Man pleads guilty to bribing border agent as part of human smuggling conspiracy

Aug 16, 2022, 4:15 AM
(Flickr File Photo/U.S. Customs and Border Protection)...
(Flickr File Photo/U.S. Customs and Border Protection)
(Flickr File Photo/U.S. Customs and Border Protection)

PHOENIX – A man accused of bribing a border agent as part of a human smuggling operation pleaded guilty in Arizona last week, federal authorities said Monday.

Luis Alfredo Quintero-Gonzalez, 36, of Mexico, faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine after pleading guilty in Tucson on Thursday to conspiracy to commit bribery and alien smuggling, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Arizona said in a press release.

Quintero-Gonzalez was accused of paying U.S. Border Patrol Agent Carlos Passapera about $64,000 in cash as part of a conspiracy to smuggle at least eight undocumented migrants from Mexico into Arizona in 2019.

Passapera, who resigned from the Border Patrol after he was arrested, was charged separately for his involvement. His trial is scheduled to begin in April 2023.

Prosecutors say Quintero-Gonzalez paid Passapera to transport the undocumented migrants from the border near Lukeville through Border Patrol checkpoints and then delivering them to the Phoenix area.

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Man pleads guilty to bribing border agent as part of human smuggling conspiracy