INS Inspectors Arrested in Border Corruption Case 

INS Inspectors Arrested in Border Corruption Case 
Posted by FoM on February 03, 1999 at 05:58:38 PT

WASHINGTON Three current inspectors and one former inspector for the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) were arrested Tuesday on bribery and drug charges associated with cocaine smuggling across the Mexican border, according to Justice Department officials. 
The indictments and arrests announced in Tucson, Arizona, represent the latest case of corruption involving federal law enforcement officials in the Southwest border region. "Corruption will not be tolerated, and this case is an example of the success that cooperative law enforcement can have," said U.S. Attorney Jose de Jesus Rivera. FBI agents arrested the INS employees stationed at the port of entry in Nogales, Arizona, accused of accepting cash for aiding five reputed members of a Mexican drug trafficking organization who were also indicted. Government officials said one of the INS inspectors, Rafael Landa, had accepted more than $300,000 in cash for letting vehicles carry cocaine into the United States. The three other border officials took much smaller amounts for inspecting vehicles and issuing permits, according to government attorneys. Tighter security, bigger bribesU.S. law enforcement officials have openly expressed concern about the increase in drug-related corruption cases in recent years. INS and Customs Service officials have substantially increased internal controls to ferret out corruption. INS' most recent figures show 19 employees convicted and sentenced for drug-related border corruption in the past five years. Nine Customs agents were convicted and sentenced for similar crimes. "We have significantly improved recruitment screening," said INS spokesman Greg Gagne. He said the improved border security has prompted Mexican drug traffickers to throw larger and larger sums of money at border authorities. Customs officials told CNN that Commissioner Ray Kelly plans to announce further measures soon to dramatically overhaul programs designed to ensure integrity. 
Home Comment Email Register Recent Comments Help

Post Comment

Name: Optional Password: 
Comment: [Please refrain from using profanity in your message]
Link URL: 
Link Title: