A US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agent has pleaded guilty to leaking information to relatives involved in drug trafficking, authorities said.
Jovana Deas, 33, of Rio Rico, Ariz., pleaded guilty to all 21 counts against her, the FBI said in a statement on Monday. Deas was an agent with the HSI Nogales office.
Deas admitted to using her credentials to illegally obtain and disseminate government documents classified as Official Use Only, said the FBI. Some of the documents were later found on the laptop of her former brother-in-law–who is associated with drug trafficking groups in Mexico–by Brazilian law enforcement. Deas further admitted to illegally accessing, stealing, and transferring sensitive U.S. government documents, and to obstructing HSI investigations. She pled guilty to seven felony violations–punishable by up to five years each–and 14 misdemeanors, punishable by up to one year each.
Deas’s sister, Dana Maria Samaniego Montes, was also charged with violations of federal law. Montes is a former Mexican law enforcement official with alleged ties to drug trafficking organizations, but is a fugitive believed to be at large in Mexico.
Deas’s sentencing is set for April 11.