Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin Have Been Arrested On Charges That May Have Violated Their First Amendment Rights

The story of Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin began in Maricopa County in 2017 when they exposed Sheriff Joe Arpaio for his severe misconduct regarding his profiling of Latinos. They were arrested in the middle of the night and placed in jail. They were released, filed a lawsuit and won. The duo used the $3.75 million to start the Frontera Fund to protect the rights of Latinos and migrant workers.

Currently, Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin have been arrested and Backpage.com has been seized. Several of the companies executives were indicted. The defendants include John Brunst and Scott Spear. The charge is money laundering and Spear and Larkin were also charged with facilitating prostitution and conspiracy. The men pleaded not guilty.

Spear and Brunst have been released and Larkin is waiting for a detention hearing. The FBI invaded Michael Lacey’s home during a celebration with his wife and carried away his possessions. Jim Larkin’s home was also raided. The pair once owned the flagship Phoenix New Times and seventeen alternative weeklies.

Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin sold the chain in 2012. They retained Backpage.com. The company is fighting allegations of being an online brothel. Carl Ferrer was sold the pairs interest in Backpage.com in 2015. The indictment is reported to have 93 counts and involve seven people. Pimping allegations were dismissed agains Michael Lacy and Jim Larkin in 2017. Paul Cambria is Michael Lacey’s criminal defense attorney. He stated seizing Backpage was a direct act of censorship by the FBI. He does not believe the governments actions were constitutional.

Cindy McCain is a volunteer for the Human Trafficking Council in Arizona. She has made claims for years that Backpage has been selling children for sex and was in the business of sex trafficking but had no evidence. New felonies have been created by FOSTA for any individual involved with prostituting another person. Learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey: https://www.facebook.com/michael.lacey123 and http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/news/lacey-larkin-speak-out-on-trump-pardon-of-arpaio-9879938

This charge carries a sentence of up to ten years in prison. If Five or more individuals are involved this increases to 25 years. The FOSTA bill received approval from both houses of Congress. The bill is still waiting for the signature of President Trump. He is allegedly signing the bill the day of Lacey’s arraignment.

When Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin owned the New Times they exposed Senator McCain’s hypocrisy several times and the McCain’s were left with bitter feelings for the men. Michael and Jim were also arrested in 2016 for pimping charges. They were released on bond and the charges were dismissed.

The AG’s office was accused of an abuse of power. The prohibition of unlawful search and seizure through the Constitution’s Fourth Amendment was also abused. Their most famous arrest remains that of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio on false charges.

Many individuals believe the censorship of Backpage is a violation of the First Amendment. Paul Cambria is a formidable opponent and has fought many battles during his career. He stated he has seen cases like this before and intends to continue fighting for the rights of his client.

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