Border Patrol Corruption Worse Than First Thought


Over the years, I’ve written quite a few stories regarding rampant misconduct and corruption within the Border Patrol. See the following for starters:

But after reading through a recent investigative report from Politico, even I’m somewhat surprised at just how bad the corruption is within the Border Patrol along with the federal government’s inability or unwillingness to reign the agency in. See:

The Green Monster: How the Border Patrol became America’s most out-of-control law enforcement agency

According to the report, the number of arrests of Border Patrol agents for misconduct over the years has been staggering:

“Both parts of CBP also struggled with general misconduct arrests. There were 2,170 reported incidents of arrests for acts of misconduct, such as domestic violence or driving under the influence, from 2005 through 2012—that’s nearly one CBP officer or agent arrested for misconduct every single day for seven years.”

That’s right – one Border Patrol agent arrested every day of the year for several years in a row.

Given that the Border Patrol was growing in size from around 9,000 agents to over 18,000 during the time frame in which the statistics were gathered, the arrest of 2,170 agents in six+ years represents well over 10% of all Border Patrol agents. Indeed, according to the report several high ranking CBP officials have admitted that upwards of 20% of the current Border Patrol agent roster list has no business carrying a gun and a badge to begin with.

The raw numbers and CBP admissions (behind closed doors of course) has even gotten the FBI concerned according to the report:

“Even as Edwards promised Congress that everything was hunky-dory, that same summer, Ronald Hosko took over as assistant director of the FBI’s criminal division. As head of all the criminal investigations across the nation in 2012, Hosko had a lot on his plate—street gangs like MS-13, narcotics smuggling, financial fraudsters, kidnappings, organized crime. But he could see from the windows on the seventh floor of the Hoover Building on Pennsylvania Avenue what he considered just about the nation’s biggest criminal threat: It was another government agency, just down the road, in the Ronald Reagan Building.”

Besides the thousands of Border Patrol agents arrested over the years for things like domestic violence and drunk driving, what other kinds of misconduct are we talking about here? Let’s take a look:

“Rather than detain the three Honduran women and bring them to the McAllen holding center, a 300-bed unit that some nights this spring hosted more than 1,000 people, Manzanares locked the women in the back of his Ford patrol truck and drove them around the scrubland surrounding McAllen for an hour or two….Then he stopped his truck in a wooded area. He raped both the mother and the daughter. He slit the mother’s wrists and tried to break the daughter’s neck, leaving them for dead in the brush.

He drove off with the third woman bound in his green-and-white heavy-duty Border Patrol truck with a red-and-blue light bar on top, a Department of Homeland Security logo on the door and a U.S. flag on the hood. Somewhere out in the borderlands, the agent left his third prisoner hidden, bound with duct tape.”

In other words, the type of agent misconduct we’re talking about isn’t limited to drunk driving and domestic violence as if that wasn’t bad enough. What we’re talking about spans the criminal spectrum and includes quite a few cases of kidnapping, rape, murder, drug smuggling, illegal alien smuggling, aggravated assault, etc.

So what did DHS and CBP leadership do in response to the growing culture of violence and lawlessness that was festering within its ranks? DHS and CBP leadership ordered the agency to reclassify/redefine ‘corruption’ in order to be able to reduce the number of cases that it had to report to Congress and the President:

“CBP’s problems were becoming so bad they couldn’t entirely be ignored. In Obama’s first year, CBP and DHS leadership even ordered the agency to change its definition of “corruption” to downplay the number of total incidents. Instead, according to internal affairs official Wong, the agency began to differentiate between ‘mission-compromising corruption’ & bribery, narcotics-smuggling or human-smuggling allegations and non-mission-compromising corruption, a ‘lesser’ category of cases that included things like employees sexually assaulting detainees or workplace theft. Only the ‘mission-compromising’ problems, the agency now decreed, would be reported to Congress. (Even rape and attempted murder like that of Manzanares, in other words, wouldn’t have to be disclosed.) The distinction helped them wipe nearly a third of the corruption cases out of statistics.”

Given this shameful history of DHS, CBP and the out-of-control Border Patrol, it should come as no surprise when organizations like the ACLU can round up case after case of Border Patrol abuse at internal checkpoints and via roving patrol. See:

So the next time you’re stopped & seized absent suspicion by armed Border Patrol agents at suspicionless checkpoints inside the country nowhere near the border they’re supposed to be patrolling, you may want to keep in mind what kind of agency you’re being forced to interact with and what type of agent is most likely doing the stopping, seizing, detaining, interrogating & searching.

Welcome to Checkpoint USA.