FBI Phoenix
Brooke Brennan and Kevin Smith
(623) 466-1999
May 22, 2017

FBI, CBP, and Partners Launch Campaign to Address Corruption at America’s Borders

Don’t Turn a Blind Eye to Border Corruption

Today, May 22, 2017, the FBI’s Phoenix Field Office, Yuma Resident Agency, in collaboration with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection and local law enforcement partners, are joining forces to raise awareness of the dangers of border corruption. The effort is part of a larger FBI campaign to address corruption at America’s borders. Law enforcement encourages citizens and government employees who witness or suspect border corruption to report it to their local FBI field office.

The FBI’s top criminal priority is to combat public corruption, which includes border corruption. Border corruption poses a significant risk because of the number of people who cross the border every day. Drug and human trafficking, and terrorism are all potential threats facing the U.S. and its citizens.

The Phoenix FBI Field Office is one of about a dozen FBI offices whose area of responsibility include U.S. ports of entry, such as land border crossings, airports, and seaports. The other cities are Albuquerque, New Mexico; Buffalo, New York; Detroit, Michigan; El Paso and San Antonio, Texas; Fargo, North Dakota; Los Angeles and San Diego, California; Miami, Florida; and Seattle, Washington.

Michael DeLeon, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Phoenix Field Office, which covers all of Arizona said, “We are committed to investigating and prosecuting public officials guilty of corruption, as evidenced by the FBI’s Yuma Border Corruption Task Force. The task force, which has been in place for some time now, is comprised of federal, state, and local law enforcement, to include prosecutors. To that end, this campaign raises awareness and encourages citizens to report incidents involving corruption.”

Yuma Sector Border Patrol Chief Patrol Agent Anthony Porvaznik said, “The United States Border Patrol prides itself as being among one of the top law enforcement agencies in the country, but we know we are not immune to corruption. Yuma Sector Border Patrol fully supports the FBI’s effort in eliminating border corruption.”

San Luis Port of Entry Area Port Director John A. Schwamm Sr. added, “Corruption, at any level, whether it involves our community, state or federal law enforcement officers, and even our elected officials, can potentially impact our national security. It affects the men and women we trust to keep our communities and families safe from today’s dangerous world. Every year, thousands of local, state, and federal law enforcement officers recite the oath of office to defend and protect the Constitution of the United States and to enforce our nation’s laws. Each of us takes this oath freely and with no obligation but to keep you safe. We trust and encourage you to report all acts of corruption.”

Department of Homeland Security investigators are assigned to the FBI’s Yuma Border Corruption Task Force and are actively engaged in investigating insider threats, as well as detecting bad actors who attempt to use our ports and airports as points of entry for corruption.

The FBI leads 22 border corruption task forces and working groups across the country, composed of 39 local, state, and federal partner agencies, including U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Transportation Security Administration. More than 250 officers are conducting investigations and gathering intelligence to stop public corruption along the entire border.

Law enforcement needs the public’s eyes and ears to help keep the country safe. If you see something suspicious, please contact the FBI at tips.fbi.gov. To learn more on border corruption, visit https://www.fbi.gov/news/stories/border-corruption-campaign-enlists-publics-help.

For more information or to request interviews, please contact:

FBI Phoenix Division
Jill McCabe, Public Affairs Specialist (Yuma interviews available)

U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of Field Operations, Port of San Luis
Annica Zacarias, Chief CBP Officer, Public Affairs Liaison
Annica.Zacarias@cbp.dhs.gov, (928) 627-8816

U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Border Patrol, Yuma Sector
Justin Kallinger, Operations Officer, Public Affairs Office
Justin.l.kallinger@cbp.dhs.gov , (928) 341-6559