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Border Patrol Agent Charged With Taking Bribes, Attempted Meth Distribution

A U.S. Border Patrol Agent who allegedly agreed to take $25,000 in bribes is facing federal bribery and attempted drug distribution charges, the U.S. Attorney's Office said today.

Hector Hernandez, 55, of Chula Vista, is accused of agreeing to let an undocumented migrant across the U.S.-Mexico border illegally. He also agreed to deliver methamphetamine in exchange for cash, prosecutors say.

Hernandez was arrested Wednesday after the U.S. Attorney's Office says he delivered a duffel bag containing what he believed was methamphetamine to an undercover federal agent.

According to the complaint filed against Hernandez, he was introduced to the undercover Department of Homeland Security agent after it was discovered that Hernandez "was engaged in border corruption activities.'' The complaint does not state what that other alleged conduct may have been.

Hernandez allegedly agreed to open a gate along the border fence in order to let a migrant in. A probable cause statement from DHS Special Agent Prescilla Gonzales states Hernandez requested that the undercover agent send three migrants instead of one in order to increase his payout.

After opening the fence on Monday evening, Hernandez was paid $5,000 by the undercover agent, who then told Hernandez he was working with people in
Mexico who wanted to import drugs, according to the complaint.

A duffel bag was then placed inside a storm drain near the border fence for Hernandez to retrieve, according to the complaint, which states the bag was filled with one pound of actual meth, 10 pounds of "sham'' methamphetamine and a tracking device. Hernandez allegedly picked up the bag on Tuesday night and took it to his home, then went back to work.

After his shift was over, he allegedly retrieved the bag and met with the undercover agent somewhere in Chula Vista on Wednesday morning, where he expected to get $20,000 for delivering the drugs, the complaint states.