Former Customs and Border Protection Officer Hector Rodriguez was sentenced to 78 months in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for bribery, facilitating illegal immigration for financial gain, and conspiracy by US District Court in California. Rodriguez pleaded guilty prior to sentencing forfeiting various luxury items gained because of his criminal acts.
Rodriguez received bribes for failing to enforce US Immigration laws. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office, Rodriguez provided his lane assignment information to vehicles containing illegal aliens from Mexico to allow them entry to the United States. The vehicle would be able to pass through the border without being required to complete a full inspection.
Implications on the organization because of Rodriguez’s actions include a vast loss of public trust and confidence, and it reflects poorly on the organization despite all the hard working and honest Customs and Border Protection officers. Incidents like this also compromise the security of U.S. borders, which lead to increased congressional and Federal oversight.
The FBI and CBP task force found that Rodriguez had a luxury Jaguar, 12 luxury watches (including five Rolexes), jewelry, televisions, cash, and computers-all unexplained affluence. His lifestyle was inconsistent with visible income and ClearForce financial alerts could have identified these unusual financial patterns. In turn, CBP could have been able increase supervision or applied random spot checks of vehicles passing through his lane or reassigned him to another location.