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September 12, 2017McAllen, TX, United StatesNarcotics

Former US Border Patrol agent sentenced to 2 years in federal prison for making false statement

MCALLEN, Texas — A former Border Patrol agent with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) was  sentenced Tuesday to two years in federal prison for making a false statement regarding a 2007 narcotics seizure.

This sentence was announced by Acting U.S. Attorney Abe Martinez, Southern District of Texas. This investigation was conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), with the assistance of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

Eduardo Bazan, 49, from Edinburg, Texas, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Randy Crane who ordered Bazan to serve a 24-month prison sentence, which is to be immediately followed by three years of supervised release. Bazan pleaded guilty to the charge June 30.

According to court documents, Bazan’s case was part of an ongoing investigation where law enforcement learned that a 66-kilogram (145 pounds) load of cocaine that Border Patrol had seized in 2007 may have been staged with sham, or diluted narcotics to allow drug traffickers to steal the original narcotics from unwitting sources of supply.

On Oct. 31, 2016, HSI interviewed Bazan who had been a BP agent assigned to the McAllen Border Station. He falsely stated that in February 2007 he had unsuccessfully attempted to apprehend individuals running from a vehicle. Upon returning to that vehicle, he saw other agents recovering the bundles of cocaine.

On Nov. 1, 2016, Bazan admitted he had lied to agents and that the load vehicle had been abandoned. Bazan ran from the scene to make other agents believe the vehicle had been occupied. Bazan further admitted to receiving $8,000 for assisting the drug traffickers with the staged seizure.

Bazan was permitted to remain released on bond and voluntarily surrender to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Anibal J. Alaniz and Kristen Rees, Southern District of Texas, prosecuted this case.