Former Customs Officer Found Guilty of Importing More Than 1,200 Pounds of Marijuana into the United States from Mexico
|U.S. Attorney’s Office February 15, 2013|
TUCSON, AZ—On February 14, 2013, Luis Vasquez, 33, formerly of Douglas, Arizona, a former Customs and Border Protection Officer, was found guilty of drug charges by a federal jury in Tucson. The case was tried before U.S. District Judge David C. Bury. Vasquez was remanded to the custody of the United States Marshals Service while awaiting sentencing. Sentencing is set before Judge Bury on April 29, 2013.
The evidence at trial showed that Vasquez used his position as an inspector at the Douglas Port of Entry to allow over 1,200 pounds of marijuana into the United States from Mexico. He was found guilty on all counts, including conspiracy to import marijuana, unlawful importation of marijuana, conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute marijuana, and possession with the intent to distribute marijuana. The convictions carry a maximum penalty of 40 years’ imprisonment, a $5,000,000 fine or both.
The evidence at trial showed that on at least two occasions, Vasquez, along with other members of the conspiracy, imported a large quantity of marijuana from Mexico into the United States through the Douglas Port of Entry. Vasquez’s role in the conspiracy was to use his position as a Customs Officer to allow pick-up trucks loaded with marijuana to cross the international border without inspection.
The investigation in this case was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Department of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection and Office of the Inspector General, and the Douglas, Arizona Police Department. The prosecution was conducted by James T. Lacey and Joseph W. Hanley, Assistant U.S. Attorneys, District of Arizona, Tucson.