reports.
Arpaio, an outspoken opponent of illegal immigration, was convicted of misdemeanor contempt of court by U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton for not obeying a state judge's order in 2011 to stop anti-immigrant traffic patrols. The patrols continued for 17 months after the state judge's order.
Arpaio, 85, has blamed the continuing patrols on one of his former attorneys who did not explain the judge's order to him properly.
The ex-sheriff's sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 5, but many believe the 85-year-old will not receive any jail time. He could face up to six months in prison.
Trump spoke about the possibility of pardoning Arpaio on Sunday.
"I am seriously considering a pardon for Sheriff Arpaio," Trump said. "He has done a lot in the fight against illegal immigration. He's a great American patriot and I hate to see what has happened to him."
Trump has not issued any pardons to date.