Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin are being targeted by law enforcement agents yet again. This time it isn’t a simple county sheriff knocking on their doors: it’s the FBI.
Lacey and Larkin are accustomed to first amendment rights violations. So when the FBI seized their former website, Backpage.com, they simply had their lawyer respond. Their lawyer is Paul Cambria, the former representation of Larry Flynt.
The parallels of Flynt and the case of Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin are more abundant than anyone would think. Larry Flynt was a porn producer, constantly in trouble for his job. Paul Cambria was able to fight for Flynt, keeping him out of prison. Lacey and Larkin are accused of benefiting from prostitution.
Michael Lacey was spending time with his new wife at the time of the raid. FBI agents must have believed they were arresting El Chapo from the looks of things. The agents raided his home in full body armor, assault rifles, and riot shields. Witnesses also stated that they saw the FBI taking some of Lacey’s possession after they had already cuffed him.
Another time they were arrested was while they were in their home state of Arizona. Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin were arrested by Joe Arpaio for content published in their newspaper. From this incident, Lacey and Larkin were awarded a large settlement for a first amendment rights violation.
After the settlement, in 2012, Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin began selling off their Village Voice Media assets. They got out of the newspaper business, selling the Phoenix New Times and all of their other imprints.
Eventually, even Backpage.com was sold. Neither Michael Lacey or Jim Larkin were involved in the day-to-day operations of the website at the time of the arrest. While the founders of Backpage.com sat behind bars, the founders of Craigslist, which is almost identical to Backpage, remained free.
Since selling their company Village Voice Media, they have also pursued other ventures. Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin are the operators of The Frontera Fund. This organization provides a better way of life to Latino immigrants of Arizona.
Michael and Jim by way of The Frontera Fund’s official website, provide a number of educational reading materials aimed at educating people on immigration law. They also work with a program called Can The Border Divide? to bring educational lectures to those in need.
Lacey and Larkin have reentered the newspaper industry as well. Front Page Confidential is their newest publication, focusing on politics and civil action. Recently, with the arrest of its owners, Front Page Confidential has been keeping the public updated on the status of the ongoing FBI investigations.
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