The former News of the World crime editor has been arrested in England on suspicion of paying police officers.
Lucy Panton, who is married to a Scotland Yard detective, is being questioned at a south London police station after officers swooped on her home at dawn today.
The 37-year-old is the seventh suspect arrested under Operation Elveden, which runs alongside the Operation Weeting hacking inquiry.
Ms Panton, who has two young children, was promoted from crime correspondent to crime editor in October 2005.
She remained at the paper until it was shut down at the height of the hacking scandal in July.
Elveden was launched after officers were handed documents suggesting News International journalists made illegal payments to police officers.
A Metropolitan Police spokesman said a woman was arrested "on suspicion of committing offences involving making payments to police officers for information" at 6.15am on Thursday.
He added: "She was arrested at a residential address in Surrey and has been taken to a south London police station where she remains in custody."
Ms Panton, who has also worked for The People, is the first Elveden arrest since Sun district editor Jamie Pyatt, 48, was held last month.
Others questioned as part of the inquiry include former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks, ex-Downing Street communications chief Andy Coulson, former News of the World managing editor Stuart Kuttner, the paper's former royal editor Clive Goodman and a 63-year-old man whose identity has not been disclosed.