Federal officer charged with helping undocumented nanny into the country
LAREDO, Texas – A 40-year-old Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer is set to appear in federal court on charges of conspiring to transport an illegal alien and making false statements, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick.
Laredo resident Rhonda Lee Walker is set to appear for a detention hearing before U.S. Magistrate Judge Christopher Dos Santos today at 1:30 p.m.
The criminal complaint alleges that on Jan. 2, 2021, Walker used her official position to assist a foreign national into the country. According to the charges, Walker improperly used another officer’s computer login information to help the Mexican woman to enter the United States through the Laredo Port of Entry. The woman allegedly had no legal status to reside or work in the United States. However, Walker intended for the woman to illegally enter the country and work for her as a housekeeper and nanny, according to the complaint. The charges also allege she had sent money to the woman in Mexico to facilitate her arrival.
Walker also allegedly lied to authorities. The complaint alleges she falsely claimed the woman was her aunt and denied ever sending her money.
Walker faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted of the conspiracy or knowingly transporting undocumented aliens. The penalty for knowingly making a materially false statement is a maximum five-year-term of imprisonment.
CBP - Office of Professional Responsibility is conducting the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Francisco J. Rodriguez 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.