3 Arpaio officers held in smuggling case
Three employees of the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office have been arrested in a drug- and human-trafficking case, authorities said Tuesday.
Sheriff Joe Arpaio said a deputy and two female detention officers at the county’s largest jail facility were among 12 people taken into custody and accused of being in a Phoenix-based international drug-smuggling ring.
One of the detention officers, Marcella Hernandez, told authorities that she is eight months pregnant with the child of Francisco Arce-Torres, the alleged drug ring’s leader who court documents say is also a member of the Mexican Sinaloa cartel.
Deputy Ruben Navarette, Hernandez, and detention officer Sylvia Najera face felony charges. Seven other sheriff’s employees were being investigated.
“Every organization, you’re going to find some people who do wrong,” Arpaio said. “It’s human nature.”