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Border Patrol agent arrested on drug trafficking charges


Prosecutors say agent caught with more than $300,000 in cash

TUCSON, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) - A U.S. Border Patrol agent is accused of committing the same sort of crime he took an oath to prevent. He faces federal charges of drug trafficking.

The U.S. Attorney's Office says investigators arrested Carlos Victor Passapera Pinott Sunday. Passapera is assigned to the Ajo Border Patrol Station.

Prosecutors say investigators say Passapera drive from his home in Buckeye to a remote area west of the Lukeville Port of Entry.

They say from there, he drove to Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport, where they saw him load two duffel bags into another vehicle.

Investigators say they stopped that vehicle after it left the airport. They say further inspection of the bags revealed 21 kilograms of cocaine, 1 kilogram of heroin, and 1 kilogram of fentanyl. Officers say they also found nearly 350,000 fentanyl pills inside the duffels.

Prosecutors say a investigators found more than $300,000 in cash in subsequent search of Passapera's home. Officers say they also discovered $40,000 in cash in the car the agent used to pick up the illegal drugs.

If convicted on conspiracy and drug trafficking charges, Passapera faces a minimum of ten-years in prison, but a judge could sentence him to life behind bars. In addition, he could face up to $10,000,000 in fines.

The investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Southern Arizona Corruption Task Force, Homeland Security Investigations, the NATIVE Task Force, and the Drug Enforcement Administration

Article Topic Follows: Arizona News

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Lisa Sturgis

Lisa Sturgis Lisa got her first job in TV news at KYMA in 1987.


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