DECEMBER 08, 2006
One of the dozens of U.S. immigration employees recently charged with corruption has been sentenced to 14 years in federal prison for helping Mexican cocaine and alien smugglers enter the country and for selling fraudulent documents to illegal immigrants.
The veteran U.S. Border Patrol agent, David Duque, worked at the Falfurrias checkpoint in Texas and over the years he accepted cash bribes from Mexican drug cartels as well as sophisticated alien smuggling rings. Duque was even recorded by federal investigators selling 70 American identification documents, including passports, birth certificates, green cards and Social Security cards.
The agent pleaded guilty to four federal felony offenses and admitted to using his position and authority to provide safe passage of at least 4.8 kilograms of cocaine loaded in a vehicle that cruised into the U.S. through the Falfurrias checkpoint. Duque received $5,000 cash for that particular event.
Numerous other immigration officials, from a variety of government agencies, have been charged with corruption this year. Besides Duque, at least 12 other U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents have been charged with illegal behavior, including a Nogales Arizona customs officer charged with bribery and drug smuggling, a Texas customs officer convicted of allowing drugs through his inspection lane at the Progresso International Bridge in Texas and a California Border Patrol agent convicted of smuggling at least 100 illegal aliens into the country.
Other agencies with corrupt veteran workers include U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, whose agents have been charged with accepting bribes from drug traffickers and granting residence and naturalization certificates to more than 100 unqualified illegal immigrants.
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