CBP Officer Pleads Guilty to Accepting Bribes to Allow Cocaine Smuggling

By Steve Neavling

A former CBP officer pleaded guilty to letting undocumented people into the U.S. and accepting bribes in exchange for allowing what he believed was several kilograms of cocaine to be smuggled into the country, the Justice Department announced this week.  

Emanuel Isac Celedon, 36, of Laredo, now faces dozens of years in prison and hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines when he is sentenced at a later date. 

Celedon, who worked at the Laredo Port of Entry in Texas, pleaded guilty in two separate cases. 

Prosecutors said Celedon provided smugglers with his daily lane assignments to allow them to enter without inspection or documentation of passengers on at least nine occasions between September and November 2023. 

In another case, Celedon agreed to allow cocaine to be smuggled through his duty lane on two occasions in October 2023. He was paid a total of $6,000 for letting the sham cocaine into the country. 

According to prosecutors, Celedon sought contacts with cartels to arrange a bribe in exchange for allowing drugs to be smuggled into the country.

The Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General, DEA and CBP Office of Professional Responsibility conducted the investigation. 

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