EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) — A former federal immigration agent who gave up sensitive information to pay off a drug debt has been sentenced to jail.
Roberto Padilla, 51, was an Immigration and Customs Enforcement officer stationed in El Paso. In November, he pleaded guilty to receiving a bribe as a public official.
According to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Texas, Padilla was persuaded to reveal sensitive law enforcement information in exchange for $500 to pay off a drug debt.
Padilla was arrested Aug. 6, 2021. Following his release on bond on Aug. 13, ICE immediately placed him on administrative leave before letting him go on Aug. 23.
On Monday, Padilla was sentenced to eight months in jail plus three years of supervised release.
“This former agent jeopardized his law enforcement career, his life and the reputation of his agency,” U.S. Attorney Jaime Esparza of the Western District of Texas said. “We will always vigorously prosecute public officials who abuse their authority, especially law enforcement officers who corruptly sell access to sensitive law enforcement databases.”
Jeffrey R. Downey, the Special Agent in Charge of the FBI El Paso Field Office, said Padilla betrayed the oath he took to serve the American people.
“His behavior should not take away from the outstanding work done each day by the vast majority of law enforcement professionals at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement,” Downey said.
The FBI encourages the public to continue to support efforts to root out public corruption by reporting it to the FBI El Paso Field Office at (915) 832-5000.
The FBI, Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement Office of Professional Responsibility investigated the case, the release said.
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