An internal study for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security describes 15 incidents in which known associates of Mexican drug cartels tried to inflitrate the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency, according to the Center for Investigative Reporting.
The same study detailed “turf battles, internal dysfunction and other troubles” that have hobbled the agency in its efforts “to get a handle on corruption and other misconduct within its ranks,” CIR said.
The internal study was conducted by the Homeland Securities and Analysis Institute, which is an internal think tank for DHS. The study has been kept under wraps for more than a year, according to CIR. The study’s authors said there may have been many more attempts by drug cartels to infiltrate the U.S. government in addition to the 15 discussed in their document.
“As part of lie detector tests, prospective hires have admitted to drug trafficking, human smuggling and other illegal activity, according to examples the agency previously provided to the Center for Investigative Reporting,” CIR said.
“One applicant told examiners that he smuggled 230 people across the border and shuttled drug dealers around border towns so they could conduct their business,” CIR said. “Another admitted to various crimes, including transporting $700,000 in drug money and 50 kilograms of cocaine across the Southwest border.”
A total of 146 agency officers and agents have been charged with or convicted of corruption-related offenses since Oct. 1, 2004. Among the offenses charged were accepting bribes to allow drugs to enter the U.S. and stealing tax money.