CBP officer convicted of accepting bribes to transport drugs across the border

Courtesy of CBP

This week, in federal court in San Diego, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer was convicted of accepting bribes to let drug-laden vehicles cross the U.S.-Mexico border.

Last year, Leonard Darnell George was indicted along with several others for conspiring to bring drugs and illegal immigrants into the United States. A federal jury in San Diego convicted George on Monday afternoon on four counts, including accepting bribes from a public official. The verdict is scheduled for September.

Prosecutors say George was assigned to the main inspection booth at the San Ysidro Port of Entry in late 2021 when he encountered two people belonging to a drug trafficking organization.

After that encounter, George began accepting cash to allow vehicles carrying drugs and migrants to pass while on duty, earning him the nickname “bouncer” among human traffickers, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

“The defendant intentionally failed to properly inspect these vehicles or request proper identification,” prosecutors wrote in the hearing.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office estimates that George earned between $300,000 and $400,000 for his time working with human traffickers. Prosecutors say George’s purchases with bribes include cars, motorcycles and jewelry.

Several co-defendants in the case pleaded guilty before George’s trial.

– City information service