Border Patrol Officer Sentenced for Selling US Entry

A Border Patrol officer was given a year and a half in prison this week for trying to sell a free pass into the U.S. to an illegal immigrant. Fernando Castillo planned to charge the migrant $5,000 for fake immigration papers called a Notice to Appear, then changed the woman’s status in the computer system so she could stay in the United States. Fortunately, the migrant reported missing money and authorities caught Castillo trying to make the sale.

Jaime Esparza, the U.S. attorney for the Western District of Texas, said, “A federal officer who sells his office for personal gain shatters public trust in government officials. Unfortunately, Castillo’s crime unfairly tarnishes the honest officers who serve the public with dedication day in and day out.”

This incident happened after President Biden canceled a pandemic border expulsion power called Title 42. The illegal immigrant, who has Mexican and Salvadoran citizenship and had no criminal charges, was supposed to be returned to Mexico but was approached by Castillo. He offered her immigration papers for $5,000, saying she would be free to stay in the U.S. once the papers disappeared from the system.

The woman reported that Castillo also took $500 from her sealed property bag. When she alerted U.S. border officers, they notified the FBI. While she was talking to authorities, Castillo called to arrange the $5,000 sale. Investigators were monitoring everything and caught Castillo with the printed Notice to Appear for the woman.

During a follow-up interview, Castillo admitted to printing out the Notice to Appear and forging signatures of other agents. He pleaded guilty in February to a smuggling conspiracy charge.

This kind of behavior damages the trust people have in government officials and undermines the hard work of honest officers, who serve the public with dedication. It’s important to hold accountable those who abuse their position for personal gain.

Written by Staff Reports

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