Infiltration of Customs and Border Protection Agency

"In particular, there have been a number of cases in which individuals, known as infiltrators, pursued employment at CBP solely to engage in mission-compromising activity. For example, in 2007, a CBPO in El Paso, Texas, was arrested at her duty station at the Paso Del Norte Bridge for conspiracy to import marijuana into the United States from June 2003 to July 2007, and was later convicted and sentenced to 20 years in prison. OFO reported that she may have sought employment with CBP to facilitate drug smuggling. CBP officials view this case as an example of the potential impact of corruption—if the officer had succeeded in facilitating the importation of 5,000 pounds of marijuana per month, this would amount to a total of 240,000 pounds over 4 years with a retail value of $288 million dollars. In another case, a former BPA previously stationed in Comstock, Texas, was arrested in 2008 for conspiracy to possess, with intent to distribute, more than 1,000 kilograms of marijuana. The agent was convicted in 2009 and sentenced to 15 years in prison and ordered to pay a $10,000 fine. CBP is also concerned about employees who may not be infiltrators, but began engaging in corruption-related activities after joining the agency. For example, CBP IA officials stated that some employees may have experienced personal hardships after being hired, such as financial challenges, which made them vulnerable to accepting bribes to engage in corrupt activity. In addition, some employees arrested for corruption had no prior disciplinary actions at the time of their arrests."


"Border Security: Additional Actions Needed to Strengthen CBP Efforts to Mitigate Risk of Employee Corruption and Misconduct (Washington, DC: US Government Accountability Office, Dec. 2012), GAO-13-59, p. 11.