There are traitors among us. Some are wearing the uniform of American law enforcement.
They are members of our federal defense force at the U.S. border, others are from local police departments in areas nearby. They are men and women who carry a badge and a gun and are supposed to make sure the bad guys stay out of our country. Instead they are taking bribes and lining their own pockets at the expense of our nation's safety.
You read that correctly. For the right amount of money some of those who've sworn to protect America are helping illegal aliens enter the country undetected and are allowing millions of dollars in illegal drugs and contraband to pass right through border checkpoints.
Their actions taint the good work of the vast majority of the force that are so diligent in keeping the worst of the worst foreign criminals on the other side of the border.
The problem has gotten so potentially explosive that the FBI has now launched a major new initiative to investigate all border agents working for U.S. Customs and Border Protection. The loyalty of these frontline warriors is paramount.
Take the case of former U.S. Customs officer Margarita Crispin.
In late 2004 a drug informant revealed El Paso based Officer Crispin was in cahoots with the Mexican drug cartel and routinely allowed drug laden vehicles through her border check point lane without inspection. For more than a year investigators worked to gather enough evidence to make a case. A check of Crispin's finances revealed she'd acquired two expensive homes in Mexico as well as several luxury vehicles. They also found she socialized with known drug dealers. That information coupled with phone records, witness accounts and surveillance video of her activities resulted in a federal indictment. She pleaded guilty to conspiring to import drugs and abusing the public trust and in April 2008 she was finally sentenced to 240 months in prison.
It was learned at trial that in just four years on the job Crispin got more than 5 million dollars in payoffs.
Recently ABC news showed a couple of FBI surveillance videos of others who swore to keep the nation safe that would curl your hair.
One showed a truck full of illegal immigrants pulling up to a crossing at the Mexican-San Diego border and being waved right through the line patrolled by Customs Protection Officer Michael Gilliland. Turns out he got $100,000 for looking the other way that day. He also got five years in a federal prison.
The second video was of a deputy sheriff in a Texas border town as he solicited a bribe from a speeding motorist who he believed to be an illegal alien. The deputy is heard telling an undercover FBI agent, "So, the fine is $150 here. You can either pay me here or follow me all the way to Petula and you can pay the judge," After the money was peeled off a roll of bills the man with the badge reassured his prey, "(Now) You don't have to worry about court or anything..."
The FBI admits it is currently investigating at least 100 of these active corruption cases because corrupt border officials willing to sell out their country for a price represent a real national security threat.
The FBI's plan to crackdown on these crooked law enforcement types got a kick in the pants recently with the discovery of foreign born Muslim terrorists plotting another September 11th attack for New York. You see, it's not just the Mexican border that is in jeopardy and it's not just those from Central and South America who come here illegally and with crime in mind. They come from around the globe and some carry illogical hate for America with them.
In the last two years nearly 2,300 immigrants were caught coming here illegally from China, almost a thousand from Europe and, most frighteningly, hundreds were seized as they tried to enter the United States from nations where terrorism is known to thrive. 80 came from Pakistan, 36 from Somalia, 26 from Iran, 25 from Iraq, 10 were from Yemen and ten came from Afghanistan. Who knows how many more made it across our southern or northern border without detection. No telling if they are here scheming against us this very minute. Government experts suspect there are already terror sleeper cells in place in various American cities just waiting to be activated.
In my book, there is a special place in hell for people who would sell out their country like this -- for those who would look the other way as potentially dangerous terrorists slip across the border. They are guilty of more than simple bribery, drug smuggling or abuse of power. It's more like treason.
Diane Dimond can be reached through her web site: www.DianeDimond.net