Bad Guys On The Job: U.S. Customs And Border Agents
Ah, the U.S. Customs and Border agents: Our first line of defense at our nationâ��s borders. Right? Wrong. Dead wrong. [Miami Herald]
The Miami Herald reports that so many U.S. Customs and Border agents have been charged with bribery, drug trafficking, and migrant smuggling that their boss in Washington recently issued an alert about the â��â��disturbing events‘â�� and the â��increase in the number of employee arrests.‘â��
A memo written by Thomas S. Winkowski, assistant commissioner of field operations, cites employee arrests involving domestic violence, driving under the influence and drug possession.
But court records show Customs officers and other Department of Homeland Security employees from South Florida to the Mexican border states have been charged with dozens of far more serious offenses.
What sort of â��more serious offenses?â�� Weâ��re glad you asked! A Customs and Border Protection officer at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport was charged in February with conspiring to assist a New York drug ring under investigation by tapping into sensitive federal databases.
Normally, the agency tries to keep the mishaps under wraps. But when the offenses are this flagrant itâ��s hard to avoid the negative publicity.
And now, for the finger pointing! Agency officials claim that the incidents represent individual criminal behavior, and not the culture of the agency.
Employees, though, claim otherwise. In fact, long time agents claim administrative incidents, like hostile confrontations or heavy drinking, may reflect the low morale and intense rivalries following the merger of federal agencies under Homeland Security.
Weâ��re already hearing the theme song to â��Miami Vice.â��
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