Iowa Public Television


Border Patrol Agent Found Guilty of Smuggling Immingrants Across Mexico Border

posted on July 28, 2006

A Border Patrol Agent was sentenced to five years in prison after pleading guilty to smuggling two immigrants across the Mexico border.

The 29-year old agent, Oscar Antonio Ortiz, admitted he had smuggled as many as 100 people across the border, sometimes in his Border Patrol truck.

Ortiz was also found guilty of making a false claim to U.S. citizenship to get a job at the Border Patrol. Born in Mexico, he used a fake birth certificate that said he was from Chicago.

So far this year, 25 Customs and Border Protection workers have been arrested on corruption charges. Eight have been convicted.

Critics say the corruption cases raise questions about the hiring process at the Border Patrol, which is growing from 11,700 agents now to 18,000 by the end of 2008. A former inspector general of the Department of Homeland Security, says, "The more pressure there is to hire people quickly, the more dysfunction there is."

Tags: borders immigration Mexico news smuggling