Ex-Border Officer Sentenced For Taking Bribes

A former border patrol officer who allowed illegal immigrants and marijuana to be smuggled into the United States was sentenced Friday to seven years in federal prison and ordered to forfeit $175,000 in bribe payments.

Luis Francisco Alarid, 32, pleaded guilty last November to conspiring to smuggle more than 100 kilograms of marijuana into the United States and one count of bribery.

Alarid, of Chula Vista, was indicted by a federal grand jury in San Diego last June. He was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Janis Sammartino in San Diego.

During the seven months he worked for Customs and Border Protection -- which is part of the Department of Homeland Security -- Alarid admitted a series of vehicles that contained illegal aliens or loads of marijuana into the United States, according to court documents.

Alarid, an officer at the Otay Mesa Port of Entry, admitted he allowed a minivan loaded with more than 260 pounds of marijuana and four illegal aliens to enter the United States last March.

Agents from the Border Corruption Task Force arrested Alarid last May 16 after he attempted to admit vehicles containing illegal aliens and 11 kilograms of marijuana into the United States.

The U.S. Attorney's Office in Los Angeles was assigned to handle the case after the San Diego office asked to be recused from prosecuting Alarid.