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[INVESTIGATION] Straight Shooters? It’s hard to discern the truth about the day Arizona seized the DES arsenal

Posted by   /  August 24, 2017  /  No Comments

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The team of state troopers rolled up in their vehicles to the Arizona Department of Economic Security administration building after lunch on the day before Thanksgiving

By Ray Stern | Phoenix New Times

 dozen or so men and women emerged from the vehicles, ready to face the possibility of gunfire from the multiple armed men they were seeking. The DES building, located a couple of miles southwest of Phoenix’s small collection of downtown skyscrapers, is a long, four-story concrete structure that looks fairly soulless — except for the brightly colored concrete balls set just outside the building in three locations as vehicle barriers.

One of the 55 handguns purchased by the DES last year for a planned increase in armed security officers./ AZ DPS

Several of the balls seemed particularly out of place at an otherwise-sterile, state-government building: Painted sun-yellow, three sported an eternally happy smiley face; another was stenciled with the words “Be Awesome.”

The team of eight or more troopers, plus three or more supervisors including Lieutenant Heston Silbert, the No. 2 man at the state’s Department of Public Safety, moved past the smiley face and other bollards into the building.

The troopers’ mission: Help Governor Doug Ducey get rid of the unusual man he had appointed the year before to lead the DES, and who had turned the large state agency into a media sideshow.


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