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Ex-border officer sentenced in immigrant- and marijuana-smuggling scheme

February 20, 2009 |  4:22 pm

A former border officer was sentenced today to seven years in federal prison for conspiring to smuggle illegal immigrants and marijuana across the United States border, the U.S. attorney’s office said.

Luis Francisco Alarid, 32, also was forced to forfeit $175,000 in bribe payments, in addition to electronic items purchased with money he received as part of the scheme. Alarid pleaded guilty in November to conspiring to smuggle over 100 kilograms of marijuana and to one count of bribery.

During his seven-month tenure in 2007 and 2008 at Customs and Border Patrol, an arm of the Department of Homeland Security, the Chula Vista resident allowed several vehicles containing contraband to cross the border, including a minivan loaded with more than 260 pounds of pot and four illegal immigrants, according to court documents. He was arrested in May by the Border Corruption Task Force after allegedly attempting to admit cars carrying human cargo and 11 kilograms of marijuana while stationed at Otay Mesa Port of Entry, the U.S. attorney said.

-- Alicia Lozano