Saturday, September 24, 2011

Jailed U.S. Border Agent; Scary Inside Look at Drug Cartels

By Andrea Canning and Christina NG
ABC News
A Border Patrol agent checks vehicles for illegal immigrants and contraband at a roadside checkpoint in this June 1, 2010 file photo near Sasabe, Ari. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

A corrupt U.S. border agent sitting in a federal prison cell is offering a chilling view of the Mexican drug cartels whose drug shipments he protected for years in return for hefty bribes.

He is so terrified of the cartel's famous vicious streak that he fears for his own life -- and the lives of his family -- if he is identified as speaking to ABC News. He depicts a dangerously paranoid crime organization that has spies throughout U.S. law enforcement.

To illustrate the cartel's pervasive reach, he said he got his introduction to them through an American cop. From there the former border patrol agent was convicted of shepherding cartel vehicles loaded with drugs safely over the border. Prosecutors say he profited handsomely, being paid $4,000 per car and $6,000 to escort vans - in addition to a $10,000 retainer fee.

According to the indictment, the agent's run came to an end after he unknowingly offered his services to other drug dealers-- who were undercover FBI agents. In the sting, the agent assisted the undercover agents in smuggling a huge shipment of cocaine into the U.S. He largely concedes the facts of the case against him, but insists there is more to his story.

U.S. Border Agents Seduced By Mexican Drug Cartels
"First and foremost, I was a USBP agent. But when the threat is real and it's on your own family... it turns into a whole new ball game," he said in a series of emails in which he answered questions put to him by ABC News.

"Regardless of my crime, I served my country and my community to the best of my abilities (above and beyond)... no one will ever take that away from me," he wrote.

The disgraced agent said the cartel was more powerful than the U.S. government and overrode his oath as a law enforcement officer.

"In my opinion they have unlimited power..they have informants of all kinds, good and bad," he said. "They have informants in the city level, county level and, from what they claim, federal."

"At the time I was just thinking of a possible life and death situation and DEATH had better odds than I had.... Until you are faced with a situation like mine... no one can really say what they could have done."

He said he first reached out to the cartels because it was a form of security. If he helped the cartels, he could keep his drug-dealing brothers in Mexico safe.

"Of course I knew I was taking a big risk. It went against everything I believed in and worked hard for," the agent said. "Yes, I was terrified of getting caught, but more terrified of losing my brothers."

At a softball game, the police officer introduced him to a man who had connections in the part of Mexico where his brothers' lives were being threatened and the guard believed they might be able to help his brothers if he worked with them. He did not know, however, that once he got involved with this dangerous world, it would be impossible to get out.

He also did not identify which of the Mexican drug cartels he dealt with.

"At first I was doing it for free because I wanted to get my brother's problems taken care of, but then I got whatever they gave me," he said. "They wouldn't take no for an answer and I had to play along."

In a world where suspicion could be fatal, the former guard said he had to accept the bribes in order to curb the cartel's paranoia.

"The money was not something I could say no to...because I had to make them believe that I was doing all I could to be on their good side," he wrote.

He communicated with the drug trafficking organizations by radio and sometimes in person, which he said was "scary and stressful."

Mexico Cartel Extends Its Menace to U.S. Prison
Trusting no one, he believed he was under constant surveillance and described a situation where he met a woman at a safe house. The meeting came right after he and other officers had been warned that the cartels were using women to try to get agents into Mexico in order to kill them.

When the first person he met at a safe house was a woman, he was terrified. The cartel told him the woman was there for his "personal enjoyment," but he suspected the real purposed was to get him naked so that they could see that he was not wired.

He can't stop thinking about what he has done and can't stop worrying about the cartel, even behind bars.

"I worry a lot because I know [their] method of operation and in what areas [they operate]," the guard wrote. "In other words, I believe that they think that I know too much."

He isn't just afraid for himself.

"I worry about my family because they are living in border towns and in Mexico," he said. "I fear for their lives because I believe that those people are just waiting for me to say the wrong thing about them or someone in particular."

The Mexican drug cartel industry has an estimated worth of more than $15 billion and continues to grow. Violence has escalated in the industry and battles involving automatic weapons and grenades are common. Over 34,000 people have been killed in Mexican drug wars over the past four years.

In a disturbing trend, new figures show 122 current or former U.S. federal agents and employees of the Customs and Border Protection agency have been arrested or indicted for corruption since October 2004. It's not just for money, some agents are accepting payment from the cartels in the form of sexual favors.

Just last week, a police officer, a state trooper and three TSA officers in Florida and Connecticut were among 20 arrested for allegedly running an interstate drug ring. "

"It will get worse before it gets better," the former agent predicted.

Even though the agent describes prison life as "a terrible experience," he believes he did the best he could for the circumstances he was in.

"I knew that what I was doing was wrong. But, at the time, I thought I had no other options," he said. "It's easy to find an answer right now, but back then...it was a nightmare."

