Regional
10:47 am
Mon August 10, 2009

Busts of Corrupt Border Police Rise

Texas – Corruption along the U.S.-Mexican border takes many forms.

It can start as simply as a smuggler's $50 gift to the child of a reluctant federal agent, quickly escalating to out-and-out bribes.

An Associated Press investigation has found U.S. law officers who work the border are being charged with criminal corruption in numbers not seen before.

That's as drug and immigrant smugglers use money and sometimes sex to buy protection, and internal investigators crack down.

Based on Freedom of Information Act requests, interviews with sentenced agents and a review of court records, the AP tallied corruption-related convictions against more than 80 enforcement officials at all levels.

That includes federal, state and local levels since 2007. That was shortly after Mexican President Felipe Calderon declared war on the cartels that peddle up to $39 billion worth of drugs in the United States each year.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.