THE LARKIN AND LACEY ARRESTS
Michael Lacey was born and raised in New Jersey. He attended school in the late 1960’s at the University of Arizona state.
He dropped out in 1970 to join a group of students in publishing opening matter of Phoenix new times as retort to the ultra-conservation home-grown media’s exposure of campus anti-war complaints. Lacey became the executive editor at the New Times while Larkin headed the advertising department. They worked together to expose both social and political issues affecting the country in this newspaper. Learn more about Jim Larkin and Jim Larkin: http://www.laceyandlarkinfronterafund.org/about-lacey-larkin-frontera-fund/michael-lacey/ and http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/news/lacey-larkin-speak-out-on-trump-pardon-of-arpaio-9879938
Jim Larkin, John Brunst, and Scott Spear were arraigned as defendants at Sandra Day United State courthouse in Arizona before magistrate Bridget Bade. The three were accused of being involved in money laundering.
Spear and Larkin had been also accused of facilitating and devising on prostitution. The three suspects pleaded not guilty and two of them were released. Larkin was however left behind pending hearing.
Michael Lacey was also arrested by some law enforcement officer days before his marriage party celebrations which were to be held at his home in Paradise Valley. This veteran newspaperman’s house was invaded by the FBI days before this celebration and according to passers-by and witnesses; Lacey’s belongings were carted away by the FBI agents during the raid. The FBI agents also raided Jim Larkin, who was lacey’s partner in business for a couple of years, Paradise Valley home.
Larkin and Lacey owed a seventeen alternative weeklies news empire together that emerged from initiating the flagship Phoenix News-Times in 1970. Joe Arpaio conducted Lacey and Larkin arrests. The two vended chain, which was by then known as the Village Voice Media (VVM), but still held on to their interest in the giant online listing Backpage.com which excluded VVM from the deal. The FBI also seized the Friday’s back page after the raid.
The company denied the allegations of it being a sex trafficking facilitator and an online brothel. In 2015, Lacey and Larkin ventured their Backpage interests to Carl Ferrer, the CEO. The 93-count accusation is said to have involved seven individuals, but only Lacey and Larkin’s names were tabled at the time.
Larkin and Lacey filled a lawsuit for wrongful arrest which saw them awarded three million, seven hundred and fifty dollars as compensation which was paid by Maricopa County. In 2017, Larkin and Lacey initiated Front Page Confidential which they used to analyze and provide news on issues pertaining to the first amendment.
The move by the government to suppress the website and the arrests made are a clear indication of assaults on the press freedom. Cambria, who is highly knowledgeable in first amendment jurisprudence, said that his client would plead not guilty to all accusation during the hearings that had been set by the court. Read more: Jim Larkin | Crunchbase and Michael Lacey | Twitter
According to Cambria, the FBI’s move of eliminating the Backpage was an act of suppression of media freedom and he expressed his believe in the release of Lacey and Larkin. He also stated that the acts by the government were unconstitutional and he was ready to go head on to ensure the release of the two.