A San Diego federal grand jury has indicted a Border Patrol agent on charges that he lied — twice — about his ties to two Mexican drug traffickers, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said Monday.
Agent Ramon Delgado is accused of being dishonest about his alleged relationships with the pair of drug traffickers in a standard pre-employment background questionnaire and, later, during an interview with federal agents.
Delgado, 44, was charged with a count of making false statements to the federal government. He faces up to five years in prison if he is convicted.
According to the indictment unsealed Monday, federal agents investigated allegations that Delgado associated with and aided a drug trafficking organization that smuggled methamphetamine, heroin and cocaine into the U.S.
Members of the drug trafficking organization included both U.S. and Mexican citizens. Prosecutors allege Delgado maintained a close relationship with two members from Mexico.
In the questionnaire he submitted on Oct. 23, 2015, Delgado was asked whether, in the past seven years, he “had a close and continuing contact with any foreign nationals with whom he was bound by affection, influence, common interests and obligation,” according to prosecutors. Delgado claimed he did not.
The indictment alleges Delgado lied again nine months later, on July 27, 2016, when federal agents asked him during an interview if he knew the drug traffickers.
In a statement, San Diego Chief Patrol Agent Rodney Scott said he was “very disappointed to learn about the allegations when they surfaced.
“Integrity is a core value of all U.S. Border Patrol agents,” he continued. “You simply cannot be an agent without it. It is imperative to point out that while this is extremely disappointing, it is an anomaly. The vast majority of U.S. Border Patrol agents carry out their duties every single day with integrity, vigilance and honor.”