|Updated: 4/12 2:40 pm
||Published: 4/12 2:28 pm
FLAGSTAFF, Arizona -- An explosive hidden inside of a postal package that was mailed to an Arizona sheriff could have caused a major explosion, serious injury, and death, authorities said Friday.
The package was mailed on Thursday, addressed to controversial Sheriff Joe Arpaio -- who received a death threat from a major drug cartel just the day before. An alert postal employee at a Flagstaff processing facility noticed gunpowder residue on the package and reported it to authorities.
Police took x-rays of the package and discovered an explosive device inside. It was ultimately detonated by authorities with a water cannon, officials said.
Jerry Sheridan, chief deputy of the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office, told reporters on Friday that the explosive inside the package had the potential to cause serious injury to anyone who would've opened it.
Arpaio is well-known in the southwest for his hard-line anti-immigration policies, which have led some to accuse him of civil rights violations. Arpaio told reporters on Friday that he would not be taken down by his enemies.
"My answer is, it will not deter me from doing my job," Arpaio said. "I'm not running scared."
The FBI is investigating the case, and agents said they might have some idea where the package was mailed from.
The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office is not currently opening any mail sent to its facility, and is investigating to determine whether any other suspicious packages might have made it through to the mail room.
The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms is also investigating the case.