Daniel Hernandez
LA Times
June 13, 2011

Mexican drug cartels are increasingly luring U.S. border agents into smuggling operations with offers of cash and sex, authorities acknowledged in Washington last week.

Top officials in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security told a Senate subcommittee during a hearing on Thursday that Mexican drug-trafficking organizations are attempting to generate “systematic corruption” among the ranks of U.S. customs and border patrol agents, forcing the agency to open hundreds of internal investigations on employees.

Charles Edwards, acting inspector general of the Department of Homeland Security, told the subcommittee that corruption on the border has taken the form of “cash bribes, sexual favors, and other gratuities in return for allowing contraband or undocumented aliens through primary inspection lanes or even protecting or escorting border crossings,” according to a transcript of the official’s testimony.

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