Former Brownsville customs officer jailed in bribery case
Tue, 02 Nov 2010 22:09:52 GMT —
A former customs officer is behind bars after being accused of letting illegal immigrants and cocaine through his post for cash.
FBI agents arrested 38-year-old Luis Enrique Ramirez at the bridge on Saturday.
Ramirez worked as a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer until he resigned from his post.
FBI agents arrested him at Brownsville's B&M International Bridge while he was returning to the United States from Matamoros.
A 13-page federal indictment shows Ramirez is accused of taking more than $80,000 dollars in bribes from smugglers between August 2005 and January 2009.
The indictment shows that Ramirez charged at least $250 dollars to allow illegal immigrants though his post.
Also named in the indictment are:
Antonio L. Espinosa Jose Adolfo Sebastian Leal-Angles Rolando De Nova Felix Armando Torres-Cortina
De Nova and Torres-Cortina remain fugitives but court records show that Espinosa and Leal-Angles both already pleaded guilty to their roles in the case.
Espinoza reported in his plea agreement that he also bribed another customs officer Sergio Lopez Hernandez to smuggle cocaine into the United States.
Action 4 News archives show that a federal judge sentenced Hernandez to 11 years and three months in prison in his case back in November 2009.
It's not clear if Hernadez and Ramirez knew each other or worked together.
A CBP service record for Ramirez was not immediately available on Tuesday.
Ramirez appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Ronald Morgan in Brownsville on Monday morning.
Judge Morgan denied bond for Ramirez until a Thursday morning arraignment and bond hearing.