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Border Officer-Smuggler|Gets 7½ Years

SAN DIEGO (CN) - A Customs and Border Patrol officer nicknamed the Hammer was sentenced Monday to 7½ years in federal prison for "a decade-long crime spree in which he sold his badge to alien-smuggling groups and ultimately to marijuana transportation cells working for Mexican drug cartels," federal prosecutors said.

Lorne "Hammer" Jones, 50, of Chula Vista, waived his right to appeal, the U.S. Attorney's Office said in a statement announcing his sentencing.

He was accused of letting more than 30 metric tons of marijuana and "multiple illegal aliens" enter the country by waving them through his lane at San Ysidro. This "later escalated to smuggling tractor-trailers jammed with marijuana through the commercial port at Otay Mesa," the U.S. attorney said in the statement.

Jones had been an inspector since 1994. He was indicted by a grand jury and arrested at work in 2010.

"A dozen witnesses testified that Jones was on the take," prosecutors said in the statement.

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