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Former Calexico INS inspector sentenced to prison

June 09, 2002|By MARIO RENTERÍA

Staff Writer

SAN DIEGO — A former U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service inspector in Calexico was sentenced to 11 years in prison Friday for his role in smuggling 1,033 pounds of cocaine through the Calexico downtown Port of Entry in May 2000.

Clark Anthony Miller, 43, was found guilty by a federal jury March 6 of conspiracy to import a controlled substance, aiding and abetting the importation of a controlled substance and unauthorized disclosure of confidential information.

U.S. Assistant Attorney Roopal R. Shah stated in a press release from the Office of the U.S. Attorney, Southern District of California, "United States District Court Judge Irma E. Gonzalez found that Miller had abused his position of trust as an INS inspector to aid and abet the importation of cocaine into the country.

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"Judge Gonzalez also found that the defendant obstructed justice by intentionally omitting information from his reports and lying to U.S. Customs, special agents during the investigation of the case," said Shah.

The lengthy investigation started in May 2000 when authorities found a car in Calexico containing the 1,033 pounds of cocaine.

Authorities later arrested a Calexico man, Hector Bermudez, who authorities have alleged was the driver of the car.

Bermudez was last known to be in custody in San Diego in March, charged with importing the illegal narcotics. Information on his case was not available.

According to earlier reports, Miller allowed Bermudez to drive through a border check station Miller was manning at the downtown port on May 29, 2000.

Patrick K. O'Toole, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District, praised efforts by U.S. Customs agents, the FBI and the Department of Justice, Office of the Inspector General, for their investigation of the case.

O'Toole noted the investigation was part of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force program.

>> Staff Writer Mario Rentería can be reached at 337-3441.

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