A federal magistrate set bond Tuesday at $20,000 for a U.S. Border Patrol agent charged with conspiring to smuggle illegal aliens, rejecting the government's request that no bail be granted.
Assistant U.S. Atty. Ricardo Gonzalez argued that agent Joe Navarrette presented a "serious risk" to witnesses, but Magistrate Philip Cole rejected the contention.
He granted bond, saying Navarrette only will have to post 10%--or $2,000--before he can be released.
Navarrette, 38, was arrested Friday when on duty at El Paso International Airport and was charged with conspiring to harbor, conceal and transport three illegal aliens from Colombia.