Former Border Patrol Agent Sentenced For Bribery, Drug Trafficking

A federal appeals court said an inmate in Arizona’s Eyman prison could press his claim that prison officials violated his First Amendment rights by forcing him to work in the prison’s kitchen on a religious holiday. (Photo from Wikipedia/Commons)

On Monday, former Border Patrol Agent Alberto M. Michel, 41, of Casa Grande, was sentenced after pleading guilty to one count of conspiracy to traffic marijuana and one count of accepting a bribe as a public official.

Michel received a sentence of 90 months in prison followed by 3 years of supervised release and a $24,000 forfeiture judgment.

Co-defendants Eunice M. Lopez and Marco Antonio L. Bustamante are scheduled for Change of Plea Hearings on May 15, 2018.

In his plea agreement, Michel admitted that while employed as a United States Border Patrol Agent, with the Tucson Sector Border Patrol Intelligence Unit, he participated in a drug conspiracy by providing surveillance during drug smuggling efforts. Additionally, Michel provided assistance regarding law enforcement interdiction efforts. He also agreed to receive cash payments equal to $40 per pound of marijuana smuggled and received a total of $24,000 during the course of the conspiracy.

On August 3, 2017 and August 7, 2017, Michel received cash payments totaling $12,000 for agreeing, as a sworn public official, to violate his sworn duty to investigate and interdict narcotics smugglers.

Michel had been employed with United States Border Patrol since 2009. By 2016, he had been promoted to an enhanced role with the Tucson Sector Border Patrol Intelligence Unit, where he had a higher security clearance and had access to information regarding high-level law enforcement and national security operations and techniques.