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Public Safety

Mexican Drug Cartels Infiltrating U.S. Border, Immigration and Transportation Agencies

U.S. Border Patrol agents carry out special operations near the US-Mexico border fence near the rural town of Campo, some 60 miles east of San Diego, California, July 30, 2009.
David McNew
U.S. Border Patrol agents carry out special operations near the US-Mexico border fence near the rural town of Campo, some 60 miles east of San Diego, California, July 30, 2009.
Mexican Drug Cartels Infiltrating U.S. Border, Immigration and Transportation Agencies
US Customs and Border Protection officials say Mexican drug cartels are infiltrating federal law enforcement agencies. But, officials say they don't have the resources to weed out all of the corrupt officers.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials say Mexican drug cartels are infiltrating federal law enforcement agencies. But, officials say they don't have the resources to weed out all of the corrupt officers.

Customs and Border Protection Assistant Commissioner James Tomshceck told a Senate panel that 60 percent of agents hired recently may be unsuitable for employment. Tomshceck called it alarming.

This comes as drug cartels in Mexico try to get their people hired as U.S. Customs agents and as cartels try to corrupt existing ones.

TJ Bonner, is president of the union that represents Border Patrol agents. He says it's no wonder cartels have been able to infiltrate.

"They are bringing people on board without giving them a thorough background investigation. Teaching them all the tricks of the trade, giving them access to the keys to the kingdom, and then as an afterthought completing a less than thorough background investigation," says Tomsheck.

Customs and Border Protection officials say a shortage of inspectors means just 10 percent of new hires get polygraph tests -- 60 percent fail.

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