Border inspector pleads not guilty in bribe case

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE11 theater productions to see in Southern California this week, Dec. 27-Jan. 2He was being held without bail. His newly appointed attorney Russell Babcock did not appear at the hearing and could not be reached for further comment. Elizalda’s case comes after another agent at a second port pleaded not guilty Wednesday to similar charges in an unrelated case. A federal judge set bail at $750,000 Friday for Michael Anthony Gilliland, 44, a federal border agent accused of taking cash payments from smugglers. He faces charges that he aided and abetted the transport of illegal immigrants through the Otay Mesa Port of Entry. Prosecutors said that Gilliland, a former Marine, worked with two female accomplices in San Diego to coordinate smuggling operations and deliberately failed to record vehicles that ferried immigrants through border lanes under his supervision. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! SAN DIEGO – A border agent pleaded not guilty Friday to charges of taking cash and cars to wave scores of illegal immigrants into the U.S. through the heavily trafficked San Diego-Tijuana border crossing – just two days after another agent was charged in a similar case. Richard Elizalda, 55, a 10-year border inspector with U.S. Customs and Border Protection, was arraigned in federal court along with seven other defendants named in a 15-count indictment unsealed Thursday. All are permanent residents of the United States or U.S. citizens, prosecutors said. Elizalda is charged with 11 counts, including bribery by a public official, conspiracy to bring in illegal aliens for financial gain and bringing in illegal aliens for financial gain. His co-defendants are charged with the same conspiracy count. Elizalda was arrested Thursday in a raid on his home in Chula Vista, where agents seized $36,500 in cash and a 2000 Lexus and 2005 BMW given to him as gifts by smugglers, prosecutors said. last_img

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