FBI Addresses Corruption Among U.S. Border Agents
New figures show 122 current or former U.S. federal agents and employees of the Customs and Border Protection agency have been arrested or indicted for corruption since October 2004. In addition, 92 of those cases were considered instances of “Mission Compromising Corruption,” in which the employee violated, or facilitated the violation of the laws the agency enforces -- such as those related to the smuggling of drugs or illegal aliens.
The numbers are from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) data released to KHOU-TV in response to a Freedom of Information Act request.
“When it happens on our side of the border, with our law enforcement, then I think the American people lose trust,” said U.S. Representative Michael McCaul, who serves as the chairman of the Homeland Security Subcommittee on Oversight, Investigations and Management. "We in the Congress need to highlight this issue, as well as to send a message to (those) bad apples that you know what, we’re not going to stand for this,” he said.
McCaul says he is troubled by what seems to be a gaping hole that KHOU-TV discovered in CBP’s anti-corruption policies. According to the KHOU-TV report, with law enforcement agencies like the Federal Bureau of Investigation, every employee goes through an extensive pre-employment screening, as well as new re-investigations after they are hired, which include polygraph exams every five years. The CBP, however, does not regularly polygraph its employees after they are hired and placed into sensitive positions along the border, where cartels are known to be targeting them.
“It makes no sense, because the corruption is not going to take place before they are hired. The corruption takes place after they are hired,” said McCaul. “That’s the cartels’ method of operation. They corrupt, they buy off police chiefs, they buy off mayors, they buy off elected officials, and now they’re trying to buy off our border patrol agents. And that is what is so disturbing about this story.”
Rep. McCaul says he plans to hold a Congressional hearing to study corruption in law enforcement along the border where he plans to address other serious questions about the effectiveness of Customs and Border Protection in policing its own employees and agents.