Plea: Mexican woman bribed US border inspector with cash and sex for allowing people in
A Mexican woman pleaded guilty to bribing a U.S. border inspector in San Diego with cash and sexual favors for allowing people to enter the country illegally.
Miriam Juarez's plea agreement, disclosed Thursday in federal court, says she helped smuggle at least 10 people in cars from November 2015 to September 2016 at San Diego's San Ysidro border crossing, charging them $15,000 each.
Juarez and her husband, Gilberto Aguilar, were arrested in September during a traffic stop following a lengthy investigation by the FBI Border Corruption Task Force, according to the San Diego Union Tribune. Both are in the country illegally and are expected to be deported after their sentences are served in early April.
Customs Officer Jose Luis Cota was arrested the same day at work. He has pleaded not guilty.
According to the plea agreement, the woman recruited the clients and smuggled them in her vehicle through Cota’s lane at the port of entry. She would use fraudulent passports during the crossings, the Tribune reported.
Once on U.S. soil the husband would pick up the immigrants and drive them to a set destination.
The three-year investigation, which included GPS tracking and recorded conversations, revealed hundreds of conversations between Juarez and Cota and numerous hotel encounters.
With reporting by the Associated Press.