Less than a month after undercover federal agents arrested a U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer on bribery allegations, the man has been indicted.
A federal grand jury indicted Oziel Cantu on Sept. 9 on a charge of graft and conflict of interest.
Cantu’s attorney, Ricardo Salinas, filed a waiver of arraignment and entered a not guilty plea on Wednesday, which was accepted Thursday by a federal judge, records show.
The indictment alleges that on Aug. 19, Cantu, “being a public official, that is, a Customs and Border Protection officer with the United States Department of Homeland Security, directly and indirectly did corruptly demand, seek, receive, accept, and agree to receive and accept something of value personally, that is, $17,000.00 in United States currency, in return for being induced to do an act or omit to do an act in violation of his official duty, that is, to facilitate the shipment of cocaine from Mexico to the United States through the Pharr, Texas Port of Entry, without law enforcement detection.”
A criminal complaint filed after Cantu’s arrest alleges he accepted $15,000 from an undercover agent on Aug. 19 to allow a shipment of cocaine to pass through the Pharr port of entry.
The indictment and complaint differ on the alleged bribe amount.
The cocaine was fake and the individual who drove the vehicle through the port of entry was an undercover agent.
The investigation into Cantu began in June when several federal agencies, including CBP, began investigating a law enforcement officer for letting drugs into the country in exchange for money.
Cantu has been released on a $75,000 secured bond with a $3,000 deposit, records show.