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260 DHS employees convicted of crimes last year, IG reports

Aug. 22, 2012 - 05:47PM   |  
By STEPHEN LOSEY   |   Comments
A total of 260 Department of Homeland Security employees were convicted of crimes ranging from bribery and drug smuggling to theft and child pornography in 2011, according to a new report from the department's Office of Inspector General.
A total of 260 Department of Homeland Security employees were convicted of crimes ranging from bribery and drug smuggling to theft and child pornography in 2011, according to a new report from the department's Office of Inspector General. (Jeff Swenson / Getty Images)

A total of 260 Department of Homeland Security employees were convicted of crimes ranging from bribery and drug smuggling to theft and child pornography in 2011, according to a new report from the department’s Office of Inspector General.

One Customs and Border Protection officer with eight years of experience, for example, was found guilty of helping drug traffickers smuggle cocaine through his inspection lane. The IG said the officer provided the drug traffickers with his work schedule and lane assignments. The officer pleaded guilty to bribery and conspiracy to possess and distribute cocaine, was sentenced to 110 months in federal prison and fined $100,000.

The OIG said in its Aug. 1 Summary of Significant Investigations that it opened 1,389 investigations last year. The investigations led to more than $45 million in fines, restitution, recoveries and administrative cost savings, the report said.

The IG also listed at least two Transportation Security Administration screeners who were convicted of stealing laptops from passengers’ luggage. One stole and fenced over a three-year period more than 80 laptops and other electronic devices valued at $80,000 from luggage at the Orlando International Airport in Florida. He pleaded guilty to embezzlement and theft and was sentenced to 24 months of probation, the report said.

Another CBP employee pleaded guilty last year to stealing a customs declaration form that had been filled out by famed astronaut Neil Armstrong as he passed through Boston’s Logan International Airport. That employee tried to auction the form on a collectibles website. He received 24 months probation, the report said.

And a Coast Guard Auxiliary member admitted using government credit cards in a scheme to obtain cocaine, the IG said. The Coast Guard member used his fleet credit cards — which are normally used to buy gasoline and other supplies for official federal vehicles — to buy gasoline, which he then gave to a drug dealer in exchange for cocaine. The report said he also used the cards to buy gas for himself, his friends and family.

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