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Border officer arrested in illegal immigrant smuggling case

September 10, 2012 | 12:29 pm

A U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer has been arrested on corruption charges for allegedly aiding his fugitive brother-in-law's efforts to smuggle an illegal immigrant into the U.S. concealed in the dashboard of his vehicle, federal authorities announced Monday.

The officer, Thomas Silva, 33, a nine-year veteran of the agency, was arrested Friday at the San Ysidro border crossing, where he worked as an inspector. Silva was charged with concealing a person from arrest, stemming from an incident in April, according to the criminal complaint.

Julio Cesar Landaverde Valdez, Silva’s brother-in-law, was a fugitive who had been convicted on human smuggling charges in 2006. Silva also faces a wire fraud charge for allegedly filing a false car-theft claim.

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