US Customs Official Facing Charges For Allegedly Allowing Drug-Laden Vehicles To Cross Border Into California

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A U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer is facing charges after allegedly accepting bribes and allowing vehicles laden with drugs to pass through security checkpoints into the United States, a release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of California stated.

Leonard Darnell George was indicted July 3 along with Mario Angel Gutierrez, Esteban Galvan and four other unnamed defendants on charges of conspiracy to import and conspiracy to distribute controlled substances in the Southern District of California and elsewhere, the press release stated. Charging documents allege that George and the other defendants coordinated the smuggling of illegal substances such as methamphetamine, fentanyl, cocaine and heroin from Mexico into the U.S. (RELATED: Police Union Director Charged With Smuggling Fentanyl To The US)

George has further been accused of accepting and receiving bribes, allowing for vehicles, laden with illegal substances, to pass into the country unhindered. “The indictment alleges that Officer George broke the very drug trafficking laws that he was supposed to enforce,” U.S. Attorney Randy Grossman, stated in the release.

“The U.S. Attorney’s Office and our agency partners in the Southern District of California are committed to rooting out and punishing corruption,” Grossman continued.

“It is the responsibility of all government employees to operate with the utmost integrity and do their best to foster and maintain the public’s trust,” FBI San Diego Field Office Special Agent in Charge Stacey Moy stated in the press release. “Anyone who violates that trust will be held accountable for their actions.”

George is scheduled to appear before U.S. Magistrate Judge Barbara Major for a detention hearing on July 6, the release stated.