This is a source for analysis, interviews, and commentary on security in Latin America. Herein you will find rumors, the results of off the record interviews, and information you'll not find in international or United States news media.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Border Patrol on the wrong side of the Law

I was on the FBI's San Antonio press releases page for 2009, and I was struck by the five stories I saw about Customs and Border Patrol officers or inspectors in Texas who have either plead guilty or have been convicted of bribery, corruption, smuggling, etc.

Doesn't that seem like a lot?

I'll also share a story I came across some time ago about another Border Patrol Agent who fell on the wrong side of the law:

BROWNSVILLE — A former Border Patrol agent was sentenced Wednesday to 14 years in federal prison for helping drug smugglers move a 44-pound cocaine load.

Prosecutors showed that 30-year-old Leonel Morales, of Zapata County, took $9,000 in exchange for telling drug smugglers how to avoid sensors and drawing a map of the best routes for shepherding drugs through the county. He also bragged he could keep other Border Patrol agents out of the way.

Morales made the drug smuggling deal during the summer of 2008, unaware he was being recorded. He pleaded guilty to bribery in January.

The sentencing judge in Laredo also ordered him to pay an $11,000 fine.

FBI press release on Morales here.

1 comment:

Sylvia Longmire said...

It seems like a lot because we're not only not used to reading about corruption occurring on our side of the border, but many Americans think US agents are immune to that sort of thing. Not so. US agents along the border have problems like anyone else, and especially with the economy the way it is, some of those problems may be solved with a few bribes. The percentage of US agents involved in illegal activity is still considered very small, but given the credo of not ratting out a fellow cop or agent, I wonder how many more are still involved. You can read more on my take on this issue on my border analysis blog:

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