I turned to the Arizona Republic because I wanted to write about the execution this evening of Donald Beaty. I still want to, and I will.
But you know how it is when you dip a toe into the
waters deserts (that's not fair, there's water, in the Copper State, too) of the Grand Canyon State. You just get sidetracked because dammit, Sheriff Joe and the boys have made the news again.
This time it isn't Joe himself making the headlines, it's three of his minions.
3 in MCSO accused of cartel ties
Seems that Tuesday morning, following a yearlong investigation, a Multi-District Drug Task Force arrested a dozen people and darned if three of them didn't work for Joe.
Deputy Alfredo Navarrette, 37, has worked with the Sheriff's Office for nearly a decade, serving in a special unit designed to target human smugglers moving through Maricopa County. But investigators believe Navarrette was himself involved in human smuggling. Investigators found two undocumented immigrants in Navarrette's home when he was arrested early Tuesday morning in a sweep that concluded a yearlong investigation.
"The fight against drugs, illegal immigration and human trafficking is important not only to me but the citizens of Arizona," Sheriff Joe Arpaio said. "That a deputy sheriff would provide information and associate with these drug and human traffickers is despicable."
Investigators from a multijurisdiction drug task force also arrested two sheriff's detention officers, Sylvia Najera, 25, and Marcella Hernandez, 28. They are accused of laundering money and moving drugs for a Valley-based drug-trafficking organization with ties to Mexico.
Arpaio said Hernandez is eight months' pregnant with the child of another suspect arrested Tuesday, Francisco "Lorenzo" Arce-Torres, who is described in court records as a member of the Sinaloa drug cartel and the leader of the Phoenix-based drug-trafficking organization at the heart of the probe.
Court records indicate Hernandez had $20,000 cash on her when she and Najera were arrested Tuesday morning on their way to work at the Lower Buckeye Jail.
Are any of the three (hell, any of the 12) guilty? No idea. Innocent people get arrested all the time. So do guilty ones, of course. But it isn't pretty.
Physician, heal thyself.