U.S. Customs Officer Helped Smuggle Illegal Aliens for Profit

Bridge of the Americas El Paso - Getty
File Photo: Charles Ommanney/Reportage by Getty Images

A federal jury in El Paso, Texas, found a former customs officer guilty of illegal alien smuggling for financial gain, and aiding and abetting illegal alien smuggling for financial gain. He was also convicted on two counts of accepting a bribe.

Lawrence Madrid, 55, a former supervising U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer, was found guilty of conspiring with others to encourage and induce illegal aliens to come to the United States, enter the country and live without legal authorization. Madrid would take bribes and use his position to allow illegal aliens to enter the ports of entry in El Paso. The jury also found that Madrid twice accepted money to allow an illegal alien to enter through the pedestrian lanes of at a port of entry.

Breitbart Texas’ Ildefono Ortiz reported in July 2015 that Madid was arrested by agents with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security after two illegal aliens who were about to be deported said they had entered the country with the help of a CBP officer, Investigators later identified Madrid as that officer. His bond was set at $20,000 when he was brought before a U.S. magistrate.

Authorities began to investigate Madrid in January 2014 when Homeland Security investigative agents were interviewing “MC” when he was about to be deported. MC had been arrested in New Mexico but had been in the U.S. for about four years before his apprehension.

As reported by Ortiz, MC told the agents that his wife paid a smuggler to help him cross into the U.S. in 2010. He entered through the Bridge of the Americas in El Paso with Madrid’s assistance.

In May 2015, Homeland Security agents interviewed a previously deported felon who told agents that he was able to re-enter the country just days after being deported. “ED” told agents that he was deported on September 9, 2011, but a week later his wife paid someone to smuggle him back into the U.S. On September 23, ED went to the bridge where Madrid was working and the officer helped him enter the country.

After the jury found Madrid guilty, he was immediately remanded to the custody of U.S. Marshals.

Madrid will face a federal judge for sentencing on August 16, 2016.

Lana Shadwick is a writer and legal analyst for Breitbart Texas. She has served as a prosecutor and associate judge in Texas. Follow her on Twitter @LanaShadwick2


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