August 1st, 2007 12:33 EST
ICE and other federal agents arrest CBP officer on drug charges
EL PASO, Texas - Agents from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and other federal agencies on Friday arrested a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer while she was on duty at the Paso Del Norte Port of Entry here.
The arrest resulted from a more than four-year investigation by ICE, the Department of Homeland Security's Office of Inspector General, the FBI and the Drug Enforcement Administration.
Margarita Crispin, 32, was indicted July 25 on one count of conspiracy to import a controlled substance. If convicted, she faces from 10 years to life in federal prison. Crispin allegedly conspired with others to import more than 1,000 kilograms of marijuana into the United States from June 2003 to July 2007, according to the indictment. She is accused of knowingly allowing loads of marijuana to pass through her port of entry lanes without inspection. She joined CBP in March 2003. She was responsible for inspecting incoming vehicle traffic into the port of entry.
"These types of official corruption investigations are complex and difficult,â€Â" said Roberto G. Medina, special agent in charge of the ICE Office of Investigations in El Paso. "However, ICE pursues each one aggressively and tenaciously. The cooperation among the investigative agencies in this case helped advance it and resulted in a successful indictment and arrest."
Crispin made her initial appearance in federal court today. She was arraigned before U.S. Federal Magistrate Richard P. Mesa, who officially read the charges she faces. Immediately after the court proceedings, she was turned over to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service, and remains in the El Paso County Detention Facility. A preliminary and detention hearing in this case is scheduled for Thursday; Crispin may then request that bond be set.
An indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until convicted through due process of law.