Corrupt Border Patrol Agent Gets 15 Years in Prison
A corrupt Border Patrol agent was sentenced to 15 years in prison for taking bribes in exchange for helping a drug-trafficking organization do its work.
Former Agent Ivhan Daniel Herrera-Chiang actually got more prison time than his partner-in-crime Michael Lopez-Garcia, a former Arizona Department of Corrections employee who personally smuggled meth across the border, according to federal prosecutors.
-Border Agent, Corrections Officer Charged With Helping Traffickers Smuggle Drugs
Lopez was sentenced to nine years in prison.
According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, Herrera was working with a Border Patrol intelligence unit when he helped a drug-trafficking organization get information "including sensor maps, combinations to gates located near the U.S/Mexican border, computer records concerning prior drug seizures, and the identity of confidential informants."
Lopez, the corrections officer, helped in "guiding" cocaine traffickers around Border Patrol agents and checkpoints, personally delivered drugs, and relayed the Border Patrol information from Herrera to the drug traffickers.
The problem, for Lopez and Herrera, was that Lopez had actually been working with an undercover agent, not a drug-trafficking boss.
Both men, who were working in the border town of San Luis at the time, faced charges that could have kept them locked up forever, but both took plea deals.
Herrera pleaded guilty to four counts of receiving a bribe as a public official, and was sentenced to 15 years in prison, plus three years of supervised release.
Lopez pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy and conspiracy to possess a controlled substance with the intent to distribute, landing him nine years in prison, plus five years of supervised release.
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Follow Matthew Hendley on Twitter at @MatthewHendley.
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