Immigration sweep nets 83 arrests in 2 days

Posted: Updated:

PHOENIX (AP) -- The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office has arrested 83 people during a two-day crime sweep targeting illegal immigrants.

Of the 83 people arrested, the office said Saturday that 68 were illegal immigrants. Those who were not illegal immigrants were arrested for crimes ranging including drug possession and theft.

The sheriff's office seized 725 pounds of marijuana and some methamphetamine during the operation, which ended Friday.

It was the office's 18th such sweep, but the first one that includes a newly formed Illegal Immigration Enforcement Posse, a group of armed volunteers that were trained to report illegal activity.

Sheriff Joe Arpaio says his office's 17 previous sweeps resulted in more than 1,000 arrests. He says a recent rise in the number of human smuggling arrests prompted another sweep.