Former law enforcement officer admits to allowing contraband into country

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FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the United States Department of Justice headquarters in Washington, D.C.

LAREDO, Texas – A 41-year-old Laredo resident has entered a guilty plea for his role in a conspiracy to smuggle goods into the United States, announced U.S. Attorney Jennifer B. Lowery.

Simon Medina III was a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer. Today, he admitted he helped others illegally bring commercial goods into the United States from Mexico.

Medina admitted that between May 25 and Aug. 6, 2020, he allowed several individuals to enter the United States with contraband in their vehicles on approximately 20 occasions. Although not assigned to the entry lanes at the Laredo Port of Entry, Medina would open a lane and allow his co-conspirators to pass through without inspecting their cargo. Medina also accepted gratuities from his partners.

U.S. District Judge Marina Garcia Marmolejo will impose sentencing June 1, at which time Medina faces up to five years in prison and a possible $250,000 maximum fine.

Medina was permitted to remain on bond pending that hearing.

The Department of Homeland Security – Office of Professional Responsibility and Customs and Border Protection conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney José Angel Moreno is prosecuting the case.

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