As violence increases along our nation's southern border, a stunning investigation just released by the Dept. of Homeland Security finds that Mexican drug cartels are successfully bribing U.S. border agents with money and sex.
The investigation was conducted by Charles Edwards, acting inspector general at the DHS. He discussed it during a hearing at the Senate Subcommittee on Disaster Recovery and Intergovernmental Affairs. CNN reports:
In exchange, agents allow contraband or unauthorized immigrants through inspection lanes, protect or escort traffickers or leak sensitive information, said Charles Edwards, acting inspector general of the Department of Homeland Security.
Testifying before a Senate subcommittee, Edwards cited the Zetas drug cartel as one of the leaders "involved increasingly in systematic corruption."
He did not elaborate on how non-cash methods of corruption, like sexual favors, have been used to corrupt agents.
At the same hearing, Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Alan Bersin said that since October 2004, 127 Customs and Border Protection employees have been arrested or indicted for acts of corruption.
"The accelerated hiring pace under which we operated between 2006 and 2008 -- and, frankly, mistakes from which we are learning -- exposed critical organizational and individual vulnerabilities within CBP," he said.
Still, he referenced a new piece of legislation he think will help combat that. The Anti-Border Corruption Act of 2010, he said, will require that by 2013 all the agency's law enforcement applicants must receive a polygraph test before being hired. In addition, it calls for periodic reinvestigations of agents.
"However," he added, "our investigations are complicated by the brutality the cartels use to control their organizations and coerce witnesses, and the sophistication and advanced technologies available to organizations with unlimited money."