Scottsdale resident, gang member sentenced to life in prison


Earlier this week, Elijah Loren Arthur, Sr., 35, of Scottsdale, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Steven P. Logan to life in prison plus 10 years.

Arthur was previously found guilty by a federal jury of first-degree murder and use of a firearm in a crime of violence.

“The life sentence imposed in this case represents the culmination of an intensive investigation following the tragedy that took Officer Cabrera away from his family and his Salt River Police Department colleagues,” stated U.S. Attorney John S. Leonardo, in a press release. “Our office will prosecute to the fullest extent of the law those who threaten, menace, or harm tribal law enforcement officers who have dedicated themselves to protecting their communities.”

Arthur was responsible for the murder of Salt River Police Officer Jair Cabrera, the release stated.

On May 24, 2014, Arthur was riding in a car that was stopped by Officer Cabrera on the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community. Arthur, who was the front seat-passenger, got out of the car and shot Officer Cabrera with an AR-15, killing him. Arthur fled on foot but was apprehended shortly after the shooting.

The investigation revealed that the murder weapon was purchased by Arthur’s co-defendant, Joey Thomas, approximately one month before the shooting, stated officials. The evidence at trial showed that Arthur was a member of the Eastside Bloods street gang and that his gang affiliation may have been a motivating factor for the killing.

“While the outcome of these proceedings does not change the fact a police officer was killed while performing his official duties, it will hopefully bring closure to the family and friends of Officer Jair Cabrera. The FBI remains committed to bringing to justice those responsible for senseless crimes such as these,” stated FBI Special Agent in Charge Douglas Price, in the release.

The investigation in this case was conducted by the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Police Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Scottsdale Police Department, the Mesa Police Department, and the Arizona Department of Public Safety.

The prosecution was handled by Thomas Simon and Tracy Van Buskirk, Assistant U.S. Attorneys, District of Arizona, Phoenix.

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