‘Douche du Jour’: 3 Arizona Cops under “America’s Toughest Sheriff” Busted for Undocumented Immigrant & Heroin Trafficking
After a year-long sting investigation, a sheriff’s deputy and two correctional officers have been arrested in metropolitan Phoenix and charged with trafficking in undocumented immigrants and drugs. According to ABC News, the three busted officers were under the command of Joe Arpaio, known as the “America’s toughest sheriff” for his zero-tolerance policy toward undocumented immigration and drugs.
To make matters even worse, Alfredo Navarrette, the arrested deputy, worked for nearly a decade in the Maricopa County Sheriff’s human smuggling unit. He was caught with $200,000 worth of heroin and a pair of undocumented immigrants in his home. He stands accused of running a drug ring and a separate human smuggling operation.
The two prison guards arrested along with Navarrette, who is 37, are 28-year-old Marcela Hernandez and Sylvia Najera. Hernandez was carrying $16,000 at the time of her arrest. She was also carrying the unborn child of Francisco Arce-Torre, a heroin kingpin and member of the notorious Mexican Sinaloa cartel. She is eight months pregnant. Hernandez was employed as a guard in the county jail, where she oversaw the women’s chain gang.
Sheriff Arpaio, who said Navarrette “talked at the time of his arrest,” also said the busted deputy “was releasing information to the bad guys, which places my deputy sheriffs and volunteer posse in danger when enforcing illegal immigration and drug trafficking laws.”
Navarette has been arraigned on charges of human smuggling, money laundering, controlling an illegal enterprise and conspiracy. He is being held on $1 million cash bond.
Hernandez has been charged with transporting drugs and money laundering. She’s being held on $2 million bond.
Najera’s charges are money laundering and controlling a criminal enterprise. Her bail hasn’t been set yet.
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