Former Customs Officer Sentenced to 151 Months in Prison for Importing More Than 1,200 Pounds of Marijuana into the United States from Mexico
|U.S. Attorney’s Office August 22, 2013|
TUCSON, AZ—On August 19, 2013, Luis Carlos Vasquez, 33, of Douglas, Arizona, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge David C. Bury to 151 months’ imprisonment. Vasquez was found guilty by a federal jury on February 14, 2013, of one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute marijuana, one count of possession with intent to distribute marijuana, one count of conspiracy to import marijuana, and one count of importation of marijuana, aid and abet.
United States Attorney John Leonardo stated, “When law enforcement officers like Luis Vasquez conspire with others to violate the very laws they are sworn to enforce, it undermines public confidence in the entire criminal justice system. He is deserving of the harsh punishment he received as he has not only disgraced himself and betrayed the public trust placed in him, but he has insulted the vast majority of his fellow officers who strive every day to perform a difficult job with integrity, honesty, and dedication.”
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. 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 handled by James T. Lacey, Assistant U.S. Attorney, District of Arizona, Tucson.