WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT
Maricopa County Sheriff's Deputies say they have arrested a man on bestiality charges.
Deputies say 68-year-old Michael Crawford posted an ad on a popular website that caught the attention of a detective from the MCSO Animal Crimes unit.
The detective and Crawford communicated several times via telephone and e-mail. During those taped recordings and e-mail exchanges, deputies say that Crawford admitted to traveling the country to find horse owners willing to allow him to commit sexual acts with the animals.
Per MCSO, "In one conversation, Crawford asked the detective what kind of horses and ponies he had, how large they were and if they are used to human sexual play. He later told the deputy that he purchased a non-refundable plane ticket to Phoenix adding, 'If you can really help with what I am seeking, I am definitely interested in traveling out to meet you.' Crawford said he would be bringing five shirts on which he wanted the horse to urinate. He told detectives he would mail them back to his home in Pennsylvania where he will wear them for arousal purposes."
According to MCSO, Crawford purchased a round-trip ticket to Phoenix with the intent to commit bestiality. Deputies say Crawford arrived at an airport in the Valley on Friday evening, July 10th. Video footage that was secretly recorded by MCSO detectives shows Crawford meeting with the planned horses.
"Perversion has reached a new level," said Sheriff Joe Arpaio in response to this latest bestiality investigation conducted by his animal crimes unit.
Deputies also say the suspect told them he's been performing sex acts on animals since the 1970s and he allegedly told them he is now retired after having worked for the government for more than 40 years.
"Evidently, he said working on the Patriot missile system, sonar equipment with submarines," said Arpaio.
The Sheriff added, "When he was arrested, he was shocked. He said I didn't do anything. Well, he did. He committed conspiracy. We are not going to let him go through the act.. of course, that's what he's thinking. He didn't do it, but we sure have enough to charge him."
Deputies arrested Crawford, who is now facing charges of bestiality, which is a class 6 felony. He has been booked into the Fourth Avenue jail.
"I take this crime seriously," stated Arpaio. "It is part of my office's fight against animal abuse. These animals are not meant to be sex toys for the perverted."
Arpaio says in the past five years, his deputies have made eight arrests for bestiality.