July 29, 2015

EL PASO, Texas – A veteran Customs and Border Protection supervisor in El Paso was arrested on charges of attempted alien smuggling, authorities reported Tuesday.

Special agents with the Customs and Border Patrol from Las Cruces, New Mexico, arrested Lawrence Madrid, 53, at his home in El Paso last Friday, Leticia Zamarripa, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, spokesperson in El Paso, told EFE on Tuesday.

The case is being handled by the Office of the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Texas, Zamarripa said, adding that the criminal complaint is the result of an investigation conducted with the help of the Inspector General’s Office within the Department of Homeland Security.

In a communique, CBP spokesman Roger Maier said that Madrid had worked with the federal agency since 1995 and had been assigned to one of the El Paso border crossing points.

“CBP stresses honor and integrity in every aspect of our mission, and has zero tolerance for corruption and misconduct within our ranks. CBP will fully cooperate with any criminal or administrative investigation of alleged misconduct by any of our personnel, on or off duty. Madrid has been with the agency since 1995 and was assigned to the El Paso port of entry,” he added.

Texas television station KVIA reported that an official with knowledge of the case said that Madrid allegedly sold I-94 immigration permits, which authorize foreigners to visit the United States for a specific period of time, to undocumented immigrants.