26 comments:

  1. Oh poor baby. He just wanted to help his brothers in Mexico. He's not a crook. They made him do it. Well asshole in this country you go to jail for that shit. Bye.

    These punks make me sick. They think they will never get caught and they have no regard for the promise they made or the country that gave them the chance to prosper. "He did the best he could." Fuck this guy and his family. I hope he goes away forever.

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  2. This nicely illustrates how we can never really get rid of corruption apart from some total genetic makeover of the whole human race.

    This obviously made good money. Salary + a lot of money from trafficers YET he still wanted MORE.

    Greed is universal and so are the people that want to exploit it.

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  3. I know a Customs guy who, for a while, was running around town like he won the lottery! This guy had side businesses, his wife had a crappy spa that they said was "making lots of money" (they sold it and the new owner closed in a week). New house in a resort town in Mexico, new trucks...way too good to be true. They had him on video taking bribes and letting vans roll on through the border. He would have a 44oz soda cup with a lid on it, and would carry it with him as he walked around the vans 'inspecting' them. Over and over again, a hand would come out of a window and he would switch soda cups, and the cup would have $100 bills rolled up as tight as they could get. A 440z cup holds a lot of cash, and he was letting two come through a day. This guy's wife played dumb and he plead 'no contest'. Eight years in jail, and he actually gets out this year. When you pay a guy $50,000 a year and he is supposed to be the only thing between us and an unlimited amount of money, some of these guys will get greedy. But they end up getting caught.

    These stories of corrupt US agents are not the norm. These are very few and far between. Even if there was one bad agent out of one hundred, (there is no way it's even close to those numbers), it's nothing in comparison to how corrupt Mexico is! Entire police forces and even military outfits are working for the cartels! The difference between the two countries is that there is a mechanism in the US to deal with these people, and that mechanism is still solid. Corruption hasn't eroded the entire BP, or Customs. If corruption on our side was as bad as some would like to think, the cartels wouldn't be digging tunnels and using desperate means to get their product (including people) into the US. When the border seems like activity has slowed to a crawl, but more and more illegals and drugs are on our streets, you will know that our entire Federal system has been infiltrated. And only then will we be like Mexico.

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  4. I'm sure that the cartels have infiltrated a few of our law enforcement agencies, but to say they have done so throughout the U.S. is a load of crap from a crooked cop trying to justify his disgraceful conduct. It does stand to reason though, that cartel members are doing time in a number of American prisons.

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  5. This guy is trying to justify his actions throughout the article. He blames fear as the cause of his actions. Complete bullshit. He wanted to protect his brothers who were in the drug buisness in Mexico?
    Lock up this no good wb for as long as possible.

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  6. Wat a joke this guy has menamialized,rationalized, "he is proud of serving his country" Hell Yes his country is MEXICO not the USA, even thou he is a US citizen hired by the incompitent idiot Fed. HE IS FIRST AND FOREMOST A MEXICAN. This is the problem getting Mexicans uho happen to be US citizens to stay streight relativley speaking. We all know anybody anywhere in the world who has any power big or small will abuse that power for that persons benefit BIG or SMALL. Mexicans culturaly,historicaly,universaly,have abuse of power in their blood (corruption). When Mexicans become US citizens,or stay in the US illegaly most these days identify with Mexico not the US. This Profiteering Mexican Federal Officer needs to be hung off a telephone pole for all to see. You more sencitive people can worry about his family,the dope dealers.

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  7. The truth is it might not be "throughout America" but is definitely becoming more common than in recent times. Especially in border towns because the top level guys live in affluent neighborhoods, their kids go to the same schools as agents, they prob shop at the same grocery stores, and they're wives probably get their nails done together. If you're a person who can be pursuaded a silly 3 month BP academy will not detour you from going crooked. And alot of these guys really live in a parallel universe and think because they physically did not handle the drugs and looked the other they really did not do anything wrong. But the corruption at small levels is not the issue the government running guns south ( fast and furious) and allowing cartels impunity ( zambada -niebla) are the things we should worry about all the small tome dummy BP agents are pawns in the big picture.

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  8. September 24, 2011 11:54 AM This is the problem getting Mexicans who happen to be US citizens to stay straight relatively speaking.

    You know what F*&# you men I will give you this 3 links for you to see many corrupted police, military and border patrol agent are here in the U.S read it and you tell me how many of this MF are Mexicans and also how many are whites.

    http://stopthedrugwar.org/taxonomy/term/27

    http://www.customscorruption.com/

    http://www.militarycorruption.com/

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  9. For the people who think corruption is just around the border you people are wrong, most of the corruption happens up north.

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  10. There is so much to consider. Imagine you have 3 beautiful nieces living in Juarez that do not have green cards. One day some seedy bastard shows up with some very disturbing pictures or sends videos of them leaving home and going into the school. They simply say what you must do to keep them safe. So do you trust the law enforcement on the other side, that could be involved? And maybe they even give you some photos of what happened to the family of the last guy that didn't cooperate then later you get a call from a distressed niece that has been abducted. Are you still going to be John Wayne? It is not so simple as an oath, and these people are more treacherous than you can imagine.

