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California Agent Used to Open Border Gates for Illegal Immigrants and Drug Distribution in San Diego for Money; Caught and Sentenced after Undercover Sting

California Agent Used to Open Border Gates for Illegal Immigrants and Drug Distribution in San Diego for Money; Caught and Sentenced after Undercover Sting

Hector Hernandez, a former U.S. Border Patrol Agent, has been sentenced to 87 months in prison by a federal court. Hernandez admitted to accepting bribes and engaging in illegal activities, including smuggling methamphetamine and people across the U.S.-Mexico border while on duty.

In January, Hernandez pleaded guilty, acknowledging that he had agreed to utilize his official position to open border fences and permit unauthorized immigrants to enter the United States from Mexico. Hernandez has also agreed to transport methamphetamine and other controlled substances from the Southern District of California to various locations within the United States.

Hernandez admitted in his plea agreement that he guided smugglers from Mexico on a tour of the U.S.-Mexico border, revealing the prime spots for illegally bringing immigrants into the U.S. In addition, he shared details regarding the whereabouts of surveillance equipment and cameras, which he was privy to due to his role as a Border Patrol agent.

Hernandez confessed to repeatedly breaching restricted border fences, enabling individuals to unlawfully enter the United States in exchange for monetary compensation of $5,000 per breach.

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Court records reveal that Hernandez confessed to unknowingly meeting with an undercover federal agent on May 9, 2023. He agreed to retrieve a bag containing narcotics that had been concealed near the border fence. Hernandez agreed to collect the bag during his shift and transport it to the undercover agent in return for a payment of $20,000.

After the agreement was finalized, agents discreetly filled the bag with a combination of substances and a tracking device, carefully concealing it in a storm drain near the border fence.

Later that evening, Hernandez drove his official vehicle to the storm drain while on duty and collected the bag. He transported the bag to his home in Chula Vista and left it there for the rest of his work shift. .

After completing his shift, Hernandez headed home, collected the bag, and drove to meet with the undercover agent. Upon apprehension, agents verified that the bag still held both the counterfeit and authentic methamphetamine.

Following Hernandez’s arrest, law enforcement agents conducted a search of his residence, where they discovered a significant amount of cash totaling $131,717, along with 7.7 grams of cocaine. Hernandez acknowledged that a significant amount of the money he possessed was obtained through illegal activities related to drug trafficking and bribery.

As part of the plea agreement, Hernandez had to surrender his personal vehicle, $110,000 in seized cash, and his interest in the residence where the drugs were kept.

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