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Press Release

U.S. Border Patrol Agent Charged with Attempting to Distribute Methamphetamine and Receiving Bribes

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of California


SAN DIEGO—U.S. Border Patrol Agent Hector Hernandez made his initial appearance in federal court today on charges that he agreed to accept $25,000 in bribes to distribute methamphetamine and to open a restricted border gate to allow unauthorized migrants to illegally enter the United States.

The complaint alleges that on May 8, 2023, Hernandez opened a restricted border gate while on duty as part of an agreement to allow an unauthorized migrant to enter the United States from Mexico in exchange for a $5,000 cash payment to Hernandez. Hernandez was unaware that he’d made that agreement with an undercover federal agent.

Then, on May 9, 2023, in exchange for another cash payment, Hernandez arranged to pick up a duffle bag loaded with methamphetamine from a storm drain near the border fence while on duty. According to the complaint, Hernandez put the bag into his Border Patrol vehicle and drove it to his house in Chula Vista, where he stored it for the remainder of his shift.

In the morning on May 10, 2023, Hernandez retrieved the bag and met with the undercover agent intending to deliver the drugs in return for an expected $20,000 cash payment, the complaint said. At that meeting, after delivering the drugs, Hernandez was arrested.

A detention hearing is scheduled for May 16 at 1:30 p.m. before U.S. Magistrate Judge Bernard G. Skomal.

DEFENDANT                                               Case Number 23mj1663-BGS                       

Hector Hernandez                                           Age: 55                       Chula Vista, CA


Attempted Distribution of Methamphetamine – 21 U.S.C., Sections 841(a)(1) and 846

Maximum penalty: Life in prison with a 10-year mandatory minimum

Receiving Bribe by Public Official – 18 U.S.C., Section 201(b)(2)

Maximum penalty: Fifteen years in prison


Department of Homeland Security, Office of the Inspector General

Drug Enforcement Administration

Federal Bureau of Investigation, Border Corruption Task Force

*The charges and allegations contained in an indictment or complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.


Assistant U. S. Attorneys Sean Van Demark (619) 546-7657 and Lawrence Casper (619) 546-6734

Updated May 11, 2023

Public Corruption
Drug Trafficking
Human Smuggling
Press Release Number: CAS23-0511-Hernandez