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Press Release

Federal agent sent to prison for alien smuggling

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

LAREDO, Texas – A 36-year-old former Border Patrol (BP) agent has been ordered to federal prison for conspiring to transport an undocumented alien within the United States, announced U.S. Attorney Jennifer B. Lowery.

Rodney Tolson Jr., Laredo, pleaded guilty July 15, 2021.

Today, U.S. District Judge Diana Saldana ordered him to serve a 21-month sentence to be immediately followed by three years of supervised release. In handing down the sentence, Judge Saldana noted Tolson’s actions were extremely egregious and that he had abused the public’s trust while committing this offense as a federal agent.

At the time of his plea, Tolson admitted he conspired with others to permit the passage of undocumented aliens into the country. He used his position as a BP agent by coordinating lane assignments at the IH-35 BP checkpoint north of Laredo.

His co-conspirators paid him for each non-U.S. citizen he allowed through the checkpoint.

Previously released on bond, Tolson was permitted to remain on bond and voluntarily surrender to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the future.

The Department of Homeland Security - Office of Inspector General and Customs and Border Protection - Office of Professional Responsibility conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney José Angel Moreno prosecuted the case.

Updated May 24, 2022

Human Smuggling