TUCSON, Ariz. (LAWFUEL) – Former U.S. Border Patrol Agent Juan Luis Sanchez, 32, of Rio Rico, Ariz., was sentenced today to 15 years in prison by Chief U.S. District Judge John M. Roll. Sanchez pleaded guilty on May 20, 2008, to drug, bribery and worker’s compensation fraud charges. Although Sanchez was sentenced separately for each count (15 years – drug charge, 15 years – bribery charge, and five years for the worker’s comp charge), the sentences will run concurrently for a total 15 years in federal prison.
Sanchez transported marijuana in his Border Patrol vehicle on six separate occasions from the mid-2002 through January 28, 2004. The loads ranged in size from 376 pounds to 921 pounds. Sanchez estimated that he transported at least 3,000 pounds of marijuana over the course of the conspiracy and received a total of $45,000 in bribes. Sanchez also admitted to fraud relating to worker’s compensation benefits he received following an on-duty vehicle accident that occurred after the drug trafficking activities, but prior to his arrest. Sanchez admitted that by March 2008, his medical condition had improved, such that he was no longer entitled to benefits, but that he failed to notify the U.S. Department of Labor of the improvement in his condition.
The investigation in this case was conducted by the Southwest Border Corruption Task Force in Tucson (comprised of law enforcement officials from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement – Office of Professional Responsibility, Drug Enforcement Administration, Department of Homeland Security – Office of Inspector General, Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation Division and the Tucson Police Department) and by the Santa Cruz Metro Task Force, U.S. Border Patrol and the U.S. Department of Labor – Office of Inspector General. The prosecution was handled by Mary Sue Feldmeier, Assistant U.S. Attorney, District of Arizona, Tucson.
CASE NUMBER: CR-05-1005-TUC-JMR
RELEASE NUMBER: 2009-008(Sanchez)