Border Patrol agent arrested on marijuana charges

PHOENIX (Reuters) – A U.S. Border Patrol agent in far western Arizona was arrested after bundles of marijuana were allegedly found stashed in his patrol vehicle, authorities said on Tuesday.

The U.S. Border Patrol’s Yuma sector said the unnamed agent was arrested on Tuesday after two colleagues discovered he had numerous packages of marijuana stashed inside a marked Border Patrol truck while patrolling on Monday.

The two agents reported the incident to a duty supervisor, and the agent and marijuana were subsequently turned over to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

“I will not refer to the subject of this arrest as ‘one of us.’ By his alleged actions, he has tarnished our image,” Rodolfo Karisch, acting chief of the Border Patrol’s Yuma sector, said in a statement.

Further details were being withheld as the investigation into the incident continued.

Border Patrol spokesman Kenneth Quillin said charges were pending in the case.

Corruption cases involving border police have increased in recent years as the U.S. government has ramped up recruitment in a drive to secure the southwest border with Mexico.

Between 2003 and 2009, 129 Customs and Border Protection officers and Border Patrol agents were arrested on corruption charges, according to U.S. Department of Homeland Security figures.

(Reporting by Tim Gaynor; Editing by Ellen Wulfhorst)

Border Patrol agent arrested on marijuana charges