Monday, June 9, 2008

Border agent nabbed on drug charges

A U.S. Border Patrol agent was arrested after authorities charged him with smuggling cocaine from Mexico. The officer was also arrested along with a pair of Mexicans, one of whom claimed that the agent had been involved in at least six previous drug or human smuggling actions.

Legal briefs filed by prosecutors mentioned how eleven bricks of cocaine were supposedly smuggled over the border:

According to a criminal complaint filed in their case, (agent Reynaldo) Zuniga picked up accused smuggler Jose Luis "El Bebe" Arteaga Echazarrete near the Hidalgo-Reynosa International Bridge and drove him in his official vehicle to the Whataburger in Hidalgo, (Texas) just past the customs checkpoints.

From there, a relative - Luis Alfredo Cruz Hurtado - drove Arteaga to (a Wal-Mart parking lot in) Pharr.

Zuniga’s arrest seems to confirm the worry of Homeland Security officials over corrupt Border Patrol agents. Officials believe that security along the border could be seriously compromised by crooked agents.

Sources- The Latin Americanist,, KVEO, KRGV

Image- (“U.S. Border Patrol supervisor Dan Garibay scans the Rio Grande for illegal immigrants and drug smugglers while overlooking the Laredo, Tx. International Bridge Number 3, which crosses into Nuevo Laredo, Mexico. (AP Photo / August 8, 2001)”)

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