Immigration Agents Charged With Taking $55,000 From Border Patrol for Personal Use

Authorities say two federal immigration officers from Tucson have been indicted for allegedly using U.S. Border Patrol credit cards to charge more than $55,000 in personal goods and services.

The U.S. Attorney's Office says a 47-count indictment unsealed Friday charged U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement special agent Michael J. Kittson and U.S. Customs Patrol officer Douglas R. Bothof with conspiracy, theft of government money, wire fraud and bribery.

The 34-year-old Kittson and 41-year-old Bothof have surrendered to authorities.

The indictments says Kittson, Bothof and an unnamed third officer allegedly used the money for repair work on their personal vehicles, gift cards, tools, children's mini-motorcycles, numerous pairs of expensive sunglasses and services to vehicles belonging to relatives and friends.

Prosecutors say the alleged activity occurred from an unknown date until January 2006 and a conviction on the charges carries maximum penalties ranging from five to 20 years and/or a $250,000 fine.