An ugly incident happened lately when some government agencies arrested and jailed the renowned right activists and journalists Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin after seizing Backpage.com. Larkin, Scott Spear, and Jed appeared before Judge Bridget Bade at Sandra Day O’Connor United States Courthouse in Phoenix, Arizona where they were charged with money laundering.
Besides, Larkin and Scott were charged with facilitation of prostitution and conspiracy. Later, Scott and Jed were released but Larkin was detained for a further hearing set on the 5th June 2018.
His counterpart, Michael Lacey was neither spared when an armed FBI squad landed at his house at a time he and his wife were preparing to attend their marriage celebration party.
It was an ugly scene to watch as the FBI officers carted away his possessions just after the raid. The raid was also in another home of Lacey in Sedona and Larkin’s Paradise Valley Home. This FBI raid is what led to the seizing of the Backpage.com.
It’s remembered that this is not the first time the duo has had knocks at their doors in the middle of the night. Previously, Joe Arpaio, who is one of the toughest Sherriff of his time to rule Maricopa County, Arizona, set his officers to arrest the two and booked them in separate cells.
Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin who by then worked with Phoenix News-Times which came to be known as the Village Voice Media had exposed the ill intentions of this Sherriff, his grand jury subpoenas which were targeting the newspaper writers, authors, editors, and readers.
After the arrest on the evening of publishing the jury, they were released within 24 hours after the public became hot on the matter.
Due to the violation of their First Amendment rights, they sued the Sherriff and his officers and after long hearings, the relief came when the court ordered a $3.75 million compensation to be given to the two by Maricopa County. Read more: Michael Lacey | Crunchbase and Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund
It is ironical how the government agencies have gone ahead to seize their rights especially the freedom of the press by being focused to close the Front Page Confidential website which advocates for First Amendment rights.
Their recent arrest was against their rights and Lacey’s lawyer was determined to fight for their rights to see them out and free.
Cindy McCain, who is the wife of Senator John McCain, told the Arizona Republic what she has heard concerning the seizure of Backpage. She said that every Backpage officials globally were raided and the website has been shut down by the law enforcement unit. She also said that they had warned the executives, both former and current, to change their content and ways.
She has been known to be a foe of Backpage.com which she says it sells kids for sex and is involved in human and sex trafficking. John McCain in his tweet seemed very excited about the demise of Backpage.
Previously, Lacey and Larkin had exposed the hypocrisy of McCain in the New Times and this could be the reason why the senator seems so happy with their demise but he should not start his celebrations so early since the two have overcome such allegations and came out victoriously in the past.