Wednesday, May 25, 2011

3 cops under 'America's Toughest Sheriff' Joe Arpaio, busted for role in drug & human smuggling ring

3 cops under 'America's Toughest Sheriff' Joe Arpaio, busted for role in drug & human smuggling ring

Three Arizona cops smuggled drugs and humans and laundered money for a vast narco-trafficking ring, all under the nose of the self-proclaimed "America's toughest sheriff," authorities said.

One of the moles, a female corrections officer, was carrying the love child of a cartel capitán, and all three were accused of leaking sheriff's office tips to help the ring guide smugglers, drugs and cash through the area from Mexico, authorities said.

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio said Deputy Alfredo Navarette, 37, and two corrections officers, Sylvia Najera, 25, and Marcella Hernandez, 28, were among 12 people rounded up in Tuesday's sting.

The early morning raids capped a year-long investigation into the ring, which is suspected of funneling loads of heroin into the Valley area west of Phoenix.

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