AUGUST 21, 2012
As if the crisis along the Mexican border wasn’t bad enough, two veteran Border Patrol agents have been convicted for operating a multi-million-dollar human smuggling business in which illegal immigrants were transported into the U.S. in government vehicles.
It marks the highest profile corruption case in years for the Homeland Security agency charged with preventing terrorists and weapons of mass destruction from entering the U.S. That is a scandal in itself, but here is something else to consider; the convicted agents (Raul Villarreal and Fidel Villarreal) are brothers who came to the U.S. from Mexico as teenagers in the mid 1980s, according to a news report.
They settled in southern California, attended public schools and eventually became federal agents. While the details of this journey are sketchy, it would seem that the Villarreal brothers would have qualified for amnesty under President Obama’s new Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, which is sparing hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens from deportation and allowing them to obtain work permits. The president created it in June via executive order.
The corrupt federal agents could very well have benefitted from Ronald Reagan’s 1986 amnesty measure, which spared 3 million illegal aliens from deportation. No one really knows and the media won’t touch that part of the story with a 10-foot pole. What we do know is that a federal jury in San Diego convicted the Villarreals for smuggling hundreds of illegal aliens into the U.S., sometimes in broad daylight and usually in government vehicles.
After a five-week trial the jury found them guilty of conspiracy, bringing in illegal immigrants for financial gain, receiving bribes and money laundering for arranging dozens of smuggling runs. They face more than three decades in prison and are scheduled to be sentenced around mid-November. The disgraced agents would have an accomplice take illegal immigrants to specific locations near the Mexican border where they would later pick them up in their official Border Patrol vehicles.
Nearly two dozen witnesses testified at the trial and damaging video surveillance was also presented. The feds had mountains of evidence because a confidential informant initially tipped them off and many of the runs were actually tracked by electronic devices and recorded by video cameras mounted on cars and airplanes. When the brothers suspected they were under investigation, they quit the Border Patrol and fled to their native Mexico but were later extradited to face charges.
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