The PJ Tatler

Homeland Security Study Finds Many Drug Cartel Attempts to Infiltrate US Customs and Border Protection

This deserves more attention.

An internal study for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security describes 15 incidents in which known associates of Mexican drug cartels tried to inflitrate the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency, according to the Center for Investigative Reporting.

The same study detailed “turf battles, internal dysfunction and other troubles” that have hobbled the agency in its efforts “to get a handle on corruption and other misconduct within its ranks,” CIR said.

The internal study was conducted by the Homeland Securities and Analysis Institute, which is an internal think tank for DHS. The study has been kept under wraps for more than a year, according to CIR. The study’s authors said there may have been many more attempts by drug cartels to infiltrate the U.S. government in addition to the 15 discussed in their document.

Indeed there have been, and not just the Border Patrol. We reported on cartel infiltration into one Texas border county last year. According to a deputy with the Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Department, Mexican drug cartels have moved in and have real power in the county. Late last year, several county officers were bagged in an FBI investigation. Among them, the son of Hidalgo County Sheriff Lupe Treviño.

Mission police officer Alexis Espinoza, 29, of Alamo, was arrested Wednesday evening and appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Dorina Ramos this morning. Espinoza is the son of Hidalgo police Chief Rudy Espinoza, who was hired from the Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office in October.

Also charged is Jonathan Treviño, 28, a Mission police officer and son of Hidalgo County Sheriff Lupe Treviño. Treviño went into federal custody Thursday evening and was released, authorities said, before returning to custody this afternoon, when he was placed under arrest.

Jonathan Treviño was a member of the county’s Panama Unit — which was supposed to be fighting the illegal narcotics trade. He has admitted to guarding drug traffickers cargo inside Hidalgo County.

Take the CIS study together with our own reporting and the arrests in December, and the evidence strongly suggests that the cartels are operating on both sides of the border.

Yet, to hear the Obama administration, the border is safer than ever.