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Border agent arrested for allegedly smuggling illegal migrants

Kaylee Greenlee, DCNF

A Border Patrol agent was arrested in Laredo, Texas, Friday after allegedly smuggling illegal migrants into the U.S., Customs and Border Protection announced Tuesday.

Border Patrol Agent Rodney Tolson, Jr. was routinely assigned to lane inspections at an interior checkpoint where he allegedly conspired to transport and smuggle illegal migrants into the U.S. for payment from around Feb. 9, 2020, through March 26, 2019, according to an indictment.

A grand jury indicted Tolson on felony charges related to transporting illegal migrants for private gain, according to Customs and Border Protection (CBP). The Laredo Sector agent was hired in 2008 and placed on indefinite suspension.

CBP “stresses honor and integrity in every aspect of our mission and expects officers and agents to adhere to the oath they take to uphold and enforce the laws of this country,” the agency said in a statement.

Tolson allegedly failed to inspect and declare the nationality and immigration status of illegal migrants passing through the interior checkpoint, according to the indictment. Tolson allegedly informed people of his assigned lane, allowed illegal migrants to pass through and received payment in at least six instances, the indictment said.

In two instances, Tolson allegedly attempted to transport two illegal migrants within the country for financial gain, according to the indictment. The Department of Homeland Security Office of the Inspector General and the CBP Office of Professional Responsibility are investigating the allegations, according to CBP.

Tolson faces up to 10 years in prison and up to a $250,000 fine, according to the indictment.

In a separate case, a 40-year-old former CBP officer only identified as Walker pled guilty to conspiring to encourage or induce a foreign national to the U.S. on May 14, according to CBP. Walker allegedly used another official’s login information to process a Mexican woman through the Laredo port of entry on Jan. 2.

The Mexican woman was not authorized to live or work in the U.S., and Walker allegedly intended for her to illegally enter the U.S. to work as her housekeeper and nanny, according to CBP.

“Walker also lied to authorities. She falsely stated Trevino was her biological aunt and denied processing her entry or employing her in her home,” according to CBP.

Walker faces up to 10 years in prison and up to a $250,000 fine, she is scheduled for sentencing on Aug. 9, according to CBP.

Neither CBP nor the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas responded to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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