US Agent Convicted in Latest Case of Border Patrol Corruption

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A Border Patrol agent in Arizona was found guilty on drug smuggling charges by a federal jury.

The agent was arrested in Yuma county last April after authorities found 745 pounds of marijuana in his truck, according to the Arizona Daily Star.

Yuma is the one Border Patrol sector which authorities consider to be nearly under total “operational control,” according to the Government Accountability Office (GAO).

The indictment is among at least 127 cases of corruption involving Border Patrol agents which have resulted in arrests or in jury rulings since 2004. According to testimony by homeland security officials, they have registered a 38 percent increase in the number of complaints regarding agents since that year.

Increased corruption among Border Patrol agents has accompanied the expansion of the Department of Homeland Security, which has doubled in size since 2004. The border force now employs over 20,000 officers.

As a result of the recruitment campaign, the Homeland Security offices responsible for screening applicants and giving them polygraph tests can only vet one in every 10 new hires, according to an Associated Press report. The department’s stated goal is to have every potential customs and border employee undergo a polygraph test by 2013.

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