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Border Patrolman Blasted as an ‘Abomination’

SAN DIEGO (CN) - Calling a Border Patrolman's acts "an abomination" that "brought shame" to the United States, a federal judge sentenced him to eight months in prison for concealing a person from arrest, and defrauding an insurer in a false claim that his pickup had been stolen.

Thomas P. Silva, 33, of Chula Vista, also was ordered to forfeit more than $16,000 in "illegal proceeds from his criminal activity and pay $8,129.37 in restitution to Farmers Insurance, the victim of his wire fraud scheme," the U.S. Attorney's Office said Friday.

Silva pleaded guilty to concealing a wanted fugitive from arrest while working at the Say Ysidro Port of Entry. He admitted the fugitive to the country without inspection after verifying his status on a Border Patrol Computer system, and entered inaccurate information into the system to help the fugitive elude arrest.

Silva also admitted defrauding Farmers Insurance of more than $7,000 by falsely reporting that his Nissan pickup had been stolen.

U.S. District Judge Anthony Battaglia called Silva's actions "an abomination" that had "brought shame" to his country, during his sentencing hearing on Friday. He had pleaded guilty to wire fraud and concealing a person from arrest.

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