Immigration Officer Arrested in Bribery Case

Lawfuel – A former adjudication officer with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) was arrested today on federal bribery charges for allegedly taking $2,500 from an alien who was seeking permanent legal resident status in the United States.

Samuel Ciridon Guerrero, 56, of Glassell Park, who until recently worked at the CIS office in East Los Angeles, was arrested without incident this morning at his residence. Guerrero is accused of accepting money in exchange for being influenced in the performance of his official acts as a CIS adjudications officer.

According to a criminal complaint filed Wednesday in United States District Court in Los Angeles, Guerrero met with an alien seeking permanent legal residency in December 2006. During the first meeting at a coffee shop in Glendale, Guerrero told the alien that he could access the alien’s file for $2,500. At a second meeting in a supermarket in Glendale, Guerrero allegedly gave the alien some documents used by CIS and the alien paid Guerrero $2,500 that had been provided by investigators. The alien subsequently obtained permanent legal residency, which is commonly called a “Green Card.”

Investigators checked the alien’s application for permanent legal residency and observed that the adjudicator who approved the application used an identification number that had been assigned to Guerrero, according to the complaint.

“This office is committed to identifying and prosecuting individuals who violate the public’s trust,” said United States Attorney Thomas P. O’Brien. “Public corruption is one of the top priorities of the Justice Department, and my prosecutors will vigorously pursue these types of cases to preserve the integrity of government at all levels.”

Guerrero, who was employed by CIS from late 2003 until April 11 of this year, is expected to make his initial court appearance this afternoon.

A criminal complaint contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

The bribery charge alleged in the indictment carries a statutory maximum penalty of 15 years in federal prison.

This case was investigated by the Office of Inspector General for the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

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