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Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Deputy and two women who work for America’s 'toughest sheriff' arrested for human trafficking and drug smuggling

He likes to name and shame arrestees by posting their mugshots on his website and asking the public to vote for their favourite.

But America's 'toughest sheriff' was left red-faced today when three of his own staff appeared online after being arrested in a drug and human trafficking sting.

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, said a deputy and two female detention officers were among 12 people accused of being in a Phoenix-based international drug smuggling ring.

Deputy Alfredo Navarette, who was once part of the sheriff's human smuggling unit, was also accused of being part of a separate human trafficking ring.

This morning his mugshot had shot to third place on mcso.org's 'Mugshot of the Day' leader board.

One of the accused detention officers, Marcella Hernandez, revealed she is  eight-months pregnant with the child of Francisco Arce-Torres, the alleged drug ring's leader.

Court documents say Arce-Torres is also a member of the Mexican Sinaloa cartel.

Navarette, Hernandez, and detention officer Sylvia Najera face felony charges.

Seven other sheriff's employees were also being investigated for their possible involvement.

'We have enough violence without having moles in my own organisation that put my deputies in danger,' Arpaio said in a press conference.

'Every organisation, you're going to find some people who do wrong,' he added.  'It's human nature.'



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