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PHOENIX Maricopa County Sheriff's Office says one of three maximum security inmates arrested for plotting to kill an inmate also planned to assassinate Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

Detectives arrested on Wednesday 29-year-old Samuel Matta, an inmate in the state prison in Florence, on charges that he and two other inmates from the Sheriff's 4th Avenue Jail conspired to kill another inmate.

According to investigators, detectives were tipped off that Matta was planning to publicly assassinate Arpaio using a high powered rifle.

Authorities says Matta believed that the Arpaio was personally responsible for the deportation of some his family members to Mexico from their home in El Mirage, Ariz.

The investigation into the Arpaio murder plot then led to the plan to kill another inmate.

It was unclear if Matta had an attorney.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

Associated Press,

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