Nexus of Corruption and Drug Trafficking

"The drug problem and corruption have a mutually reinforcing relationship. Corruption facilitates the production and trafficking of illegal drugs and this, in turn, benefits corruption.76 The wealth and power of some drug trafficking organizations can exceed that of local governments, allowing them to buy protection from law enforcement agents, criminal justice institutions, politicians and the business sector. In doing so, they further reinforce corruption. The rule of law is both an immediate victim and, if it is already weak, an underlying factor that feeds this cycle."

Arrests of and Allegations Against Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Employees, 2005-2012

Arrests of and Allegations Against Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Employees, 2005-2012: "According to CBP’s data, incidents of arrests of CBP employees from fiscal years 2005 through 2012 represent less than 1 percent of the entire CBP workforce per fiscal year. 18 During this time period, 144 current or former CBP employees were arrested or indicted for corruption—the majority of which were stationed along the southwest border. In addition, there were 2,170 reported incidents of arrests for misconduct.19

US Border Agents Arrested or Indicted for Corruption

"From fiscal years 2005 through 2012, a total of 144 employees were arrested or indicted for corruption-related activities, including the smuggling of aliens or drugs, and 125 have been convicted. 20 About 65 percent (93 of 144 arrests) were employees stationed along the southwest border. Our review of documentation on these cases indicates that 103 of the 144 cases were for mission-compromising corruption activities, which are the most severe offenses, such as drug or alien smuggling, bribery, and allowing illegal cargo into the United States.

Public Corruption Along the US Southwest Border

Public Corruption Along the US Southwest Border: "One particular case highlights the potential national security implications of public corruption along our nation's borders. In that case, an individual gained employment as a border inspector for the specific purpose of trafficking in drugs. Through our collaborative efforts and a year-long investigation, this former public official pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to import more than 1000 kilograms of marijuana into the United States and received more than $5 Million in bribe payments.

US Border Agent Corruption

US Border Agent Corruption: "Since October 1, 2004, 138 CBP employees have been arrested or indicted for acts of corruption including drug smuggling, alien smuggling, money laundering, and conspiracy. During this same period more than 2,000 CBP employees have been charged in other criminal misconduct, including off duty behavior that serves to undermine the confidence of the public that we serve."

Dept. of Homeland Security Corruption Cases

Dept. of Homeland Security Corruption Cases: "In Fiscal Year (FY) 2009, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) received about 12,458 allegations of fraud and initiated over 1,085 investigations. Our investigations resulted in 313 arrests, 293 indictments, 281 convictions and 59 administrative actions. Additionally, we reported over $85.7 million in fines, restitutions and administrative cost savings and recoveries.