A former U.S. supervisory Border Patrol agent was sentenced in a San Diego federal courtroom Tuesday.
Martin Rene Duran, 49, will serve 24 months for repeatedly detaining and harassing an innocent man on trumped-up allegations and for firearms offenses.
Duran pleaded guilty in August to using the power of the U.S. government to target and intimidate a father trying to protect his 11-year-old son from sexual abuse.
“Martin Duran used his significant power as a Border Patrol official against someone he was sworn to protect,” said U.S. Attorney Adam Braverman. “He targeted a law-abiding citizen because of a personal vendetta, and for that he will go to prison.”
Duran falsely accused the victim of being an arms trafficker, of making threats to law enforcement and of bribing his way out of child sexual abuse charges in Mexico.
Based on Duran’s actions, law enforcement officials detained and interrogated the victim on several occasions. Duran also interrogated the victim himself, threatening to take away his legal permanent resident status in the United States. The victim was also detained at the San Ysidro Port of Entry on multiple occasions based on Duran’s false database entries.
The targeting began when the victim filed child sex abuse allegations in Mexico against Duran’s brother-in-law, Raymond Estrada Figueroa. Figueroa has been subsequently charged in the Southern District of California.
When confronted about his actions Duran lied, saying he had no knowledge of the allegations against his brother-in-law. Duran had, in fact, hired his brother-in-law’s attorney, sent emails to the attorney about the case and paid the attorney.
He also claimed his false reports about the victim came from a “confidential source,” who later denied even knowing Duran.
Duran was separately found guilty on seven counts of illegal transportation of firearms and one count of possession of a short-barreled rifle after a trial.
He will serve 24 months for the firearms charges and a concurrent term of 12 months for the civil rights offenses.