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Laredo News

Former Border Patrol Officer Convicted in Smuggling and Bribery Cases

Former Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer Emanuel Isac Celedon, 36, of Laredo, has been convicted in two federal cases, potentially facing decades in prison, announced U.S. Attorney Alamdar S. Hamdani.

Celedon pleaded guilty to four counts of bringing undocumented aliens to the United States through the Lincoln Juarez Port of Entry (POE) in Laredo. He also admitted to bribery and attempted importation of cocaine.

In the smuggling conspiracy, Celedon provided his daily lane assignment to allow entry without inspection or documentation on at least nine occasions between September and November 2023. He also falsified information in the CBP database to avoid inspection.

Additionally, Celedon sought contacts within cartels to smuggle what he believed were kilograms of cocaine from Mexico through his duty lane at the Laredo POE on two occasions in October 2023. He was paid $6,000 for his role.

Sentencing for Celedon will be imposed at later dates by U.S. District Judges Diana Saldana and Marina Garcia Marmolejo. He faces up to 10 years for two counts and 15 years for the other two counts in the smuggling case, as well as 15 years for bribery and 40 years for drug charges, along with possible fines.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) - Office of Inspector General, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Homeland Security Investigations, and CBP - Office of Professional Responsibility conducted the investigation with assistance from various agencies. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jennifer Day, Richard Bennett, and Brian Bajew are handling the cases.

This investigation is related to an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) case aimed at dismantling criminal organizations threatening the United States.

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