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In case you missed it, the LA Times had a fascinating look at cases of corruption among officials along the U.S.-Mexican border today. Here’s what they found:

At least 200 public employees have been charged with helping to move narcotics or illegal immigrants across the U.S.-Mexican border since 2004, at least double the illicit activity documented in prior years, a Times examination of public records has found. Thousands more are under investigation.

Criminal charges have been brought against Border Patrol agents, local police, a county sheriff, motor vehicle clerks, an FBI supervisor, immigration examiners, prison guards, school district officials and uniformed personnel of every branch of the U.S. military, among others. The vast majority have pleaded guilty or been convicted.

Excluding two major sting operations, the examination found that the number individuals indicted for corruption has grown steadily: 17 in 2004, 35 in 2005 and 52 in 2006 so far.

Earlier this month I reported that 40 percent of all corruption cases nationwide are related to San Diego and El Centro border officials. Read the article here.

The Times reports that the number of public corruption cases are expected to increase as the federal government takes action to strengthen border security and adds new employees. In the meantime, the number of internal investigators is remaining stagnant or even decreasing.

DANIEL STRUMPF

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