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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 27, 2007 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
A former Customs and Border Protection officer was sentenced Monday to 57 months in prison after admitting he took more than $70,000 in bribes over two years to allow hundreds of illegal immigrants to pass through the San Ysidro border crossing. Richard Elizalda, 58, of Chula Vista, was described by prosecutors as the leader of the smuggling ring. U.S. District Judge Larry A. Burns sentenced co-defendant Kenneth Web to 36 months in prison.
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NATIONAL
January 19, 2007 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-El Cajon) introduced a bill Thursday to pardon two former Border Patrol agents convicted of shooting an unarmed drug smuggler who fled across the Rio Grande after they stopped his van with 743 pounds of marijuana. Former Texas-based agents Ignacio "Nacho" Ramos and Jose Alonso Compean were sentenced to 11 and 12 years, respectively, after being found guilty of assault with a dangerous weapon, defacing a crime scene and violating the smuggler's rights.
NATIONAL
November 26, 2006 | From Times Wire Reports
An off-duty U.S. Border Patrol agent was jailed for more than a day after Mexican border officials found 650 rounds of ammunition in his car. The unidentified agent was arrested Thursday as he entered Mexico at the San Luis Port of Entry in southwest Arizona, and was released late Friday and returned to the United States. The agent was assigned to the Yuma sector.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 1, 2006 | From Times staff and wire reports
Two former Border Patrol supervisors were sentenced in federal court Tuesday to each serve more than six years in prison after pleading guilty to taking bribes from a ring smuggling illegal immigrants. Mario Alvarez, 44, got 75 months and Samuel McClaren, 43, received 78. Both had been assigned to the Border Patrol station in Imperial County. Alvarez admitted taking more than $100,300 in bribes. McClaren said he got $78,344.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 26, 2006 | From Times Staff Reports
A U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer admitted Monday to helping smuggle hundreds of illegal immigrants through his vehicle lane at the Otay Mesa port of entry. As part of a plea agreement with federal prosecutors, Michael Gilliland, 44, pleaded guilty to five counts of conspiracy, bribery and immigrant smuggling; he faces five to 15 years in prison.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 15, 2006 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
A former U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer pleaded guilty Thursday to allowing hundreds of illegal immigrants to pass through his inspection lane at the San Ysidro Port of Entry as part of a two-year smuggling scheme. Richard Elizalda, 55, admitted to one count of accepting bribes from a public official and two counts of bringing illegal immigrants into the country for financial gain. He faces a potential three- to 15-year prison term.
NATIONAL
August 8, 2006 | Richard Marosi, Times Staff Writer
A driver trying to elude U.S. Border Patrol agents in the Arizona desert on Monday flipped an SUV loaded with suspected illegal immigrants, killing nine and injuring 13, authorities said. The driver was apparently trying to skirt a Border Patrol checkpoint on U.S. Highway 95 near the California-Arizona border by taking a remote road. Spotted by agents who followed the vehicle, the driver made a U-turn and tried to speed back onto the highway, authorities said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 12, 2006 | Susannah Rosenblatt, Times Staff Writer
A San Bernardino County man arrested at the Mexican border for allegedly possessing child pornography may have molested 10 minors, some as young as 2, federal authorities said Tuesday. Earl Venton Buchanan, 62, was stopped by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers in Calexico on July 3. They said they became suspicious when they saw him acting nervously, returning from Mexico with a 5-year-old boy riding on his lap in an otherwise empty car.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
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.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
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.
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