The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), recently launched a campaign to raise awareness about the problems with border corruption so that citizens and government employees who see misconduct or suspicious activity can report it.
“Public corruption is the FBI’s top criminal priority,” Sergio Galvan, chief of the FBI’s Public Corruption Unit, said. “It is critical for us to engage the public to help stop these crimes. We’re not expecting citizens to be detectives. If you see something that doesn’t seem right, report it. If you notice someone going through security without being searched, or if you work on the border and know someone in your agency that is looking the other way, call the FBI.”
Hector Rodriguez, a former agent with U.S. Customs and Border Protection, recently admitted receiving bribes of cash and luxury items for two years in return for admitting illegal aliens into the United States through his inspection lane at the San Ysidro Port of Entry in San Diego. In 2013, Rodriguez was sentenced to five years in prison with three years of supervised release for public corruption.
The awareness campaign will include public outreach efforts at 10 FBI field offices in various cities including Buffalo, New York; Detroit, Michigan; El Paso and San Antonio, Texas; Fargo, North Dakota; Los Angeles and San Diego, California; Miami, Florida; Phoenix, Arizona; and Seattle, Washington.
“What I would like to say to the public and to individuals who work in agencies that serve at the border is that the FBI is here to help you—but we can’t help if we don’t get information,” Galvan said. “If you see something, pick up the phone. Call your local field office or submit a tip on our website. The point of our public awareness campaign is that we need your eyes and ears to help keep the country safe.”