Former Immigration Agent Accused of Cocaine Smuggling

Authorities say a former high-ranking U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent who was stationed in Mexico before retiring in 2007 has been arrested on suspicion of cocaine smuggling.

Richard Padilla Cramer was arrested Friday at his home in Green Valley, Ariz., 25 miles south of Tucson. He later appeared before a federal judge, who denied bail.

The charges stem from a U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency investigation dating back to 2006.

In a criminal complaint made public Friday, authorities say Cramer helped a large-scale drug trafficking organization move cocaine into the United States.

The complaint says that Cramer provided members of a drug trafficking organization with information from confidential law enforcement databases and invested $400,000 in a 300-pound shipment of cocaine that was seized in June 2007.

The case is being handled by the U.S. Attorney's Office in Miami, where federal prosecutors say the majority of the acts occurred. Authorities say Cramer will be extradited to Florida.

Cramer was formerly in charge of the ICE office in Nogales in southern Arizona, according to agency spokesman Vincent Picard, who did not know how long Cramer worked there.

"It's a criminal complaint, not a conviction," Picard said.