As the Biden administration reduces border patrol agents to “aiding and abetting” the crisis of illegal crossings from Mexico, a now-former Customs and Border Protection officer previously charged with bribery and drug trafficking has also been indicted for smuggling aliens into the United States.

Emanuel Celedon, 36, worked at the Laredo Port of Entry in South Texas at the time of the alleged offenses.

Celedon is accused of smuggling four illegal aliens into the U.S. on two dates in September and November, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

A resident in Cotulla, Texas was also charged with four counts of human smuggling.

Celedon was previously indicted in November for two counts of bribery and two counts of attempting to import cocaine.

Authorities allege that twice in October, Celedon accepted cash in exchange for allowing an individual to transport a substance he believed to be several kilograms of cocaine into the U.S. from Mexico through the Laredo Port of Entry without inspection.

Two Mexican nationals illegally residing in the U.S. are also charged in the case.

Celedon faces up to 40 years in federal prison if convicted of the human smuggling charges. The drug trafficking charges also carry a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison, and the bribery charges each carry up to 15 years in prison.

Multiple federal agencies participated in the investigation that led to Celedon’s arrest, with assistance from state and local law enforcement.

Another Customs and Border Protection officer, who worked as a Border Patrol agent in El Paso, was arrested earlier last year and charged with human smuggling, bribery, and wire fraud.

Fernando Castillo allegedly transported an illegal border crosser, who was slated to be returned to Mexico, into Texas through the El Paso Port of Entry. The illegal alien told authorities Castillo took $500 in exchange for the smuggling and fraudulent government documents and said the alien’s files would be erased from the system within two weeks, allowing them to “essentially be free to remain” in the U.S.

Meanwhile, illegal border crossings continue to reach record-high levels.

Erin Anderson

Erin Anderson is a Senior Journalist for Texas Scorecard, reporting on state and local issues, events, and government actions that impact people in communities throughout Texas and the DFW Metroplex. A native Texan, Erin grew up in the Houston area and now lives in Collin County.