U.S. Customs and Border Protection Ring Sentence: Human Smuggling, Cocaine, Bribery
A U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CPB) officer operated a two-year criminal enterprise along the U.S.-Mexico border in Texas, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office. Human smuggling, cocaine and marijuana trafficking, and bribery resulted in 108 months in prison for the officer, Juan Carlos Guerrero.
Guerrero will also have to pay a $30,000 fine. The ring involved Guerrero, his girlfriend, his nephew, and two associates. The U.S. Attorney’s office declined to identify the “other associates” involved in the ring, but acknowledged their existence. Mexican cartels and subordinate street gangs such as MS-13 and others control the smuggling of human and narcotics along the U.S. Mexico border. Court documents reveal at least some of the incidents involved the ring soliciting individuals in Mexico and taking bribes to drive the person across and assist in their illegal entry into the U.S.
The criminal activities included 75-115 instances of human smuggling crossings with 95-160 human beings, 168.8 kilograms of marijuana, and 3.9 kilograms of cocaine smuggled in.
The issue of public corruption in U.S. agencies responsible for handling border security and immigration is not new. Two other recent cases also resulted in charges for public officials. A recent June 29, 2013 report by Breitbart News revealed the indictment of a U.S. immigration official who was in a position to determine who did and did not receive citizenship had accepted bribes to grant the valuable status. Court documents revealed the official accepted 200 Egg Rolls, cash, and a single sausage in various incidents in exchange for granting U.S. citizenship.
There was also the recent Arizona case of an employee of U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement named Stella Peterson. She was charged with knowingly allowing her home to be used as a for-profit stash house for smuggled human beings. She reportedly confessed to her involvement. However, the U.S. Attorney’s office dropped all charges without providing any explanation. This, despite the fact that court documents revealed the U.S. Attorney’s office had multiple victims of Peterson to testify against her.
Many documents pertaining to the case against Peterson have been kept from the public as of this time.