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Ex-customs officer sentenced to eight months

January 18, 2013 |  5:12 pm


A former Customs and Border Protection officer was sentenced Friday to eight months in federal custody after pleading guilty to allowing his brother-in-law into the U.S., even though he knew the man was a wanted fugitive.

Thomas Silva, 33. a nine-year veteran, admitted that, while working at the San Ysidro border crossing, he entered inaccurate information about his brother-in-law's car into the department's computer system to shield him from arrest.

Federal District Judge Anthony J. Battaglia said in San Diego federal court that Silva had "brought shame" to the U.S. while working as a Customs and Border Protection officer.

Silva also admitted to defrauding an insurance company of more than $7,000 by falsely reporting that his Nissan pickup truck had been stolen. Battaglia ordered Silva to forfeit $16,000 in illegal proceeds and pay $8,129 in restitution to Farmers Insurance.

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--Tony Perry in San Diego

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