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    United States Attorney's Office
    Central District of California

    Thom Mrozek
    Public Affairs Officer

    (213) 894-6947
    thom.mrozek@usdoj.gov



    Return to the 2009 Press Release Index
    Release No. 09-012

    February 20, 2009

    BORDER OFFICER WHO ALLOWED ILLEGAL ALIENS, MARIJUANA
    TO BE SMUGGLED INTO U.S. SENTENCED TO 7 YEARS IN PRISON

    SAN DIEGO – A former officer with Customs and Border Protection Officer was sentenced today to 84 months in federal prison for being part of a conspiracy that smuggled illegal aliens and marijuana into the United States.

    Luis Francisco Alarid, 32, of Chula Vista, was sentenced this morning by United States District Judge Janis L. Sammartino, who also ordered Alarid to forfeit approximately $175,000 in bribe payments, as well as several electronic items purchased with funds he obtained as part of the scheme.

    Alarid pleaded guilty last November to conspiring to smuggle more than 100 kilograms of marijuana into the United States and one count of bribery. The guilty pleas followed an indictment returned by a federal grand jury in June 2008.

    During the seven months he worked for Customs and Border Protection, which is part of the Department of Homeland Security, Alarid admitted into the United States a series of vehicles that contained illegal aliens or loads of marijuana, according to court documents. Alarid allowed the vehicles into the United States while he was working as a border officer at the Otay Mesa Port of Entry. In a plea agreement filed in federal court, Alarid specifically admitted that he allowed a minivan loaded with more than 260 pounds of marijuana and four illegal aliens to enter the United States in March 2008.

    Agents from the Border Corruption Task Force arrested Alarid on May 16, 2008 after he allegedly attempted to admit vehicles containing illegal aliens and 11 kilograms of marijuana into the United States. Customs and Border Protection suspended Alarid two days later.

    On May 27, after filing the criminal complaint, the United States Attorney’s Office in San Diego requested to be recused from the Alarid prosecution. The recusal request was approved by the Department of Justice in Washington. The United States Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles was then assigned to handle the case.

    This case against Alarid was investigated by the Border Corruption Task Force, which includes the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Customs and Border Protection-Internal Affairs, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Office of Professional Responsibility, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Office of Investigations, the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General and IRS-Criminal Investigation. During this investigation, the Border Corruption Task Force received substantial assistance from the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Chula Vista Police Department, the San Diego Police Department and the United States Border Patrol.

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    Release No. 09-012
    Return to the 2009 Press Release Index