A brazen conspiracy among U.S. law enforcement officers and soldiers to smuggle cocaine from Mexico was disclosed Thursday by the Justice Department, adding to concerns that public corruption along the border is growing.
Wearing uniforms and even driving U.S. military vehicles, 16 suspects were caught in a sting run by an FBI-led task force. Eleven entered guilty pleas Thursday in Tucson, Ariz.; the other five have agreed to do so soon.
One federal inspector waved trucks he believed were carrying drugs across the border from Mexico to the United States, according to the FBI. In another case, a group of the defendants used Army National Guard Humvees to transport 60 kilograms of cocaine from a desert landing strip to a resort hotel in Phoenix, where they received cash from an undercover FBI agent.
Justice Department officials describe the case as a “widespread bribery and extortion conspiracy” and it is one of the largest public corruption cases along the U.S.-Mexico border in recent years
If you think this is somehow an isolated case, well, what better way to get drugs across the border than in US military vehicles. The border police in Mexico are widely accused of corruption, yet here it is, widespread, in the US too. Plus, those those large sums of cash have to be eventually going into U.S. banks too.