    He got an 8 year sentence in federal prison. He will serve 323 days on each year. He will do 7 1/2 years there. All he is saying is, I fucked up but the people need to know it is not always greed that is the primary motivator. At $50,000 a year to house someone in federal prison, and the cost of welfare for the family in addition, plus the cost of prosecution, it will cost us $1,000,000. I understand we must set examples, but who really listens. Can we afford this? Can we afford the same cost for everyone that wants to smoke crack, ice, and shoot heroin? I would rather have a balanced budget and let them smoke their selves to death if they choose to. And please remember, not all of us are in the law and order field so we see things differently. I don't see him as a creep, but more as a victim, a casualty of war.

    @10:08 AM...Good stuff.

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  11. This goes for the hireing process of BP. It is known that many agents didnt get a polygraph but if he would have disclosed a close relative living in mexico he would not have been hired. Now the polygraph part of the hireing process is almost unlawful. The interragtor wants you to show the upmost hate for mexicans through a coerced food deprived 8hr plus questioning that I would compare to detainee questioning.

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  12. Survival of the fittest

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  13. Fuck all you people thinking that all Mexicans who work on BP will be corrupted. One of the reason many Mexicans work on BP is because they speak Spanish not because of the contacts they have in Mexico. You racis bastards

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  14. How exactly did he proudly serve our country? His sole job was to protect our borders and he didn't do that

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  15. Corrupt officers always get caught and that's a credit to the accountabiliy in our institutions. When you roll the dice for a mafia once you belong to them forever. Sad, good careers go to waste. But also the gangs are putting people through police academies and AJ, and CJ courses. So, I am not surprised that an officer here and there gets booted.

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  16. 1ST WORLD AGANST 3RD WORL WHO IS
    GOING TO WIN ? WHO KNOWS THEY ARE ALREADY HERE .
    BELIEVE ME WE ARE NOT SAFE ANY MORE SPECIALY THOSE CLOSE TO THE BORDER , I'M TALKING 10 HOURS FROM THE BORDER THAT'S HOW POWERFUL THEY ARE
    IS IT TRUTH? MAKE SOME REASERCH GO TO THE POOREST SIDES OF THE TOWNS AND YOU'LL SEE

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  17. Most of these corrupt fucks have been passing the pollo for years and years before being caught. Check the border newspapers...every month or so they catch another 20-yr veteran CBP who has been passing people since day one.

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  18. goy two dumb ass uncles got caught doing that shit for the golfos now they aint shit their kids taking care of them now

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  19. There is nothing more worse that a Criminal behind a Badge.

    No! Mr. Federal Agent, when you stated "I served my country and my community to the best of my abilities" Thats a bold face Lie.

    You took an oath to defend the US and its citizens against ALL ENEMIES, foreign and domestic, Once you cross that Line(because ur Ass was Greedy and You had no Honor worth rats spit)

    You became a CRIMINAL and an Enemy of the State.

    You dont have my sympathy....or Americas....You are just a weak willed, Low character SCUM Bag, who decided to Jump to the side of the Cartels.

    You obviously Have No Loyality to the USA only to your greedy self.....

    What you did was treasonous.....You violated your Oath of Office and You deserve to Rot in the Federal Penn and pay for your crime.

    Its for Morons like him that we have Internal Affairs both at the state and Federal level.

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  20. Instead of smuggling drugs he should've smuggled his brothers across and there problem solved he wouldn't have needed to mix the wrong people.

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  21. The government should not have former Mexican citizens in any position to protect our borders. Even if these individuals wanted to be honest and do a good job there family members in Mexico could be targeted by the cartels. It is ridiculous to have former Mexican citizens guarding our borders. It"s like hiring a fox to guard the hen house.

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  22. this is why we shouldn't be hiring certain types to be in our police force, in the military, or even in the country. Their allegiance to the USA, or indeed common decency or humanity, is suspect and they bring with them opportunity- and let's just admit- often a predilection for corruption. One of the reasons the USA is likely doomed or, at least, those states bordering on the narco-state of Mexico.

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  23. I see all you guys talking about this corrupt border agent but I don't think this should even be a topic if the U.S.A wasn't the biggest consumer of drugs. Why don't we talk about all these crazy drug addicts. We all got to understand that when these a demand there will be a supply and somebody is going to do it, no matter what race you are.

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  24. Brothers in Mexico? The BIs dropped the ball on this one.

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  25. Im an american and one day I wish I could become half the man that chapo guzman and mayo zambada r they help out people wen they need it wat do most americans do I'll tell u they think they're better than most of the people. Just because ur life probably wasn't as fucked up as urs does not mean that u r.. Id work in a drug cartel as well if it ment money, clothes, and food in the table for my family imagine u trying to make an honest living an being denied a chance at that just because u are not there legally wat other option do they get I honestly respect the sinaloense cartel because they r good people and if you happen to be against that idgaf just dont try getting in there way cuz its your lost not theyrs

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