By Steve Neavling
A 71-year-old Mexican national was sentenced to one year in prison for bribing a Homeland Security Investigations agent, the Justice Department announced this week.
Pedro Thiessen offered bribes after he failed to declare $12,171 while entering the U.S. at the Ysleta Port of Entry in October 2022.
Prosecutors says he offered to pay the agent an unknown amount of money for help recovering his money.
After the agent reported the bribery attempt to ICE’s Office of Professional Responsibility, Thiessen again offered to pay money to the agent in February.
Nine days later, the agent arranged a meeting with Thiessen, and he presented the agent with $1,000.
He was immediately arrested.
Thiessen pleaded guilty on July 7 to one count of paying a bribe to a public official.
“I appreciate the integrity and dedication of the HSI agent involved to report the bribe and lead us to the arrest of this defendant,” U.S. Attorney Jaime Esparza for the Western District of Texas said. “We will prosecute and hold accountable anyone who offers a bribe to the honorable federal law enforcement officers serving in this district.”
Francisco B. Burrola, special agent in charge of the HSI El Paso Division, said the agency “takes all bribery attempts of its employees extremely seriously.”
“In this case, an individual offered a monetary bribe to one of our special agents in return for assistance in recovering thousands of dollars he attempted to smuggle into the country,” Burrola said. “As a result, he is facing time in prison.”
Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Osterberg prosecuted the case.