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Eugenio Pedraza, Marco Rodriguez Indicted: DHS Agents Charged With Falsifying Records

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(Adds officials pleading not guilty in sixth paragraph)
By Jared Taylor
MCALLEN, Texas, April 10 (Reuters) - Two agents with the
U.S. Department of Homeland Security assigned to root out
corruption in other law enforcement agencies have been charged
in Texas with faking records, federal prosecutors said on
Wednesday.
Eugenio Pedraza served as special agent in charge of
Homeland Security's Office of Inspector General in McAllen,
Texas, where he was responsible for rooting out corruption in
other federal agencies that work along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Pedraza and an agent who reported to him falsified records
from seven investigations into Customs and Border Protection
officers and Border Patrol agents accused of accepting bribes to
allow drug shipments and illegal immigrants through
international ports of entry between 2009 and 2011, the
indictment states.
The indictment alleges Pedraza, 49, covered up "severe
lapses" in investigative standards ahead of an internal review
of the McAllen office, the Justice Department said in its
statement.
Also charged in the case is Special Agent Marco Rodriguez,
40, accused of following Pedraza's orders to falsify records in
ongoing investigations. The indictment shows Rodriguez worked on
two of seven cases identified in the indictment as containing
false information.
Both Rodriguez and Pedraza appeared in federal court in
Brownsville, Texas, on Wednesday and pleaded not guilty,
according to court documents. Bond was set at $50,000 each. No
defense attorneys were listed in court documents for either
defendant.
Five other agents under Pedraza were assigned to other cases
under scrutiny, but were not named in the indictment.
Pedraza was accused of directing his subordinates to draft
and place backdated memos into investigative files showing
progress in cases that never occurred, as well as records
involving case reviews that were never performed.
Pedraza also is accused of failing to promptly notify the
FBI that one of its agents was under investigation.
The Justice Department said Pedraza concocted the alleged
scheme to make it appear to investigators reviewing his office
that cases were being worked properly.
A third former special agent, Wayne Ball, has already
pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to falsify records in
federal investigations. His sentencing is set for July 31.
The most severe charges carry maximum sentences of 20 years
in prison, as well as a maximum fine of $250,000 on each count.

(Reporting by Jared Taylor; Editing by Mary Wisniewski, Sofina
Mirza-Reid, Greg McCune and Lisa Shumaker)

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