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Customs Agent Arrested by FBI, Accused of Smuggling Fugitive in Car Dashboard

The nine-year veteran allegedly allowed people into the country who had fake immigration documents, and earlier this year allowed his brother-in-law, a federal fugitive who was stashed in a car dashboard, to enter the United States.

FBI agents arrested U.S. Customs and Border Protection agent Thomas Silva, 33, at the San Ysidro Port of Entry Friday morning, San Diego FBI Office and Customs Border Protection officials announced Monday.

Silva has been charged with concealing a person from arrest and wire fraud.

In April he allegedly allowed his brother-in-law to enter the United States illegally. Hidden in a car dashboard, Julio Cesar Landaverde Valdez was convicted of drug smuggling in 2006 and is a federal fugitive.

Silva is scheduled to appear in court Monday.

A FBI Border Corruption Task Force investigation began in November 2010, "after the CBP detected irregularities with Silva’s work," an FBI statement said.

"Specifically, the CBP reported that Silva was allowing individuals with imposter immigration documents to pass through the San Ysidro Pprt of Entry. Subsequent investigation by the BCTF revealed that Silva was involved in a variety of criminal activity, some of which related to his position as a CBP officer," the statement said.

Silva is also accused of filing a false claim with State Farm that his car was stolen and was paid more than $7,000.

John Galt September 10, 2012 at 07:44 PM
Crimes like this are the worst of public trust. We need to make an example. 20 years in prison would be a good start. Loss of pension. No welfare for the family. Jerk.
Jack Fisher September 10, 2012 at 07:45 PM
Ditto and then some.

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