Chula Vista Woman Arrested in Connection with Corruption Investigation

San Diego, California - Daphne Hearn, Special Agent in Charge, of the San Diego FBI Office, announces the arrest of Maria Guerrero, age 39, of Chula Vista, California, on Thursday, October 4, 2012. Guererro was arrested at her Chula Vista resident at approximately 6:00 a.m. by agents assigned to the Border Corruption Task Force.

Guerrero was arrested pursuant to a federal arrest warrant based upon a complaint filed with the U.S. District Court, Southern District of California, case number 12MJ3665, charging Guerrero with alien smuggling. The specific charge is Title, 8, United States Code (U.S.C.), Section 1324 (a) (2) (B) (ii)-bringing in illegal aliens for financial gain.

The charge in this matter emanated from a Border Corruption Task Force investigation focusing on the criminal activities of Hector Rodriguez, a Customs Border Protection Officer; Gerardo Rodriguez; and Vanessa Moya.

On July 13, 2012, Rodriguez, Gerardo, and Moya were arrested and 14 illegal aliens were apprehended. According to the complaint filed in that matter (case number 12MJ2614), the defendants conspired to smuggle illegal aliens into the United States from Mexico. Defendant Hector Rodriguez would inform defendants Gerardo Rodriguez and Vanessa Moya of his work schedule at the San Ysidro Port of Entry, including the date, time, and lane number to which he was assigned as a primary inspector.

Defendants Gerardo Rodriguez and Vanessa Moya would then drive vehicles containing illegal aliens from Mexico to the United States and would seek entry to the United States through defendant Hector Rodriguez’s assigned primary vehicle inspection lane. In violation of law, defendant Hector Rodriguez would then admit the illegal aliens into the United States in the vehicles driven by defendants Gerardo Rodriguez and Vanessa Moya.

The complaint alleged that to conduct and conceal the smuggling, Rodriguez entered false, fraudulent, and misleading information about the driver’s identity and date of birth and about the vehicle’s identification number into official Department of Homeland Security records. Defendant Hector Rodriguez would also intentionally fail to enter any information about the illegal aliens who were passengers in the vehicles.

The complaint further alleged that the defendants received thousands of dollars in smuggling fees from the illegal aliens and that defendant Gerardo Rodriguez provided defendant Hector Rodriguez with the use of luxury automobiles, apartment rent payments, and other bribes.

The complaint filed against Guerrero alleges that on July 13, 2012, one minute after Moya’s crossing, Guerrero drove her 2005 Toyota Corolla through the San Ysidro Port of Entry (SYSPOE) through an inspection lane that was adjacent to a lane that Gerrardo and Moya had crossed. Agents believed that the timing of Guerrero’s crossing and her presence at the location where aliens were loaded into the vehicle driven by Moya indicated that she was en route to meet with Moya to facilitate the release of the aliens in exchange for thousands of dollars in smuggling fees.

Guerrero is expected to make her first court appearance before a United States Magistrate Judge on Friday, October 5, 2012, in the United States District Court for the Southern District of California.

This case is being investigated by the Border Corruption Task Force, composed of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Customs and Border Protection-Internal Affairs, Customs and Border Protection-Field Operations, Border Patrol, Transportation Security Administration, and Drug Enforcement Administration.

A complaint itself is not evidence that the defendant committed the crimes charged. The defendant is presumed innocent until the government meets its burden in court proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

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