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March 13, 2006

Two U.S. Border Agents allegedly involved in migrant smuggling

LATimes: 2 Border Agents Tied to Migrant Movers.
The men released illegal immigrants and traffickers who'd been captured, earning cash in exchange, a federal indictment says.
By Richard Marosi, Times Staff Writer
March 10, 2006

SAN DIEGO - Two supervisory U.S. Border Patrol agents who helped establish a successful cross-border anti-smuggling program have been charged with smuggling migrants for a Mexican trafficking organization.

The agents, both stationed in the Imperial Valley, released apprehended illegal immigrants in exchange for cash, pulling in about $300,000, according to a federal indictment unsealed Thursday.

The men, Mario Alvarez, 44, and Samuel McClaren, 43, also released captured members of a Mexican smuggling ring, dropping one off at a Wal-Mart parking lot in Calexico for $6,000, prosecutors allege.

Alvarez and McClaren, who were arrested Thursday, face potential 15-year prison terms. The eight-count indictment includes conspiracy, immigrant smuggling and bribery charges.

"The agents arrested today, who are supposed to represent the very best, epitomize the very worst," said Daniel R. Dzwilewski, special agent in charge at the FBI's San Diego office.

Authorities said the investigation is continuing. The two agents are scheduled to be arraigned today in U.S. District Court in San Diego.

Alvarez and McClaren helped establish the much-heralded Guide Identification Prosecution Program, now known as Operation Against Smugglers and Traffickers Initiative on Safety and Security. (more...)
Just goes to show -- money talks, I guess.

What can we do when the very people that we charge to protect our borders involve themselves in such operations?


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