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8 apprehended in extensive human smuggling operation

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Javier Rito-Martinez Javier Rito-Martinez
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LAVEEN, Ariz. -

A 8-time deported fugitive arrested – it's all part of a bust by MCSO that resulted in eight arrests.

The suspects are part of a suspected multi-million dollar illegal immigrant smuggling ring. After a five month investigation, Maricopa County Sheriff's detectives tracked the leader of a human smuggling operation to a home in Laveen.

That's where they found the operation's leader, a man who'd already been deported eight times.

The man in the back seat of this patrol car is 35-year-old Javier Rito-Martinez. He controls a human smuggling cartel that brought illegals to the U.S. from Oaxaca, Mexico.

"I saw all these unmarked sheriffs' cars coming down and there was like 12 of them and they all had their lights going," says neighbor Shelly House.

Shelly House saw the SWAT team storm her neighborhood and thought something significant was happening down the street -- and she was right.

Sheriff's deputies arrested eight suspects. Three of them have been deported multiple times in the past.

Rito-Martinez was deported eight times, Irinero Rios Ordaz was deported five times, and Fernando Benitez-Valdez was deported four times.

"They just released 305 illegal immigrants from jails in Arizona, how are they going to keep track of these people once again when they can't keep track of how many suspects cross the border and come back? So I have a little concern about that," said Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

Arpaio says Rito-Martinez did business in the valley for four years. According to local police reports, he was also involved in a gun battle in 2010.

"We have this guy that's been involved in this type of activity for so many years and he's been deported eight times. He's not going to be deported this time, he's going to jail," said Arpaio.

Despite what she believes to be a growing problem in the valley, House says she'll sleep better knowing the sheriff is working on a solution.

"He's doing a great job, I believe and as long as he stays focused on that I think we can get this problem under control," says House.

Deputies also seized a weapon. Rito-Martinez has a wife in the state, as well as a daughter who receives DES benefits.

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