NOTICE THE NAMES: Federal agents took bribes to let drugs, illegal immigrants into US. [archive]

Johnny Acosta, a Customs and Border Protection officer in Douglas, Ariz., where he screened individuals and vehicles, said he was contacted by a group Mexican drug dealers in September 2013 and agreed to allow them to drive vans packed full of marijuana across the US border. . . . Court documents said Acosta took more than $70,000 in bribes to help the traffickers move over a ton of marijuana.

Mai Nhu Nguyen, an Immigration Service Officer in Santa Ana, Calif., approved or denied citizenship applications for immigrants until she started taking bribes of money and food. In November 2011, according to the court documents, she approved a citizenship application in return for 100 egg rolls.

Joohoon David Lee[, a] federal Homeland Security agent working for Immigration and Custom Enforcement in Los Angeles, . . . interviewed a woman who said she came to the US to become a sex slave for a Korean businessman identified as HS in the court papers cited by the Times. . . . Lee contacted the businessman’s lawyer and said if he received an all-expenses-paid trip to Korea where he would interview HS, he would write a favorable report cleaning the accused man. . . . In all, Lee received about $13,000 in bribes.

Acosta was sentenced in February 2016. The DOJ press release [archive] says that the investigation implicated others: “The investigation led to the indictment of Acosta and five other individuals on an array of drug-related charges. On October 20, 2015, Acosta was arrested by the FBI at the International Border in Nogales, Ariz., as he attempted to flee into Mexico to avoid prosecution.” Mexico? I guess he would have felt more at home there.

Nguyen was sentenced in 2014. According to the LA Times, [archive] her “attorney had asked that she be placed on home detention and community service, calling her actions ‘inexplicable’ and calling her a dedicated mother of five who has worked hard to provide for her family and overcome a difficult childhood in communist Vietnam.” If she likes the food so much, maybe she should go back.

Lee was sentenced in July 2016. [archive] Before that, he was accused of having harassed a restaurant owner [archive] through his position as a federal agent:

Las Vegas restaurateur Thomas Kim says a former federal homeland security agent convicted of accepting bribes abused his authority and tried to manufacture a criminal case against him. . . .

In a federal lawsuit, Kim alleges the agent launched a phony investigation into allegations of drug use, prostitution and human trafficking at Kim’s Korean restaurant, Club Yamang, in 2013 to curry favor with a competitor who had given the agent thousands of dollars in free food and drinks.

Another fan of the food of his fatherland! Maybe he should go back, too.

The New York Post article quoted at the beginning of this post relies heavily on a write-up in the New York Times, “The Enemy Within: Bribes Bore a Hole in the U.S. Border.” [archive] It’s hard not to notice the names of the other corrupt officials mentioned in the report:

Last month, Eduardo Bazan, a Border Patrol agent in McAllen, Tex., was arrested and accused of helping a drug trafficking organization smuggle cocaine. According to court records, Mr. Bazan admitted to receiving $8,000 for his help. José Cruz-López, [archive] a Transportation Security Administration screener at Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport in San Juan, P.R., was arrested around the same time and accused of taking $215,000 in bribes to help smuggle drugs. . . .

Ivhan Herrera-Chiang illustrates the damage a single compromised agent can cause. In 2013, he was sentenced to 15 years for providing sensitive law enforcement information to drug cartels. . . . The cartels used the information to bypass Border Patrol agents and transport methamphetamine, cocaine and marijuana into the country.

His co-conspirator’s name? Michael Lopez-Garcia, [archive] a former state prison guard. Anyway, moving along:

Last month, Daniel Espejo Amos, [archive] a former immigration service officer at the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services in Los Angeles, pleaded guilty to taking $53,000 in bribes from immigration lawyers on behalf of 60 immigrants who were not eligible to become naturalized citizens of the United States. Mr. Amos certified that the immigrants met the requirements for citizenship, even though one person’s English-language skills were so poor that copies of test answers were given to him so he could memorize them for a naturalization interview.

The article says that President Trump upon taking office “will find that many of the problems” of border security “seem to come from within.” Sure, they seem to. But these are actually external problems that have been invited in to corrupt the system.