'America's Toughest Sheriff' Unapologetic About Tactics, Inmate Treatment

Interstate 17: Sheriff's Latest Catch

"Nightline" went along with Arpaio's team as they looked for illegal immigrants on Interstate 17. Starting at 5 p.m., there were no sign of illegal immigrants until almost 8 when Deputy Carlos was told over the radio that one of his colleagues pulled over a suspicious vehicle. Within minutes, Arpaio is trumpeting his latest catch.

"Eighteen in this vehicle... Just shows you an example of what's going on with illegal immigration," he said.

The vehicle with those suspected of being in the country illegally was pulled over for speeding and an obscured license plate, according to Arpaio.

There's no time for sentiment. The night's bounty -- 16 men and 2 women -- was cuffed and placed in a prison truck. They made it to America, but their journey has come to an abrupt halt.

"I'll tell you one thing. The law says Class 4 felony – that's a pretty serious charge," he said. "We'll see if they knew what they were doing, seeing how much money they paid the smuggler. But you're not supposed to violate the law."

The following morning Arpaio allowed "Nightline" access to his home outside of Phoenix -- a beautiful setting complete with a grand fountain in the backyard.

When asked if he ever wondered if his house was built by construction workers from across the border who have illegally entered the country, Arpaio said, "I would presume that over the years you're probably correct. ..Doesn't bother me at all...I don't know who they are."

And with that, Arpaio returned to what he does best -- chasing the illegals out of town.

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