Former Border Patrol Agent Jailed After Trying To Sell Fake Immigration Docs To Illegal Migrant

Border Patrol. Shutterstock

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Jason Hopkins Immigration Reporter
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The Department of Justice announced the sentencing of a former Border Patrol agent who tried to charge a foreign national thousands of dollars in exchange for legalizing her immigration status.

Fernando Castillo in June 2023 solicited a $5,000 bribe from a citizen of El Salvador and Mexico in exchange for paperwork that would allow her to remain in the U.S., according to a Justice Department press release. The former Border Patrol agent was subsequently caught and has been sentenced to 18 months in prison.

“A federal officer who sells his office for personal gain shatters public trust in government officials,” U.S. Attorney Jaime Esparza said of the case. “Unfortunately, Castillo’s crime unfairly tarnishes the honest officers who serve the public with dedication day in and day out.  We will eagerly hold officers like Castillo accountable.” (RELATED: Grand Jury Elects To Indict Over 100 Migrants For Rioting At Border After Judge Dismissed Charges)

Castillo was working at the Central Processing Center in Texas when he approached the woman, who was awaiting deportation, and offered her “papers” that would allow her to remain in the U.S., according to court documents reviewed by Border Report. He then made false entries into her immigration and file and printed them out.

However, the woman alerted immigration authorities after she noticed money missing from her purse, according to the court documents. Federal authorities researched her file and realized Castillo made changes to her immigration status, essentially permitting her to remain in the U.S.

Border Patrol agents. Shutterstock

Border Patrol agents. Shutterstock

Agents arrested the Border Patrol agent when he met with the woman with the fraudulent documents.

Castillo pled guilty to one count of bribery of a public official on Feb. 1. Along with his 18-month prison sentence, he will serve one year of supervised release and pay a $100 fine, according to the Justice Department.

“Fernando Castillo engaged in conduct that betrayed the oath he took to faithfully serve the citizens of the United States of America,” Special Agent in Charge John Morales of the FBI El Paso Field Office said in a statement. “His behavior should not take away from the outstanding work done each day by the vast majority of law enforcement professionals at U.S. Border Patrol.”

News of the sentencing comes as Customs and Border Protection officials on the southern border continue to deal with an unprecedented immigration crisis.

Since President Joe Biden took office, at least 6 million encounters have taken place at the U.S-Mexico border, with the White House and state governments forced to spend billions to deal with the influx.

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