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Border Patrol agent had underground room to hide illegal immigrants and drugs, prosecutors allege

Authorities searching the home of a U.S. Border Patrol agent earlier this week found an underground room that they believe was built to hide drugs and illegal immigrants, a federal prosecutor said Wednesday at a court hearing in San Diego.

The agent, Marcos Gerardo Manzano Jr., 26, was arrested earlier this week and charged with harboring illegal immigrants at his home, among them his father, a twice-deported illegal immigrant with a criminal record.

The discovery of the secret room, along with the large law enforcement presence during the search -– an FBI SWAT team led the raiding party -- suggest that the investigation is more expansive and that the four-year veteran of the agency could face additional charges.

Authorities found the hidden room beneath a concrete slab in the backyard patio, said Assistant U.S. Atty. Tara McGrath. A search of the room turned up an illegal immigrant hiding under a table, McGrath said. Agents also found 61 grams of methamphetamine, along with drug paraphernalia and narcotics packaging materials in the home, she added.

Manzano Jr., who was arrested Monday night at the Imperial Beach Border Patrol station, travels regularly to Mexico to visit his girlfriend and family members, said McGrath, who urged the judge to bar any foreign travel if he posts bond, which was set at $75,000.

The agent’s father, Marcos Gerardo Manzano Sr., 46, had allegedly lived at his son’s home in the border community of San Ysidro since September 2009. He had been deported in 2008 after being convicted of possession of marijuana for sale. Manzano Jr. is also charged with lying to a federal investigator for allegedly stating that he didn’t know of his father’s whereabouts.

Manzano Sr. was not found at the home and remains at large.


Border Patrol agent arrested for harboring twice-deported illegal immigrant -- his father

-- Richard Marosi in San Diego

Comments () | Archives (45)

Must have been a friend or relative of obama.

This is exactly why I say in order to make anyone a citizen they must first show that no family members have commited a crime. This piece of work has a girlfriend and family across the border, how did he become a border patrol agent in the first place? Just being born here should not make you legal. This guy is patroling our borders as a cover to be helping his family all the while screwing the USA. No bail should be set, of course he is a flight risk, his family is not from here and neither is he.
Time to bring home our military and man our own borders.

Welcome to the Third World! This is only the tip of a huge iceberg. Si! Se Puede!

It would appear that the Border Patrol should scrutinize their employees more carefully. By giving priority to spanish speaking employees in the state and or federal system we are bound to see more of this behavior.

Oh what a great citizen. He must have been born here by an illegal immigrant and he became a citizen. Now, he really loves USA and tries hard to make as much money as possible even if it is the illegal way just like his fam is doing. He feels lonely so he brings all his crime family here. Now when he sees me doing business he just want to harass and lynch me because hes in power and cant make a dime on me.
But hes great for border patrol because he speaks spanish and has a great social and cultural ethics and LOVES THE USA . This is a lovely example of where the country is heading... down south... hmmm cant I be a mexican border patrol....., I speak english...

Everybody wanna be in USA but nobody wanna be American

Was he bringing in drugs also ? How many more agents are involved in this type of crimes ? With the type of money the narcos are willing to pay it would not surprised at all if more are found to do this . Money is a motivator for this type of behavior !

Sad, This law enforcement officer is a embassment to Homeland Security.

Before being hired, didn't they check the family history? Although the son shouldn't be saddled with the crimes of the father, the circumstances should have warranted that Junior serve law enforcement far, far away from the border...or maybe be stationed at the Canadian border.

Drug dealer daddy: "hey son, I know. since you're born here, get a job as border patrol and you can help me smuggle drugs and nobody will know."

Son: "orale pa. good idea"

yeah, not smart. you got caught. i'm sure there are many more out there too. probably make big bucks as a coyote. sad, sad, sad...

$75,000 bond is not enough for this scumbag who obviously has drug money. I bet he posts bond and skips the country. So much for justice.

Times continue to get harder and we have to become skeptical of everyone. Never would i have expected for a border patrol agent to be smuggling immigrants and drugs. This is just another example of how people begin to think that they are above the law when put in a position that they can possibly not be inspected of crime. We should always watch out for those especially in those positions because it is ultimately easier for them to commit wrong doing.

I am not surprised, the same people making laws are the ones breaking them. “Let make laws against coming to this country without a Visa, but lets use them and pay them a lower wage to lower the cost of production” typical .

No one is surprised, INS had illegal immigrants on the payroll not too long ago, I think the federal government is the only major employer that does not use e-verify, nor do background checks. Its sad but true.

gee, and to think I can't get a govt. job because I have lousy credit....seriously, I had a more thorough background investigation to be a boy scout, if this clown got away with this for ANY amount of time.

ya, ya ya, there's probably more just like him. A fellas gotta help his family out somehow...and it doesn't take a genius to become a Border Patrol agent. Think of the job description, they most likely handle drugs every day. Temptation at its best.

Don't worried about the border just yet, problem comes from within
Arnold and Nunez's son !!!!!!

IT COMES DOWN TO THE MILLION DOLLAR QUESTION What comes first your family or our job? God Bless the family and I hope it opens some other people who get put in a spot where you have to make the ultimate choice. This one choice will follow him where ever and whatever he he chooses from now on. I hope his father realizes how much love, and realize what his son gave up Iam sure he has lost everything that is important to him. I will personally say a prayer for everything to go in the sons favor.

@mansterEZ1: it's already hard for Border Patrol to keep their employment up with the high turnaround, the threats to their lives by cartels, and just for the nature of their job, but you also want to make it so they can't live within 200 miles from the border where they work?!? Putting it into perspective, that would mean someone viable for working the San Ysidro border would have to live just north of LANCASTER-- can you imagine?!? no one would apply for that job...I do agree they need to start getting aggressive with their background investigations and their performance appraisals, but you need to remember, for every 1 dingaling capable of being swayed by greed, there are 10 border patrol agents who are not only trustworthy and loyal, but who work really hard at protecting our borders.

Gee you guys, you know these undocumented people just come here for a better life! Why didn't this fool have to pass a background check?

americans will never understand how how corrupt the us really is you think he did it alone or did his superiors feel the heat and tru him under the bus keep chating away it changes nothing

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