U.S. Customs Officer Sent to Prison for Helping Gulf Cartel Move Drugs

CBP OFO border crossing inspection
File Photo: U.S. Customs and Border Protection/Mani Albrecht

A U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer will spend 10 years in prison for his role in helping drug traffickers get loads into the country in exchange for bribes.

This week, 48-year-old Oziel Cantu went before U.S. District Judge Micaela Alvarez who sentenced him to 10 years in prison. Cantu pleaded guilty to one count of bribery of a public official in April 2021.

The case against Cantu began in June 2020, when he worked as a CBP officer at the Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge. Federal authorities suspected Cantu of having contacted a cartel to offer his services in moving drugs. While court documents do not identify the organization, the dominant cartel that operates in the Reynosa-Pharr area is the Gulf Cartel.

In August 2020, an undercover agent pretending to be a cartel member contacted Cantu through a messaging app and planned to smuggle 40 pounds of cocaine in exchange for $15,000. The undercover agent was told to put a red hat on his dash so Cantu could tell him which lane to use.

Soon after, a second undercover agent contacted Cantu to carry out a second smuggling operation. Federal authorities arrested the CBP officer when he was expecting to get paid.

Ildefonso Ortiz is an award-winning journalist with Breitbart Texas. He co-founded Breitbart Texas’ Cartel Chronicles project with Brandon Darby and senior Breitbart management. You can follow him on Twitter and on Facebook. He can be contacted at [email protected]

Brandon Darby is the managing director and editor-in-chief of Breitbart Texas. He co-founded Breitbart Texas’ Cartel Chronicles project with Ildefonso Ortiz and senior Breitbart management. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook. He can be contacted at [email protected].     


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