TUCSON – A Border Patrol agent, Carlos Victor Passapera Pinott, was arrested on Sunday in connection with multiple counts of conspiracy and possession with intent to distribute controlled substances. Passapera, of Buckeye, was assigned to the Tucson Sector Ajo Border Patrol Station.
According to the Department of Justice (DOJ), the 53-year-old Passapera left his residence and drove south to a remote area of the border west of the Lukeville Port of Entry on August 9, 2020, at approximately 3:15 a.m. He then drove to Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, where he loaded two duffel bags into another vehicle.
Law enforcement agents stopped the driver of the vehicle after it left the airport, and searched the duffel bags. The bags contained multiple packages of cocaine (21 kilograms), heroin (1 kilogram), and fentanyl (1 kilogram). The bags also contained approximately 350,000 pills. A sample from the pills field tested positive for the characteristics of fentanyl, alleges the DOJ.
Law enforcement agents took Passapera into custody later that day while executing a search warrant at his residence. During the search, agents found approximately $329,000 in U.S. currency in Passapera’s residence, and an additional $40,000 in the vehicle Passapera used to transport the illegal narcotics.
Passapera is facing a maximum penalty of life in prison, a mandatory minimum penalty of ten years, and up to a $10,000,000 fine if he is convicted of conspiracy and possession with intent to distribute controlled substances.