Today, news sources including Reuters, The Washington Post,Fox News and Gawker reported that former The Incredible Hulk television actor Lou Ferringo had joined Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio and an "armed immigration posse" in enforcing Arizona's stringent immigration laws. But after ComicsAlliance reached out for comment, his wife Carla Ferrigno told us that the reports were incorrect.
"It was not true. He was not involved in any posse," said Carla Ferrigno. "I'm his wife; I was there, but it had nothing to do with Lou. He went to support me, and all he was doing was talking about smuggling." She said that she was there to support the sheriff, and that Mr. Ferrigno was not sworn in as a member of the anti-immigration posse as reported. "He doesn't get involved in any of that. He's a deputy sheriff of Los Angeles, and he doesn't work in Arizona."
Although the harshest parts of Arizona's new immigration law have yet to be implemented, the state has become proactive in policing what it deems to be their biggest crisis, illegal immigration. To enforce the active parts of the new law, the sheriff's department has been enlisting volunteers, and the aforementioned sources had listed Ferrigno as being among them.
Mission: Impossible actor Peter Lupus and Under Siege actor Steven Seagal were also reported as assisting the cause. Sheriff Arpaio told Fox News, "Arizona is the busiest port of entry for people being smuggled in from Mexico, Latin and South America. So asking for the public´s help in this endeavor makes sense, especially given the success the posses have experienced over the years."
The Sheriff's posse is not a new concept. The original posse program was created fifty years ago and asks the people of Maricopa County to volunteer and assist the Sheriff in the following duties: search and rescue, dead beat parent details, and prisoner transport, among other activities. With budget cuts to the department and federal criticism, the posse has expanded to include illegal immigration policing.
"I must warn you that we are in for a rude awakening, because this country right now is in a lot of danger," Ferringo said at the conference, according to The Washington Post. In a video, included below, Ferrigno says, "This posse is the power of the county... I am here because of my strong stance."
Carla Ferrigno told ComicsAlliance the quotes were taken out of context, and that it was clear to those present that he was not a part of the sheriff's posse. "[The media] just blew this up because he had a name," she said.
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