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Monday, July 16, 2012

Customs and Border Protection Officer Arrested by San Diego Border Corruption Task Force Agents


United States Attorney Laura E. Duffy announced today the filing of a complaint charging Hector Rodriguez, a Customs and Border Protection Officer; Gerardo Rodriguez; and Vanessa Moya with conspiracy to bring in aliens for financial gain and to receive bribes and bringing in illegal aliens for financial gain. Agents of the Border Corruption Task Force arrested all three defendants earlier today after defendants Gerardo Rodriguez and Vanessa Moya each drove a vehicle containing illegal aliens through the inspection lane manned by Hector Rodriguez. Hector Rodriguez was arrested while on duty at the San Ysidro Port of Entry.

According to the complaint, the defendants conspired to smuggle illegal aliens into the United States from Mexico. Defendant Hector Rodriguez would inform defendants Gerardo Rodriguez and Vanessa Moya of his work schedule at the San Ysidro Port of Entry, including the date, time, and lane number to which he was assigned as a primary inspector. Defendants Gerardo Rodriguez and Vanessa Moya would then drive vehicles containing illegal aliens from Mexico to the United States and would seek entry to the United States through defendant Hector Rodriguez’s assigned primary vehicle inspection lane. In violation of law, defendant Hector Rodriguez would then admit the illegal aliens into the United States in the vehicles driven by defendants Gerardo Rodriguez and Vanessa Moya. The complaint alleges that, to conduct and conceal the smuggling defendant, Hector Rodriguez entered false, fraudulent, and misleading information about the driver’s identity and date of birth and about the vehicle’s identification number into official Department of Homeland Security records. Defendant Hector Rodriguez would also intentionally fail to enter any information about the illegal aliens who were passengers in the vehicles. The complaint further alleges that the defendants received thousands of dollars in smuggling fees from the illegal aliens and that defendant Gerardo Rodriguez provided defendant Hector Rodriguez with the use of luxury automobiles, apartment rent payments, and other bribes.

This case is being investigated by the Border Corruption Task Force, composed of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Customs and Border Protection-Internal Affairs, Customs and Border Protection-Field Operations, Border Patrol, Transportation Security Administration, and Drug Enforcement Administration.

The defendants are expected to make their first court appearance before United States Magistrate Judge David Bartick on Monday, July 16, 2012 in the United States District Court for the Southern District of California.

A complaint itself is not evidence that the defendant committed the crimes charged. The defendant is presumed innocent until the government meets its burden in court proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Defendants, Case Number: 12MJ2614
Hector Rodriguez, 45, San Diego, California
Gerardo Rodriguez, 42, Chula Vista, California
Vanessa Moya, 29, San Diego, California

Summary of Charges
Count one: Title 8, United States Code, Section 371-conspiracy to bring in aliens for financial hain and bribery; maximum penalties—5 years’ imprisonment and $250,000 fine.

Counts two through four: Title 8, United States Code, Section 1324(a)(2)(B)(ii)-bringing in illegal aliens for financial gain; mandatory minimum penalty of five years’ imprisonment; maximum penalties—15 years’ imprisonment and $250,000 fine.

Investigating Agencies
The Border Corruption Task Force is composed of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Customs and Border Protection-Internal Affairs, Customs and Border Protection-Field Operations, Border Patrol, Transportation Security Administration, and Drug Enforcement Administration.

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