June 9 - Acting Inspector General (IG) and Deputy Inspector General of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Charles K. Edwards testified that DHS and Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) agents have been commonly targeted by Los Zetas with bribes in exchange for safe passage, protection, the escorting of traffickers and the leaking of sensitive information.
Per Edwards testimony, agents are “bribed with cash, granted sexual favors and other services in exchange for allowing contraband or undocumented immigrants to pass through inspection lanes.”
In May 2011, FBI Deputy Assistant Director of the Criminal Investigation Division, David Cardona, addressing public corruption [with regards to an FBI sting involving a CBP agent with ties to the Gulf Cartel] stated, “Amazingly these people sell their ethics for small dollar figures. There’s always a pattern. The bribes start off small, they work their way up and it’s just a constant flow. They become addicted to the illegal revenue flow of the constant bribes coming in.”
During the 2010 fiscal year, complaints against CBP agents rose to 4,162 and the DHS-IG opened 870 investigations related to CBP employees.
AP Photo/Susan Sterner