Cochise County, Ariz., Sheriff Larry Dever died Tuesday evening when his 2008 Chevrolet pickup truck rolled over. Dever, 60, was on his way to a family hunting and camping trip.
The four-term Republican sheriff was widely known as a hardliner against illegal immigration. Located in southeastern Arizona, Cochise County is a popular spot for illegal immigration and drug smuggling due to its 83.5-mile border with Mexico.
Dever was propelled to national recognition when he became one of the four Arizona border sheriffs to volunteer to defend the state’s controversial anti-immigration law in federal court.
He was critical of the Obama administration’s border control efforts, saying the federal government failed to do its job. Dever’s office also investigated the death of a rancher who was likely killed by an illegal immigrant, which spurred Arizona’s governor and senators to pressure the Obama administration for higher security along the border.
The longtime sheriff was running uncontested for a fifth term.
Dever is survived by his wife, Nancy, six sons and 11 grandchildren.