A former reserve deputy sheriff from Imperial County was sentenced to 30 months in prison Friday for smuggling Mexican nationals in her truck, while in uniform through a Border Patrol checkpoint.
El Centro, Calif., resident and three-year reserve deputy sheriff, Elizabeth Hernandez, 23, and a co-defendant, Edna Yanie Calderon, 22, were arrested on April 17 for transporting several adults and a minor from Mexico into the U.S.
Hernandez wore her uniform and a department-issued firearm as she transported the people, officials said.
The judge in the case, U.S. District Court Judge Janis L. Sammartino, said Hernandez’s use of her firearm and uniform provided the smuggling organization with a “guaranteed method” to smuggle people through the checkpoint.
Hernandez was paid at least, $90,000 for the crime which she is now required to forfeit, according to court documents.
Along with the money, Hernandez must also forfeit several vehicles she purchased using proceeds associated with the crime.
After the 30-month sentence Hernandez faces three years of supervised release.
She was ordered to self-surrender to a designated prison not later than Nov. 5 and is scheduled for a hearing in court on Nov. 8.
Hernandez’s co-defendant, Calderon will be sentenced on Oct. 4.