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Feds confirm inspector's arrest tied to cocaine bust

September 21, 2001|By DARREN SIMON, Staff Writer

Federal authorities on Thursday confirmed the arrest of an U.S. Immigration and Naturalization inspector from the Calexico area is tied to the arrest earlier this summer of a man charged with importing about 1,000 pounds of cocaine.

According to the federal indictment against INS Inspector Clark Anthony Miller, on May, 29, 2000, he allegedly allowed a car with a cocaine load to pass through the downtown Calexico Port of Entry.

That car, said federal authorities speaking on condition of anonymity, was reportedly driven by Hector Bermudez of Calexico.

The car later was found in Calexico with 1,033 pounds of cocaine hidden in it.

Bermudez was identified by investigators as the driver of the vehicle. Earlier this summer the 39-year-old Bermudez was arrested by the U.S. Customs Service following a year-long probe into the incident.

Federal authorities on Thursday alleged Bermudez and Miller were involved in the same smuggling operation.

Authorities declined to speak in more detail about the case, adding it continues to be under investigation.

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Since his arrest, Bermudez has remained in custody in San Diego. He is facing an Oct. 9 court date in San Diego.

Miller, 42, has resigned from the INS but his resignation does not become official until Saturday.

He is facing charges of aiding and abetting in an operation to import cocaine, conspiracy to import cocaine, importation of cocaine and disclosure of confidential information.

Miller had a hearing in federal court in El Centro Thursday and will face a detention hearing in El Centro on Tuesday.

Staff Writer Darren Simon can be reached at 337-4082.

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