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Press Release

Former Las Cruces U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officer Sentenced to 12 Months in Prison for Obstruction of Justice

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs

Christopher Holbrook, 32, a former U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer, was sentenced today in federal court in Las Cruces, New Mexico, to 12 months and a day in prison followed by two years of supervised release for obstruction of justice, announced Eric Dreiband, Assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, U.S. Attorney John C. Anderson of the District of New Mexico, and Hector Mancha, CBP Director of Field Operation, El Paso. 

According to the defendant’s guilty plea, Holbrook falsified an official report regarding his use of force against an individual, referred to as R.A.M., on March 23, 2015.  Holbrook’s report falsely claimed that he used the minimum amount of force necessary to control R.A.M.; in pleading guilty, Holbrook admitted that he intentionally swept R.A.M.’s legs out from under him and caused R.A.M.’s head to hit the floor.  At the time of the incident, Holbrook was working as a CBP officer in Las Cruces. 

“The defendant’s intentional falsification of a report to cover up his misconduct undermines the oath that all federal law enforcement take to uphold and fairly enforce the law,” said Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband. “The Justice Department will continue to prosecute such violations vigorously.”

“We depend on law enforcement officers to carry out their duties in a way that respects their positions of authority, the law and the communities they serve,” said U.S. Attorney John C. Anderson.  “When those who are sworn to uphold the law and protect others instead abuse their power and position, they undermine the public’s confidence in the justice system and our government institutions.  We cannot and will not tolerate such abuses.”

“The vast majority of CBP officers embody our core values, perform their duties with integrity, treat travelers with dignity and respect, and are dedicated to our mission of securing our borders while facilitating legitimate trade and travel,” said Hector Mancha, CBP Director of Field Operation, El Paso. “U.S. Customs and Border Protection stresses professionalism, honor and integrity in every aspect of our mission and does not tolerate actions by any employee that would tarnish the reputation of our agency.”

This case was investigated by CBP’s Office of Professional Responsibility. Assistant U.S. Attorney Marisa Ong of District of New Mexico U.S. Attorney’s Law Cruces Branch Office and Trial Attorney Julia Gegenheimer of the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice are prosecuting the case.

Updated November 27, 2018

Civil Rights
Press Release Number: 18-1557