A Tucson, Arizona federal district judge sentenced former Border Patrol agent Ramon Antonio Monreal Rodriguez to 152 months in prison, and $151,000 in restitution to Border Patrol.
Monreal, who worked at the Three Points Station in Border Patrol’s Tucson Sector, was found guilty of purchasing firearms for felons, and conspiring with Mexican drug traffickers to take their product past Border Patrol checkpoints, often inside his Border Patrol vehicle. According to a December 27, 2022 Justice Department statement, “He admitted to distributing 116 kilograms of cocaine and 107 kilograms of marijuana as part of the conspiracy.” (Original link)
The Arizona Daily Star reported more details of the case in 2019:
Monreal was accused of picking up 90 pounds of cocaine from smugglers in a wash near the San Miguel Gate, a remote border crossing on the Tohono O’odham Reservation, while on duty around 1:30 a.m. Sept. 18. Monreal allegedly handed the smugglers the first payment of $334,000 and kept the cocaine in his Border Patrol vehicle for the rest of his shift.
Four days later, he allegedly went back to the border while on duty and handed over $317,000 to the smugglers. Monreal’s payment was 6 pounds of narcotics and $66,000, a special agent with the FBI wrote in a criminal complaint.
Federal prosecutors also said Monreal tried to arrange the assault of a corrections officer at a federal prison in Southern Arizona who was dating his ex-girlfriend, what Monreal called “a little tune-up” in audio messages recovered by investigators, court records show.
Monreal also asked a drug trafficker to make his ex-girlfriend “disappear.” Monreal was not charged for the alleged threats.
This case was investigated by the Southern Arizona Corruption Task Force (SACTF) and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. The SACTF includes personnel from the FBI, the DHS Inspector-General’s office, the Offices of Professional Responsibility for ICE and CBP, the DEA, and the Tucson Police Department.
— United States Department of Justice. “Former Border Patrol Agent Sentenced to More Than 12 Years on Bribery, Firearms, and Narcotics Charges,” December 27, 2022. <https://www.justice.gov/usao-az/pr/former-border-patrol-agent-sentenced-more-12-years-bribery-firearms-and-narcotics-charges>.
— Prendergast, Curt. “Indictment: Arizona Border Agent Smuggled 255 Lbs. of Cocaine, $1.2M in Cash.” Arizona Daily Star. March 5, 2019. <https://tucson.com/news/local/indictment-arizona-border-agent-smuggled-255-lbs-of-cocaine-1-2m-in-cash/article_b7748288-1e83-5768-a4a0-c70f3a3fa434.html>.
— “USA v. Monreal-Rodriguez et al. 4:18-Cr-02215.” Administrative Office of the United States Courts, June 6, 2022. <https://www.govinfo.gov/app/details/USCOURTS-azd-4_18-cr-02215>.
Agency(ies): Border Patrol
Event Type(s): Corruption
Last Known Accountability Status: Criminal Conviction