Border Patrol Agent Accused of Taking Bribes to Let Drugs Into San Diego

Border Patrol Agent Accused of Taking Bribes to Let Drugs Into San Diego
A Customs and Border Protection officer and his K-9 are ready to inspect vehicles entering the United States at the San Ysidro port of entry in California on April 9, 2018. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)
City News Service

SAN DIEGO—A U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer has been charged on July 3 in an indictment unsealed with allegedly accepting bribes to allow drug-laden vehicles across the U.S.-Mexico border.

Leonard Darnell George is charged along with several others with conspiracy to import and conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in San Diego. George is separately charged with receiving bribes, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

“The indictment alleges that Officer George broke the very drug trafficking laws that he was supposed to enforce,” San Diego U.S. Attorney Randy Grossman said in a statement.

Prosecutors allege George took “items of value” in return for letting vehicles carrying drugs into the country. Others charged in the indictment allegedly coordinated the smuggling of methamphetamine, fentanyl, cocaine, and heroin from Mexico into the U.S.

“The vast majority of California Border Patrol officers are highly skilled, hard-working professionals dedicated to our mission of protecting the American public and we do not stand for those that would tarnish our badge,” said Sidney Aki, director of field operations for the border patrol agency in San Diego. “The San Diego Field Office will cooperate fully as the case proceeds.”

George is due to appear in San Diego federal court for a detention hearing on July 6.