Flagstaff police investigating fake deportation letters

While Flagstaff police continue to investigate the source of the hoax, residents should know that Flagstaff officers are not deputized as immigration and customs law enforcement officials.

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - The Flagstaff Police Department is investigating a letter that was sent to at least one resident last week warning of imminent deportation if they are reported to the Coconino County Sheriff's Office or Flagstaff Police Department.

The letter was sent from an organization called the Legal Americans Surveillance Citizens Project and states that officers from both Flagstaff PD and the Coconino County Sheriff's Department are being deputized as ICE officers, which is false.

Sgt. Cory Runge of the Flagstaff Police Department says they have not been able to verify the existence of the organization and, after working with the U.S. Post Office, said the return address is fake.

“We believe it may be an individual acting on their own to scare other individuals in our community," said Sgt. Runge. 

The family who received the letter did not report it to police; they instead sent it to members of the Flagstaff community for feedback on what to do, according to Flagstaff Mayor Coral Evans.

"I was actually the individual who contacted the Flagstaff Police Department. There was an individual who contacted myself and several other members of council via Facebook and via emails about 'Hey, I received this letter. What is happening, what is going on?,'" said Evans.

Flagstaff Police Department is not involved in any immigration enforcement activity with ICE and will not engage in "roundups" of undocumented immigrants, said Runge. 

"Please feel safe to report any crime. We do not want somebody not receiving justice due to the fact that their afraid that their undocumented status may come up as a part of the investigation," he said.

The origin of the letters is still under investigation. 

The letter reads: 

"Legal Americans Surveillance Citizens Project

PO Box 5119, Flagstaff, AZ 86004

Attention to all un-documented/illegal residents: 

Be advised that with the new U.S. Presidental Administration, and it's top agenda for the arrest and deportation or all unauthorized immigrants, you will be immediately subject to swift and sudden removal to a deportation facility - regardless of your age or duration of residency, or even if you are a parent or guardian to a minor-aged child - if you are reported to the Coconino County Sheriff's Office, or to the Flagstaff City Police Department - whose officers are now all being deputized as official ICE (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement) officers - for any suspected unlawful activities in your homes, on your properties, in public places, or on private properties, or if you are reported for the violation of any Federal, state, or city ordinances such as: unregistered vehicles, unsanitary environments (trash piles or accumulated animal feces, and other health hazards) on your property; possession of any kind of firearms; Littering; use of fireworks; disorderly conduct; disturbance of the peace (making loud noise with vehicles, parties, radios, or other amplified music, uncontrolled dog barking, or your own voices), you wil be investigated immediately and your legal right to remain in this country will be promptly evaluated. If you are found to be an undocumented i.e,. illegal resident, or you are harboring an illegal resident on your premises, be prepared for immediate removal to your country of origin. Our nation's new leader recognizes that illegal residents are in criminal violation of time-honored immigration laws created to protect a valued American way of life, and we at the LAS Citizens project are positioned to support President Trump's agenda to rid our country - through enforcement and removal - of all who are not legal - and therefore not true citizens. We are organized to keep a watch in our neighborhoods, and to report the suspected presence of persons residing among us without legal documentation, officially known as illegal aliens. 

- Americans for Legal Citizenship" 

© 2017 KPNX-TV


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