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Monday, February 26, 2024 | Back issues
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Border Patrolman Faces Decades in Prison

SAN DIEGO (CN) - A border patrol officer will cough up a Jaguar, five Rolex watches and faces years in prison after pleading guilty to taking bribes to let people into the United States.

Hector Rodriguez, 45, of San Diego, pleaded guilty Thursday to conspiracy, bribery and bringing in aliens for financial gain, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

Gerardo Rodriguez, 42, of Chula Vista, pleaded guilty Thursday to similar charges.

Two other defendants also face sentencing on July 1: Vanessa Moya, 30, of San Diego, and Maria Guerrero, 39, of Chula Vista.

Hector Rodriguez admitted that he took bribes from Gerardo Rodriguez and Maria Guerrero from "around 2010" until he was arrested on July 13, 2012, the U.S. attorney said in the statement.

The bribes included "cash money, use of luxury vehicles, and use of an apartment," prosecutors said.

Hector Rodriguez told the co-defendants his lane assignment at the San Ysidro border crossing and they drove undocumented aliens into the United States.

On the day they were arrested, "Gerardo Rodriguez drove a vehicle containing eight illegal aliens and co-defendant Vanessa Moya drove a vehicle containing six illegal aliens through defendant Hector Rodriguez's inspection lane," prosecutors said.

Hector Rodriguez entered false information into the government database about who was driving and the number of occupants.

Hector Rodriguez agreed to forfeit "a 2009 Jaguar, 12 luxury watches (five Rolexes), jewelry, televisions, and computers that were obtained as a result of his criminal activity," prosecutors said.

"Codefendant Gerardo Rodriguez has agreed to forfeit a 2005 Mercedes, 2006 Harley Davidson, $60,000, televisions, and computers that were obtained as a result of his criminal activity."

There are 17 counts in the indictment, nine of them punishable by 5 years in prison and fines, eight of them by 15 years and fines.

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