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He bribed a Border Patrol agent with $64,000. Now he may be going to prison

The defendant admitted to paying bribes to a Border Patrol agent in Arizona who agreed to transport migrants to the Phoenix area.

TUCSON, Ariz. — A Mexican citizen has pleaded guilty to bribing a former Border Patrol agent in Arizona to help him smuggle people over the international border. 

Luis Alfredo Quintero-Gonzalez, 36, accepted a plea deal in an Arizona courthouse last week that involved him admitting to conspiring to commit bribery and alien smuggling.

The U.S. Attorney's Office of Arizona says the defendant paid up to $64,000 in bribes to Agent Carlos Passapera between August and December of 2019.

Quintero-Gonzales admitted to serving as the "middleman" between undocumented migrants seeking entry into the U.S. and Agent Passapera.

Passapera would pick up undocumented migrants near Lukeville and drive them through Border Patrol checkpoints until they reached locations within the Phoenix area, prosecutors say.  

VERSIÓN EN ESPAÑOL: Soborno a un agente de la Patrulla Fronteriza con $64,000. Ahora podría pasar tiempo tras las rejas

The duo allegedly worked together to smuggle at least eight people into the U.S.

Quintero-Gonzalez's crimes could result in him receiving the maximum penalty of a five-year prison sentence and a $250,000 fine. He will be sentenced on Oct. 25.

Passapera was charged separately for his alleged involvement in the smuggling operations. His trial is scheduled to occur next April.

Passapera, who has since resigned from the Border Patrol, has also been accused of smuggling large amounts of narcotics from Lukeville to the Phoenix airport. Federal agents reported finding nearly $370,000 in cash stashed inside Passapera's home in Buckeye, according to the Arizona Daily Star.

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