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Arizona Deputy Arrested, Linked to Mexican Cartel

May 26, 2011  | 

Three Maricopa County (Ariz.) Sheriff's employees, including a veteran patrol deputy, have been arrested in a drug-trafficking sting. Investigators believe they helped a Mexican drug cartel smuggle heroin and people into Arizona.

Deputy Alfredo Navarrette, 37, served in a special unit designed to target human smugglers moving through Maricopa County. Sheriff's detention officers Sylvia Najera, 25, and Marcella Hernandez, 28, were also arrested. Sheriff Joe Arpaio called his deputies' alleged actions "despicable."

Hernandez is eight months pregnant with the child of Francisco "Lorenzo" Arce-Torres, the Sinaloa cartel member and leader of a Phoenix-based smuggling operation who was also arrested. The group mostly moved heroin.

Navarrette and Najera allegedly helped set up a shell corporation to launder nearly $50,000 in drug proceeds. Navarrette also allegedly operated a drop house for illegal-immigrant smuggling.

Source: The Arizona Republic

Comments (14)

Displaying 1 - 14 of 14

Ernie @ 5/26/2011 3:51 PM

Despicable isn't strong enough to describe these pukes! They bring shame on all of us God fearing law enforcement officers who believe in what we do.

michael @ 5/26/2011 5:59 PM

These guys are the worst, I hope they get slammed hard. I get completely sick when I hear this kind of stuff going on and I just become speechless. When I became a LEO it was one of the proudest days in my life and I would never jeopardize that for anyone or anything. This makes me sad to hear this kind of crap going on.

Morning Eagle @ 5/26/2011 7:08 PM

For this to come out of a Sheriff's Department that has worked so long and hard to put a dent in this very kind of crime is not only criminal, it is a mocking slap in the face of every honest officer that lays his or her life on the line every day to combat the operations of these scum. Whatever the maximum penalty the law allows will not be enough, presuming of course that they won't be let off the hook by some bleeding heart jury or judge. And no mercy for Hernandez even though she is pregnant - just look who she let father that child.

DaveSam25G @ 5/26/2011 7:28 PM

These are always bad for those left standing in the wake of the fallout! Continuing evaluation and oversight supervisors -chaing of command are vital here! This did not happen overnight rather a foundation and conditions were laid out like the perfect storm elements coming together. It is indeed a very serious and dangerous time in our own backyard day-by-day, and the indicators/messages are there like the blowing wind and will affect the Nation. This must go beyond symptoms to the root causes…As in life you will be rewarded and judged by the actions, not mere intentions. The choices we make today will determine where we’ll be tomorrow! Success will hinge on many key components (INTERAGENCY TEAMING-PERSISTENT-ACTIONS-and "TRUST")! Like a real good stew these had been brewing for some time…

Nick @ 5/26/2011 9:03 PM

These arrested "deputies" should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and put in a max prison for the rest of their lives. It is too bad that the crime of "traitor" to the U.S. does not apply here because they all deserve much more than just being sentenced to prison terms for all of the killings, poain and suffering their actions most probably facilitated.

Matt @ 5/26/2011 11:19 PM

I hope they get thrown into Maricopa County Jail until they go to trial.... Sheriff Joe is known for being tough I would like to see what he does to his own guys pulling this crap, sad to see another black eye to law enforcement no amount of money is worth my pension and more importantly my freedom

FedLeo @ 5/27/2011 7:49 AM

Betrayal, disgust, lack of honor. I hope those involved are punished severely and for an extended amount of time. Did anyone around those three, co-workers or supervisors, see anything disturbing? Were they problem children? From what I've seen, it is sometimes too difficult to terminate personnel, at any level of government, for misconduct, which can be an indicator of what the "bad apple" is capable of.

Phil Klingensmith @ 5/27/2011 8:44 AM

This is just the tip of the iceberg. Corruption has be endemic in Mexico for decades, and the temptation to go to the dark side - or the orchestrated infiltration of U.S. law enforcement agencies - is increasing and will continue to increase as long as there is a market for drugs and people willing to pay to illegally enter our country.

sky Lambert @ 5/27/2011 9:13 AM

How much nerve this person (who doesn't deserve to be called an LEO) has to put this black mark on such a noble profession. If convicted it is unfortunate that he will probably not be placed in the Gen-Pop. Taxpayers will have to pay for his protection since I'm sure someone who cares about his existance will sue the department if he goes the way of Jeffrey Dahmer. What a disgrace. I hope if there are other traitors like him skulking around they are found and arrested too.

Steve @ 5/27/2011 9:50 AM

Smoke=fire. If three have been arrested, BOLO for more... sadly, not a lot of money to surrender honor for.

scpdblue @ 5/27/2011 11:02 AM

Ernie You couldn't has said it any better.. These scumbags are NOT our brothers and sister.They are worse than scum,they are pukes,they are lowest for of life,their not even human beings.They are nothing but pieces of amphibian shit.It is Sheriff Joe's job to weed out all non hackers who do not pack the gear to serve in his beloved department.....

william @ 5/28/2011 10:19 AM

Send these people to prison. But Sheriff Joe needs to take a look at the first line supervisor all the up to the Captain of the unit. They are utilmately responsible for the actions of these corrupt cops.

Larry Bell Jr. @ 5/28/2011 2:51 PM

what a disgrace to the sheriff and the sheriff's office... this has to be very hard for the deputies families

Carla @ 5/31/2011 11:34 AM

Go Sheriff Joe !!!!! Good job.

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