127 US Border Agents Linked to Drug Smuggling

Thursday, 16 Jun 2011 02:00 PM

By David A. Patten

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The same corruption endemic to Mexico’s drug wars has infected U.S. law enforcement as well: U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials report that 127 of its agents have been linked to drug-smuggling activities since October 2004.

US border protection, drugs, smugglingHow many other officers the cartels have “turned” but not been caught yet remains unknown.

“This breach of trust is something that we do not stand for . . . we take each and every one of them seriously,” Border Protection Commissioner Alan Bersin told the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Subcommittee on Disaster Recovery and Intergovernmental Affairs.

Almost 100 of those corrupt agents were involved in “mission-compromising acts of corruption,” Bersin said.

To put that number in perspective, Customs and Border Protection employs about 60,000 people. Although the corruption is minute, the problem appears to be growing.

CNS News reports that Charles Edwards, the acting inspector general for the Homeland Security Department, testified last week that the cartels are actively seeking to corrupt Homeland Security employees. And much more is at stake than another load of drugs begin smuggled across the border.

“A corrupt DHS employee may accept a bribe for allowing what appear to be undocumented aliens into the U.S. while unwittingly helping terrorists enter the country,” Edwards said. “Likewise, what seems to be drug contraband could be weapons of mass destruction, such as chemical or biological weapons.”

Edwards told Congress that his office is pursuing another 267 corruption-related investigations.

As revealed in an extensive cover story for the July edition of Newsmax magazine, cartel operatives use a “plata o plomo” method for corrupting officials, which translates from Spanish into English as: Silver or lead.

The cartels, in other words, give their targets a simple choice: Accept bribe money and help the cartels, or risk having their loved ones gunned down in cold blood.

Editor’s note: To get Newsmax magazine’s full report on the border battle — Click Here Now.

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