Office of the United States Attorney, John S. Leonardo
District of Arizona
September 18, 2013
PHOENIX – On Sept. 16, 2013, Border Patrol Agent Aaron Anaya, 26, of Yuma, Ariz., was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Roslyn O. Silver to 60 months in prison. Anaya pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense on April 10, 2013.
“Stopping employee corruption is the OIG's highest priority,” said Paul Leonard, Special Agent in Charge of the Department of Homeland Security, Office of the Inspector General. “We have zero tolerance for those who violate their oath of office and the American public's trust.”
Douglas G. Price, FBI Special Agent in Charge, Phoenix Division, stated, “Whenever a law enforcement officer engages in illegal activity it erodes the public trust. The actions of a few tarnish the badge of those who protect us each day from harm’s way. Corruption by public officials at all levels is a top priority of the FBI and we remain committed to holding corrupt law enforcement officers accountable for their illegal actions.”
On the evening of Dec. 2, 2012, Anaya was driving a fully marked U.S. Border Patrol vehicle and was on duty in his capacity as a Border Patrol Agent patrolling the U.S. international boundary with Mexico. Anaya stopped along the fence line, exited his USBP vehicle and assisted three individuals on the Mexican side of the border in bringing large bales of marijuana over the fence and into the United States. A total of six bales were placed in the vehicle with a combined weight of 146.9 pounds.
That same evening, Anaya’s vehicle, with the marijuana bales inside, was stopped by law enforcement and Anaya was arrested. At the time of his arrest, Anaya was wearing a USBP- issued uniform and had his service-issued firearm secured in his holster. A USBP-owned automatic rifle was in the front passenger compartment of Anaya=s USBP vehicle as well. Anaya admitted at his change of plea proceeding that he would have utilized one or both of the firearms, if necessary, to protect himself and the marijuana from rival drug traffickers if rival drug traffickers had sought to steal the marijuana before he delivered it to its next destination.
The investigation in this case was conducted by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Office of the Inspector General, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The prosecution was handled by Howard D. Sukenic and Christina W. Covault, Assistant U.S. Attorneys, District of Arizona, Phoenix.
CASE NUMBER: CR-12-2056-PHX-ROS
RELEASE NUMBER: 2013-074_Anaya
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For more information on the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Arizona, visit http://www.justice.gov/usao/az/