September 5, 2008

Customs inspector arrested for immigrant smuggling, bribery

A Brownsville customs inspector found himself on the other side of the law on Friday after being arrested for alien smuggling and bribery.

The U.S. Attorney's Office confirmed the arrest of 64-year-old Customs & Border Protector inspector Guadalupe Garza.

Garza was arrested under the authority of a sealed 13-count indictment.
The indictment was unsealed on Friday after Garza appeared in Corpus Christi before U.S. Magistrate Judge B. Janice Ellington who gave him a $25,000 cash bond.

Prosecutors alleged that Garza allowed others to transport and move illegal aliens on his watch between May 2007 to February 2008.

He faces three counts of transporting illegal aliens in the Brownsville area.
Garza also faces five counts of bringing In illegal aliens for commercial advantage and financial gain and five counts of bribery.

Bringing in aliens for commercial advantage or financial gain carries a mandatory minimum term of three years imprisonment and a maximum of 10 years.

The bribery charges are each punishable by a maximum 15 years imprisonment.

Each of the 13 counts also carry as a potential penalty a maximum $250,000 fine.

This case was investigated by FBI, Immigrations and Customs Enforcement-Office of Professional Responsibility.

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Should the Texas State Legislature pass immigration enforcement laws in 2009?