SAN DIEGO – A former Customs and Border Protection officer who took cash bribes and cars in return for letting undocumented immigrants into the United States through his inspection lane at the San Ysidro Port of Entry pleaded guilty in federal court Thursday to conspiracy to bring in immigrants for financial gain and to receive bribes.
Hector Rodriguez, 45, will be sentenced July 1 by U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez.
Rodriguez of San Diego admitted that from 2010 until his arrest last July, he received bribes from co-defendants Gerardo Rodriguez and Maria Guerrero in the form of cash, the use of luxury vehicles and the use of an apartment in return for failing to enforce U.S. immigration laws by letting undocumented immigrants enter the country illegally, according to court records.
Hector Rodriguez provided his lane assignment to his co-defendants, who would drive vehicles containing undocumented immigrants from Mexico to the United States through Rodriguez’s inspection lane.
On their date of arrest, July 13, 2012, Gerardo Rodriguez drove a vehicle containing eight undocumented immigrants and co-defendant Vanessa Moya drove a vehicle with six undocumented immigrants through Hector Rodriguez’s inspection lane, authorities said.
To conceal the smuggling, Hector Rodriguez would enter into the government database false information about who was driving the vehicle and the number of occupants, according to authorities.
As part of his plea, Hector Rodriguez agreed to forfeit a 2009 Jaguar, five Rolex watches, televisions and computers that were obtained through his criminal activity.
Gerardo Rodriguez agreed to forfeit a 2005 Mercedes-Benz, a 2006 Harley Davidson and $60,000.