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July 8, 2006 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Two former Border Patrol supervisory agents pleaded guilty Friday to bribery and filing false income tax returns. Mario Alvarez, 44, and Samuel McLaren, 43, admitted taking $186,000 in bribes to help an illegal immigrant smuggling ring in the Imperial Valley. Each faces a possible 18-year prison term when sentenced in federal court Sept. 29.
June 8, 2006 | Richard Marosi, Times Staff Writer
A U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer was charged Wednesday with being a key member of an immigrant smuggling ring that passed migrant-laden cars through his inspection booth at the Otay Mesa Port of Entry. Michael Anthony Gilliland, 44, a veteran officer at the port 15 miles southeast of downtown San Diego, is accused of permitting motorists smuggling illegal immigrants to enter the country without inspection.
March 11, 2006 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Two supervisory U.S. Border Patrol agents pleaded not guilty Friday to charges that they released illegal immigrants from federal custody in exchange for $300,000 in cash bribes. Mario Alvarez, 44, and Samuel McClaren, 43, who worked with Mexican authorities on a successful anti-smuggling program, were charged with migrant smuggling, conspiracy, bribery, smuggling and other crimes in a federal complaint.
February 11, 2006 | Richard Marosi, Times Staff Writer
A van loaded with 27 suspected illegal migrants overturned Friday trying to elude U.S. Border Patrol agents on State Route 905. Twenty one people were hurt -- eight with life-threatening injuries -- when the driver swerved to avoid a spike strip laid down by agents, sending the vehicle tumbling down an embankment, said Maurice Luque, a spokesman for the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department.
February 8, 2006 | Nick Timiraos, Times Staff Writer
Mexican military personnel illegally crossed the border last month and aided Mexican drug traffickers pursued by the U.S. Border Patrol, a law enforcement official and the head of the Border Patrol union told a congressional hearing Tuesday. The Jan. 23 incident involving U.S.
January 31, 2006 | From Times Wire Reports
The U.S. Border Patrol has arrested a Mexican immigration official caught traveling in the United States with a group of undocumented migrants, and may charge him with human smuggling, U.S. officials said. Immigration agent Francisco Javier Gutierrez, 43, was stopped Sunday at a checkpoint near Alamogordo, N.M., about 80 miles north of the border, said Doug Mosier, a spokesman for the Border Patrol in El Paso.
January 4, 2006 | Richard Marosi, Times Staff Writer
The Mexican government has requested an investigation into the death of an unarmed Mexican man who was shot, allegedly by a U.S. Border Patrol agent, over the weekend. The incident Friday night highlights the increasing levels of violence along the San Diego-Tijuana border, and is being used by the Mexican government as an example of what it calls inhumane U.S. immigration policies.
December 13, 2005 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
A former Border Patrol agent was sentenced Monday to five years in prison after pleading guilty to attempting to smuggle 749 pounds of marijuana into the United States. Luis Francisco Higareda, 30, was caught with marijuana worth $600,000 in his Border Patrol vehicle near El Centro, according to U.S. Atty. Carol Lam. A co-conspirator, Marcelino Verdugo, 24, a Mexican national, is set to be sentenced next month in federal court.
December 8, 2005 | From Times Wire Reports
The U.S. Border Patrol will add 1,700 new agents along the Mexican border this fiscal year, with Arizona getting more than 640 of them, Border Patrol Chief David Aguilar said in Tucson. "The personnel are absolutely key to our continued progress in gaining control of the border," Aguilar said.
October 31, 2005 | Richard Marosi, Times Staff Writer
Assaults against U.S. Border Patrol agents nearly doubled along the Mexican border over the last year as patrols cracking down on drug trafficking and migrant smuggling encountered increasing resistance -- including the use of rocks, Molotov cocktails and gunfire. At least 687 assaults against agents were reported during the fiscal year that ended Sept.
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