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Arpaio staffers tied to heroin smuggling ring out on bail

Two of three Maricopa County sheriff’s employees implicated in a heroin smuggling ring have been released from custody after posting bail.

The Arizona Republic says the highest-ranking member of the trio had his bail reduced to $25,000 this week after a judge determined the original $1 million cash bail was excessive.

Evidence that investigators presented to the grand jury after the months-long probe indicate that former Deputy Alfredo Navarrette and former sheriff’s detention officer Marcella Hernandez discussed moving to a ranch in Mexico before their arrests.

Investigators say the ranch is owned by the smuggling ring’s alleged leader, Francisco Arce-Torres. He’s accused of having ties to the Sinaloan cartel and whom detectives believe fathered a child Hernandez gave birth to shortly after her arrest.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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Former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, second from right, leaves U.S. District Court on the first day of his contempt-of-court trial with attorney Mark Goldman, left, Monday, June 26, 2017, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

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