MCALLEN, Texas — A police officer from this border city took her two children with her in what authorities are calling an attempt to smuggle two illegal immigrants past a U.S. Border Patrol checkpoint. The former cop appears to have driven through the checkpoint just a week before in a similar human smuggling run.
As Breitbart Texas had previously reported, Border Patrol agents arrested McAllen Police Officer Joan De la Fuente last Friday at the Falfurrias checkpoint about 80 miles north of the border. This week, federal agents took De La Fuente to U.S. Magistrate Judge Jason B. Libby in Corpus Christi, who formally charged her with one count of human smuggling.
According to court records obtained by Breitbart Texas, De La Fuente pulled up to the inspection area with her two children and two illegal immigrants, and claimed that all the occupants in the vehicle were U.S. citizens. When one of the agents asked one of the women if she was a citizen, she just sipped from a cup and ignored the agent.
The agent sent De La Fuente to a secondary inspection site, where another agent spoke with De la Fuente’s daughter, who said she was scared because she thought her mother was going to be arrested, court records revealed.
Once agents determined that the two women were in the country illegally and arrested De la Fuente, they interviewed her. During the interview, De La Fuente claimed that she didn’t know the women were illegal immigrants, and she was just driving them to San Antonio as a favor to a Mexican chiropractor who treated her in Mission. De La Fuente said she had driven the chiropractor’s daughter to San Antonio the previous week; however court records don’t specify if that was a cover story for another human smuggling run, or if she in fact drove the female as described.
De La Fuente’s story fell apart when the agents spoke with the two women, who claimed to have recently crossed into the U.S. through the Rio Grande, and had been taken to a stash house where the cop had picked them up. Both women claimed that De La Fuente told them to simply answer yes to anything the Border Patrol agents asked.
Following her arrest De La Fuente resigned from her job as a four-year veteran from McAllen Police.