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Heightened security along the border and Mexico’s war against the drug cartels have pushed smugglers to more elaborate methods, including the corruption of border agents.

We reported the increased attention to corruption in 2006 and the New York Times provided a thorough update Thursday.

Here’s an excerpt from the Times’ article:

They research potential targets, anticorruption investigators said, exploiting the cross-border clans and relationships that define the region, offering money, sex, whatever it takes. But, with the border police in the midst of a hiring boom, law enforcement officers believe that traffickers are pulling out the stops, even soliciting some of their own operatives to apply for jobs.

“In some ways,” said Keith Slotter, the agent in charge of the F.B.I.’s San Diego office, “it’s like the old spy game between the old Soviet Union and the U.S. — trying to compromise each other’s spies.”

James Tomsheck, the assistant commissioner for internal affairs at Customs and Border Protection, and other investigators said they had seen many signs that the drug organizations were making a concerted effort to infiltrate the ranks.

“We are very concerned,” Mr. Tomsheck said. “There have been verifiable instances where people were directed to C.B.P. to apply for positions only for the purpose of enhancing the goals of criminal organizations. They had been selected because they had no criminal record; a background investigation would not develop derogatory information.”

— KEEGAN KYLE

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