Human smuggling bust by MCSO nets 17 arrests

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The following news release was sent by the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office:

ANTHEM - Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio's Human Smuggling Unit continues to make arrests under state and federal illegal immigration laws.

In separate overnight investigations, Sheriff's deputies arrested 17 more illegal aliens in the Anthem area, north of metro Phoenix.

These arrests bring the total arrests made by the Sheriff's Office and under the felony Arizona State Human Smuggling Law to 1,323 to include both smugglers and their human cargo.

Arrests by Sheriff's deputies who are federally trained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) now total 2,439 illegal aliens.

"Today's arrests of these 17 illegals prove what I have been saying all along," Arpaio says. "My fight to slow the flow of illegal immigration has never been for purposes of re-election, as my critics claim. I was re elected on November 4, 2008 as Sheriff, and what is made obvious by today's arrests is that I will continue to enforce the illegal immigration laws."

Because of his tough stance on illegal immigration, critics of the Sheriff's policies continue to ridicule Arpaio and protest in front of the Sheriff's headquarters.

"The election is over and these open border activists did not get their wish which was to unseat this Sheriff," Arpaio adds. " Still, they are pushing for my eviction from the Wells Fargo Building by intimidating businesses here all because of their political agenda. These activists should behave more responsibly towards businesses, especially given the economic climate today."< /p>

According to Arpaio, his efforts to combat illegal immigration within the towns and cities of Maricopa County will be increased, efforts will include additional crime suppression operations and additional employer sanctions investigations.

Arpaio says he is grateful for the support of County Attorney Andrew Thomas for his continued prosecution of the illegal immigration cases.

Despite the critics, the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office continues to be the only Arizona law enforcement agency enforcing all aspects of the state and federal illegal immigration laws.