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Feds arrest U.S. Customs officer and two previously deported Mexican nationals in sex, cash border smuggling scheme

September 13, 2016  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Feds arrest U.S. Customs officer and two previously deported Mexican nationals in sex, cash border smuggling scheme

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An officer with U.S. Customs and Border Protection and two previously deported associates have been apprehended and charged in a scandal involving cash and sexual favors in exchange for smuggling migrants across the border illegally.

Breitbart News reported that 50-year-old Jose Luis Cota, who is a U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer, permitted at least two undocumented immigrants, one of whom was a two-time convict, to repeatedly cross the border into the United States.

The two previously deported Mexican nationals  have been identified as 31-year-old Miriam Elizabeth Juarez-Herrera, who has been charged with human smuggling into the U.S.; and 31-year-old Gilberto Aguilar-Martinez, who is a two-time convicted criminal.

As part of the trafficking conspiracy, Juarez-Herrera, Aguilar-Martinez, and others that did not have previous permission to enter the U.S would approach Cota’s inspection lane at San Diego’s San Ysidro Port of Entry (SYPOE) and Cota would enable them to cross the border into the United States illegally.

A minimum of four specific instances are recorded in the court documents: November 3rd and November 16th, 2015, March 15th and September 7th, 2016.

Just after the importation episodes took place, Cota’s bank account showed substantial cash deposits.

During questioning, Juarez-Herrera confessed to FBI agents that she smuggled migrants illegally across the border, bribing Cota with money and sexual favors so the illegals could enter the U.S. with no issue.

The complaint also claimed that Cota acknowledged that he received sexual services from Juarez-Herrera for illegally allowing her and the aliens into the U.S.

All three suspects had initial appearances on September 8th and were detained due to potential flight risk.

Cota, Juarez-Herrera and Aguilar-Martinez each face at least one of the following charges: bringing in unlawful immigrants for financial gain; destruction, alteration, or falsification of records; bribery of public official; receiving a bribe by public officials; and abuse of passport and aiding and abetting.

Additional court hearings are scheduled for September 14th and 22nd.

The land border at San Ysidro Port of Entry is the most active crossing in the Western Hemisphere, the U.S. General Services Administration reported. It currently processes “an average of 50,000 northbound vehicles and 25,000 northbound pedestrians per day.”

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