SAN DIEGO–Agents of the Border Corruption Task Force arrested a Customs and Border Protection officer and three others for conspiracy to smuggle undocumented immigrants across the U.S./Mexican border.
U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy said her office filed a complaint charging Customs and Border Protection Officer Hector Rodriguez, 45, of San Diego, Gerardo Rodriguez, 42, of Chula Vista and Vanessa Moya, 29, of San Diego with bribery and conspiracy to bring in undocumented immigrants for financial gain.
Border Corruption Task Force officials say Rodriguez and Moya each drove a vehicle containing undocumented immigrants through the inspection lane manned by Rodriguez. Rodriguez was arrested while on duty at the San Ysidro Port of Entry.
According to the complaint, the defendants conspired to smuggle undocumented immigrants into the United States from Mexico. Rodriguez would inform Moya and Rodriguez of his work schedule at the San Ysidro Port of Entry, including the date, time, and lane number to which he was assigned as a primary inspector. Rodriguez and Moya would then drive vehicles containing the undocumented immigrants from Mexico to the United States.
Rodriguez and Moya would seek entry to the U.S. through Rodriguez’s assigned primary vehicle inspection lane. Rodriguez would then admit the undocumented immigrants into the U.S. in the vehicles driven by Rodriguez and Moya.
The complaint alleges that, to conduct and conceal the smuggling defendant, Rodriguez entered false, fraudulent, and misleading information about the driver’s identity and date of birth and about the vehicle’s identification number into official Department of Homeland Security records. Rodriguez would also intentionally fail to enter any information about the undocumented immigrants who were passengers in the vehicles.
The complaint further alleges that the defendants received thousands of dollars in smuggling fees from the undocumented immigrants and that Rodriguez provided defendant Rodriguez with the use of luxury automobiles, apartment rent payments, and other bribes.
The defendants made their first court appearance before United States Magistrate Judge David Bartick on Monday in the United States District Court for the Southern District of California.