Sentencing scheduled in Border Patrol agent corruption case: Thomas Silva pleaded guilty

SAN DIEGO - A Customs and Border Protection officer who allowed his fugitive brother-in-law into the United States through his lane at the San Ysidro Port of Entry is scheduled to be sentenced Friday in federal court.

Thomas P. Silva, a border agent since 2002, pleaded guilty last October to concealing a person from arrest and wire fraud. As part of his plea, Silva agreed to forfeit more than $16,000 in illegal proceeds from his criminal activity.

Silva allowed his brother-in-law, who had been convicted of human smuggling, to enter the United States from Mexico last April without inspection, despite verifying the fugitive's status using CBP's computer systems, according to the plea agreement. Authorities said the brother-in-law was a wanted fugitive because he had walked away from a halfway house.

The defendant also admitted engaging in a separate scheme to defraud Farmers Insurance of more than $7,000 by falsely reporting that his Nissan Titan pickup had been stolen.

According to court documents, Silva admitted that he had in fact taken the truck to Mexico before reporting it stolen. As part of his plea agreement, the defendant agreed to pay $7,329 in restitution to Farmers Insurance.

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