PHOENIX, Nov. 6 (UPI) -- A U.S. judge in Phoenix Wednesday sentenced former Border Patrol agent Ivhan Herrera-Chiang to 15 years in prison for taking bribes to help drug smugglers.
Herrera-Chiang pleaded guilty in April to four felony bribery counts for taking money in exchange for information on border security enforcement, including the combination to locks on U.S.-Mexico border crossing gates, The Arizona Republic reported.
U.S. District Judge Paul Rosenblatt told Herrera-Chiang during sentencing that the ex-border agent had "done about the worst thing a law-enforcement agent could do, especially a Border Patrol agent."
Herrera-Chiang was arrested in 2012 and charged with receiving bribes in return for passing information -- including the location of Border Patrol traffic checkpoint and maps showing where underground sensors were hidden -- to Michael Lopez-Garcia, a former Arizona Department of Corrections officer.
Lopez-Garcia -- who gave the information to methamphetamine, cocaine and marijuana traffickers -- pleaded guilty to felony charges in May 2012 and is serving a nine-year prison sentence, the newspaper reported.
A lawyer for Herrera-Chiang asked that the sentence be limited to three years, arguing that Herrera-Chiang did not know the information he was passing on to Lopez-Garcia was being used to facilitate drug smuggling.
Herrera-Chiang and Lopez-Garcia came under investigation in 2011 after the U.S. Department of Homeland Security received a tip from an informant, the newspaper said.