Border Patrol agent guilty of taking bribes from smugglers

SAN DIEGO, Dec. 21 (UPI) -- A Customs and Border Patrol agent has been convicted of financing his expensive habits by helping smugglers enter California from Mexico.

A jury in San Diego found Lorne Leslie "Hammer" Jones guilty Friday after five days of deliberations, the Los Angeles Times reported.


Jones was indicted in 2010 after a van carrying 4 tons of marijuana was discovered at the San Ysidro border crossing. Another inspector with a drug-sniffing dog found the stash before Jones was able to wave it through the checkpoint.

Prosecutors said Jones received as much as $500,000 in payoffs from smugglers bringing marijuana and illegal immigrants into the United States. They told the jury he was able to buy luxuries like season tickets to the San Diego Chargers and boats.

Investigators said Jones worked a lot of overtime so he would be in position when people who had bribed him crossed the border.

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