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Nov. 2, 2010

CAMERON COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPUTY ARRESTED

(BROWNSVILLE, Texas) - Cameron County Sheriff’s Deputy Jesus A. Longoria has been arrested on charges of bribery and smuggling goods from the U.S., United States Attorney José Angel Moreno announced today. Longoria, 31, of Brownsville, Texas, was arrested on Monday, Nov. 1, pursuant to a federal arrest warrant which issued as a result of the filing of a complaint under seal.

The complaint was unsealed this morning during Longoria’s initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Ronald Morgan. Longoria will remain in federal custody pending a preliminary examination and detention hearing scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 4, 2010, at 1:30 p.m., at which time the issue of bond will be decided.
 
According to the criminal complaint, Longoria allegedly accepted payments from an undercover federal agent to allow firearms to pass through a federal inspection station. Local law enforcement officers work alongside federal authorities at the Ports of Entry in an effort to prevent the crossing of contraband and stolen goods from the United States into Mexico. As such, Longoria was assigned to the Veterans’ and Gateway Ports of Entry  to prevent stolen vehicles from leaving the United States. Longoria allegedly allowed vehicles that he knew to contain firearms to pass through his vehicle checkpoint on three occasions between March 12, 2010, and May 5, 2010, in exchange for the payment of money. The vehicles were intercepted before entering into Mexico and the weapons recovered.   

Bribery of a public official carries a maximum penalty of $250,000 and 15 years imprisonment and may disqualify a person from holding any office of honor, trust or profit under the United States. Smuggling goods from the United States carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

This case is  being investigated by the FBI, Immigration and Customs Enforcement-Homeland Security Investigations and the Cameron County Sheriff’s Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney William Hagen is prosecuting the case.

A criminal complaint is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence.
A defendant is presumed innocent unless convicted through due process of law.

 

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