Keys for Sale

Former Border Patrol Agent Sentenced to More Than Nine Years in Prison for Accepting Bribes to Facilitate the Trafficking of Illegal Drugs

For 10 years while still an agent, Robert Hall “facilitated the trafficking of illegal drugs, including marijuana, into the United States from Mexico on behalf of a drug trafficking organization,” the Department of Justice said.

Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick for the Southern District of Texas, Special Agent in Charge Perrye Turner of the FBI’s Houston Field Office and Special Agent in Charge Juan Benavides of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) made the announcement.

According to the Justice Department, Hall in total accepted $50,000 in cash from a drug trafficking organization “in exchange for using his position as a BPA to enable the DTO’s drug shipments to cross the border into Texas without law enforcement detection,” the DOJ said.

At the time the agent was employed by CBP, he is no longer a CBP employee.

Hall and his associate Daniel Hernandez gave sensitive information to a drug trafficking organization, which is not named, along the southern border, according to Hernandez’s indictment, which lists Hall as “Person A.”

According to the Justice Department, Mr. Hall “provided an individual in the DTO with Customs Border Protection (CBP) sensor locations, the locations of unpatrolled roads at or near the U.S.-Mexico border, the number of BPAs working in a certain area, keys to unlock CBP locks located on gates to ranch fences along the border and CBP radios.”

Robert Hall pleaded guilty to one count of bribery.

Hall’s associate, Daniel Hernandez, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to bribe a public official.

In one instance, Hernandez was paid $500 for a map containing sensor locations and a copy of a key that opened CBP locks, according to court documents.

In total, Hernandez accepted $5,000 in bribes from the drug trafficking organization, authorities said.

“Confronted with his regrettable mistake, Daniel has accepted responsibility,” his lawyer Nick Oberheiden said in a press statement. “He is contrite and remorseful and he wants to make things right.”