3 Ariz. officers accused of drug, human smuggling

By the Associated Press | May 24, 2011 | 9:42 PM EDT

PHOENIX (AP) — Three employees of an Arizona sheriff known for his department's immigration sweeps and tough stance on crime have been arrested in a drug and human smuggling case.

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio said Tuesday that one deputy and two detention officers were among 12 people taken into custody after the breakup of a drug smuggling ring. He says seven other sheriff's employees are being investigated.

Authorities say one of the two detention officers is eight month's pregnant with the child of the leader of the alleged drug ring.

Arpaio says Deputy Ruben Navarette admitted to passing on information about his boss' sweeps to the ring and that officers searched Navarette's home and found two illegal immigrants inside.

The three have not retained attorneys.