United States Border Patrol Agent
MAY 12 -- (LAREDO, TX) United States Attorney Michael Shelby announced today that Senior Border Patrol Agent Juan Alfredo Alvarez, 35, and his brother Jose Guadalupe Alvarez, 38, both residents of Laredo, pleaded guilty to bribery and drug conspiracy charges.
A superseding indictment returned on May 10, 2005, alleged that from June 2003 through April 6, 2005, Juan Alfredo Alvarez and his brother, Jose Guadalupe Alvarez, solicited and received approximately $1,500,000.00 from members of a drug trafficking organization in exchange for guaranteeing the safe passage of illegal narcotics through the checkpoints. According to the superseding Indictment, the drug organization moved at least one load of marihuana per month with each load containing between one and two tons of marihuana.
Juan Alfredo Alvarez was employed as a senior Border Patrol agent and canine handler stationed at Hebbronville, Texas and was responsible for manning the United States Border Patrol checkpoints located on Texas Highway 359 and Texas Highway 16. As a Border Patrol agent, his duties included the screening of traffic traveling through the checkpoints in an attempt to deter both narcotics and alien smuggling.
“Those who are sworn to uphold the law are especially accountable to the public whom they serve,” said United States Attorney Michael Shelby. “This office remains committed to the vigorous prosecution of those few public officials who decide to violate the oath they undertake when they enter government service.”
Count one of the indictment charged both men with conspiracy to bribe a public official. Count seven charged both men with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute in excess of 1,000 kilograms of marihuana and a quantity in excess of five kilograms of cocaine. The drug count carries a minimum mandatory term of imprisonment of 10 years and a maximum of life imprisonment. The bribery count carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 15 years. An Agreed Final Order of forfeiture as to both Defendants was entered ordering both defendants to pay a money judgment of $1,500,000.00 for which they are jointly and severally liable. The Order of forfeiture also lists specific properties, bank accounts, and vehicles subject to forfeiture by the Government.
This case is being investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Department of Homeland Security, Office of the Inspector General, and the Laredo Police Department, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Marina Garcia Marmolejo.