Feds Hand Out Border Pass To Mexican Snitch

"Get Out of Mexico, Free" card offered to informant

United States-Mexico Border

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Informant's Border Pass

JULY 3--Looking to enter the United States from one of our neighbors to the south?

Well, forget about dealing with unsavory coyotes and enduring dangerous nighttime treks to the border. There is a much easier way to gain access--legal access--to the U.S.: Start diming out narcotics smugglers.

According to federal court records, a Mexican informant who has provided “credible information” to U.S. law enforcement agencies about narcotics trafficking was to be compensated “with the ability to cross the border legally into the United States for at least one year.”

The arrangement with the informant was disclosed last year following the arrest of a Mexican woman who allegedly sought to smuggle 17.2 pounds of cocaine and 5.3 pounds of methamphetamine into California via the San Ysidro port of entry.

The night before Martha Salas sought to enter the U.S., the informant told federal agents that Salas would arrive at the border driving a GMC Acadia with narcotics hidden inside. When Salas--who was traveling with her three young children--drove up to the border station, agents were waiting for her.

A subsequent search of the SUV turned up the narcotics (and resulted in Salas’s arrest and indictment on drug smuggling counts). The case is pending against Salas, who has pleaded not guilty to the felony charges.

In addition to getting Salas arrested, the informant provided “credible information to other agencies in the past which has led to previous narcotic seizures,” according to an affidavit sworn by a Department of Homeland Security agent.

As a reward for that aid, Homeland Security “is currently in the process of compensating the [informant] with the ability to cross the border legally into the United States for at least one year,” reported Agent Abbi Henry.

While the informant is not named in the court filings, it appears likely that the “source of information” has been involved in the narcotics trade. Otherwise, it would be nearly impossible to obtain “credible information” about narcotics smuggling activities.

Court records offer no insight into whether the issuance of this “Get Out of Mexico, Free” card was a one-off, or whether unfettered access to the U.S. is an incentive offered to other informants. (4 pages)