Aug. 13 (UPI) -- A former Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent was sentenced to three years in prison Monday for a scheme that involved charging immigrants facing deportation for deferrals.
Clifton Divers, 49, of Michigan, pleaded guilty in January to charges of bribery and conspiracy. He and Detroit attorney Charles Busse, 59, were accused of running a scheme in which Busse took money from immigrants to obtain deportation deferrals, which Divers obtained through his power as an ICE agent.
Prosecutors said Divers and Busse conducted the operation over a six-year period that ended in 2016 when they were officially charged. They allegedly pocketed more than $50,000.
"Instead of carrying out his duties with the integrity, honesty and professionalism, as he vowed to do, Divers would advance only one mission with fervor -- attorney Charles Busse's quest to exploit one of the country's most sensitive immigration programs for their own personal enrichment," Assistant U.S. Attorney Dawn Ison wrote in a court filing, The Macomb Daily reported.
Busse also pleaded guilty and is currently serving a three-year sentence.
After Divers was sentenced Monday, his attorney, Art Weiss, told The Detroit Free Press that he never took "a dime" from anybody.
"He never, ever sold out his country," Weiss said. "I think the government painted him with too broad a brush...He didn't get anything out of it."