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Updated Feb 28, 2013 - 7:30 am

Maricopa County detectives break up human smuggling ring

Fernando Valdez-Benitez was one of 10 key members of a cartel arrested by the MCSO (Photo courtesy of the MCSO).

PHOENIX -- After a five-month investigation, Sheriff Joe Arpaio said the MCSO arrested 10 key members of a cartel, including the kingpin who shouldn't have even been there.

"He's been deported eight times," Arpaio said. "Eight times and keeps coming back."

Detectives arrested the alleged leader, 35-year-old Javier Rito-Martinez, at his home in Laveen.

Arpaio said the group has made millions from smuggling people over the past four years. The group is accused of directing the flow of smuggling clients from Mexico's southern border into the United States.

Sheriff's deputies worked with special agents with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations to track and arrest the 10 suspects.

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