AUGUST 17, 2006
The former chief of the FBI in El Paso Texas has been convicted in federal court for lying to investigators about his tight relationship with a Mexican racetrack owner who trafficked drugs and laundered money.
It turns out that when Hardrick Crawford headed the El Paso FBI, he was quite chummy with Jose Maria Guardia, known in Juarez as the Czar of gambling and Lord of the Casinos. Crawford’s shady, rich buddy showered him with expensive gifts and lavish trips yet the FBI agent lied about it on federal financial disclosure reports and this week he was convicted for it.
A Texas federal jury found Crawford guilty of concealing material facts from the FBI regarding his true association with the corrupt Mexican casino guru and making false statements in an Office of Government Ethics Public Financial Disclosure Report submitted to the bureau regarding gifts. Crawford made history by becoming the first special agent in charge of the FBI office in El Paso to be indicted and subsequently convicted of a crime.
The FBI veteran also concealed that he helped Guardia obtain a U.S. visa to do business in the country and that Guardia gave his wife a high-paying job and picked up the tab for a variety of things such as the hefty annual membership fee to an exclusive country club and Crawford’s weekly landscaping bill.
Ironically, Crawford was highly critical of corruption in Mexico in a story published only a few months ago detailing the drug problem along the U.S.-Mexican border. He was quoted as saying: “One thing is for sure, Mexico’s system of government is filled with corruption from the inside out.”
Of course, he failed to mention that he participated in that corruption by accepting expensive gifts from a crooked Mexican gambling operator that can easily serve as the poster child for that country’s renowned system.
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