Ex-Border Patrol Agent Sentenced to Prison for Accepting $5,000 Bribe from Migrant

Photo via Border Patrol

By Steve Neavling

A former Border Patrol agent was sentenced to one-and-a-half years in prison for accepting a $5,000 bribe in exchange for helping a migrant stay in the U.S., the Justice Department announced Friday. 

Fernando Castillo was arrested in June 2023 and left the agency a month later. He pleaded guilty to one count of bribery of a public official in February.

Castillo was working at a migrant processing center in El Paso when he approached an unidentified migrant who was supposed to be returned to Mexico. In exchange for the bribe, Castillo made false entries in the migrant’s immigration file and printed a false document. 

“A federal officer who sells his office for personal gain shatters public trust in government officials,” U.S. Attorney Jaime Esparza said in a statement. “Unfortunately, Castillo’s crime unfairly tarnishes the honest officers who serve the public with dedication day in and day out.  We will eagerly hold officers like Castillo accountable.”

The FBI, Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General, and CBP’s Office of Professional Responsibility investigated the case. 

“Fernando Castillo engaged in conduct that betrayed the oath he took to faithfully serve the citizens of the United States of America,” John Morales, special agent in charge of the FBI’s El Paso Field Office, said. “His behavior should not take away from the outstanding work done each day by the vast majority of law enforcement professionals at U.S. Border Patrol.”

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