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Former Border Patrol agent sentenced to prison for bribery, drug trafficking

(U.S. Customs and Border Protection)

PHOENIX — A former U.S. Border Patrol agent was sentenced to more than seven years in prison for bribery and drug trafficking, it was announced Monday.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in the District of Arizona announced that 41-year-old Alberto Michel of Casa Grande was sentenced to 90 months in prison.

Michel will also have to undergo three years of supervised release and will pay a $24,000 forfeiture judgment.

He pleaded guilty one count of conspiracy to traffic marijuana and one count of accepting a bribe as a public official.

Michel admitted in his plea agreement to participating in a drug conspiracy by providing surveillance during drug smuggling efforts during his time as a Border Patrol agent in the Tucson sector.

He also provided assistance regarding law enforcement interdiction efforts, the attorney’s office said.

Officials said Michel received $24,000 — equal to $40 per pound of marijuana — in cash for agreeing to “violate his sworn duty to investigate and interdict narcotics smugglers.”

Michel had worked as a Border Patrol agent since 2009 and was promoted to an “enhanced role” with a higher security clearance and more access to information in 2016.

The investigation was conducted by members of the Southern Arizona Corruption Task Force.

Sarah B. Houston and Gordon E. Davenport III, assistant U.S. Attorneys in the District of Arizona, prosecuted the case.

Michel was sentenced by Senior U.S. District Judge David C. Bury.

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