Cops Working for Anti-Immigration Sheriff Busted for Human Smuggling

LAS VEGAS - OCTOBER 19: Maricopa County, Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio is interviewed before speaking at a Tea Party Express rally at Stoney's Rockin' Country October 19, 2010 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The tour, part of an initiative to get conservatives elected to the House and Senate, will move across country and conclude on November 1, 2010 in Concord, New Hampshire the day before the contentious mid-term elections. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images) Photo: Ethan Miller/2010 Getty Images

Three cops working for Arizona's notorious Sheriff Joe Arpaio were arrested this morning for human smuggling, narcotics trafficking, and laundering money for a vast drug ring with ties to Mexico's Sinaloa cartel. One of the cops, Deputy Alfredo Navarrette, was a ten-year veteran of Arpaio's controversial anti-human smuggling division, which has been criticized for civil rights violations. After Navarrette's arrest, a sweep of his apartment turned up two illegal immigrants. Another cop, Marcella Hernandez, is eight months pregnant with the child of the cartel's capitán. She had nearly $20,000 on her when she and Sylvia Najera, another corrections officer, were arrested this morning. Guess when Arpaio started calling himself "America's Toughest Sheriff," he forgot to add, "unless it's happening right in front of me."

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