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Suspected drug smuggling aides arrested in Arizona

January 23, 2012

Officials in Arizona have arrested a US border patrol agent and a jailer after it was claimed they were involved in the trafficking of drugs from Mexico.

According to the US Attorney's Office, the pair were linked with drug cartels in the north American country and conspired to help traffickers smuggle illegal substances across the border.

Ivhan Herrera-Chiang, 29, who worked at the state's border in Yuma and Michael Lopez-Garcia, 28, a corrections officer at the Arizona State Prison Complex in San Luis, have allegedly been aiding traffickers since September 2010.

A confidential informant working for a drug and human trafficking network in Mexico is said to have tipped off the police about the two men.

If the pair are convicted they could face life imprisonment, a $10 million (£6.4 million) fine or both.

This latest arrest comes after a string of recent seizures, the most recent being of 34-year-old alleged Sinaloa cartel weapons smuggler Eduardo Avila Ojeda.