JUNE 10, 2011
As if the southern border crisis wasn’t bad enough, an increasing number of Homeland Security agents guarding the area have been arrested for accepting bribes from Mexican drug cartels.The alarming information, from two high-ranking government sources, comes just months after Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano assured Americans that the Mexican border is “as secure as it has ever been.” Both officials testified this week at a U.S. Senate hearing in Washington D.C.Not only is violence at record-high levels, a growing number of federal agents have teamed up with Mexican drug lords, according to the Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general and the commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). In the last few years 127 CBP employees have been arrested or indicted for corruption, according to testimony delivered by the agency’s commissioner, Alan Bersin.The federal officers have been busted for taking cash and sexual favors from Mexican cartels in exchange for allowing contraband or illegal immigrants through inspection lanes. Sometimes they actually escort traffickers or leak sensitive information, according to Homeland Security IG Charles Edwards. As an example he told the senate committee that the infamous Zetas drug cartel is a leader in the “systematic corruption” of U.S. agents.The IG pointed out that this sort of border corruption compromises homeland security because agents bribed to allow an “undocumented” alien into the U.S. may unwittingly help terrorists enter the country. “Likewise, what seems to be drug contraband could be weapons of mass destruction, such as chemical or biological weapons,” he added.Over the years Judicial Watch has reported on the various scandals that have rocked both CPB and the U.S. Border Patrol. Just a few months ago a Border Patrol agent (Marcos Gerardo Manzano Jr.) in southern California got arrested for hiding illegal immigrants and drugs in a secret underground bunker at his home.A few years ago a Border Patrol agent (Oscar Ortiz) who admitted smuggling 100 illegal immigrants into the country in his government vehicle turned out to be an illegal alien himself. Ortiz used a false birth certificate to get his government job then charged fellow countrymen $300 to $2,000 a pop to sneak them in through a crossing near Tecate.
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