Feds: Border Agent Took $$ to Let Smugglers Drive into U.S.

U.S. Border Patrol inspector charged with letting smugglers drive right into the U.S.

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A U.S. border inspector, accused of taking bribes from drivers entering the U.S., was arrested Friday while on duty at the San Ysidro border in San Diego.

Hector Rodriguez, 45, of San Diego, held a position with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection as an inspector to prevent the transportation of illegal drugs or undocumented immigrants into the country.

On Friday, the U.S. Attorney's office accused Rodriguez of working with Gerardo Rodriguez, 42, of Chula Vista and Vanessa Moya, 29, of San Diego, to conspire to bring undocumented immigrants into the U.S.

The border inspector would receive the use of luxury automobiles, apartment rent payments and other bribes from his alleged co-conspirators officials claim.

Federal prosecutors claim Hector Rodriguez would share his work schedule and assigned lane with his alleged accomplices and then would allow them to drive through the lane without inspection.

The complaint alleges that Hector Rodriguez would enter 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.

In exchange, prosecutors claim the three defendants would receive thousands of dollars from the people being smuggled into the country.

Gerardo Rodriguez and Moya were also arrested Friday after driving separate cars across the San Ysidro border crossing without being stopped for inspection officials said.

The three defendants make initial court appearances Monday.

Criminal indictments against Customs and Border Protection employees have increased each of the last four years to 60 in fiscal 2011.

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