PORTLAND, Ore. – Antonio Oswaldo Burgos, 48, of Portland, pleaded guilty today to one count of bribery of a public official after attempting to bribe a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) deportation officer.
“Attempting to bribe a federal law enforcement officer is a serious crime and will be met with equally-serious consequences,” said Billy J. Williams, U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon. “I commend the ICE officer involved in this case for responding to Burgos’ criminal proposition with the utmost level of professionalism and resolve.”
“We rely upon our officers to perform their duties with integrity,” said Brad Bench, Special Agent in Charge for HSI Seattle. “Because of the deportation officer’s actions, Burgos is being brought to justice. This case should send a strong message that those who attempt to coerce a public official will be punished.”
According to court documents, on May 24, 2018, Burgos followed an ICE deportation officer in his vehicle from the ICE office in Portland until the officer stopped in a parking lot in Vancouver, Washington. The defendant offered the officer money to deport his wife who he had met in El Salvador and was in the process of divorcing. The officer declined Burgos’ offer and reported the event to the ICE Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR).
On May 31, 2018, the officer made a recorded call to Burgos with the assistance of an OPR investigation team. Burgos offered to the pay the officer $3,000 to remove his wife from the U.S. On June 5, 2018, the officer and OPR team made a second recorded call on which Burgos again offered to pay the officer for his wife’s removal. Burgos and the officer proceeded to discuss logistics for an in-person meeting.
On June 6, 2018, Burgos met the officer in a pre-determined location and offered to pay $4,000 for the removal of his wife and his wife’s minor child from a previous relationship. Burgos was arrested on June 29, 2018.
Burgos faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release. He will be sentenced on May 6, 2019 before U.S. District Court Judge Michael H. Simon.
This case was jointly investigated by ICE OPR and Homeland Security Investigations. It is being prosecuted by Rachel K. Sowray and Claire M. Fay, Assistant U.S. Attorneys for the District of Oregon.