Oziel Cantu received a decade-long sentence after pleading guilty to one count of bribing a public official last April
Corrupt US Customs and Border Protection agent turned drug dealers’ concierge Oziel Cantu has been sentenced to ten years in prison after pleading guilty last spring to the lesser charge of bribing a public official. US District Judge Micaela Alvarez added three years of supervised release after reading off Cantu’s sentence on Wednesday.
The judge appeared to be baffled by Cantu’s decision to imperil his solid career with the border patrol agency and enter a life of crime just because he was under financial stress. “Everyone in the courtroom has been in a difficult financial situation before, and yet none of them resorted to crime,” she pointed out.
In addition to the bribery scandal, which saw Cantu charged with illegally accepting $15,000 in return for making it easier to get drugs across the border via the Pharr Port of Entry, the disgraced law enforcement officer also allegedly helped a number of dealers move their wares north while he was working immigration and customs at the Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge.
Cantu didn’t wait for business to come to him – he reportedly reached out to dealers himself, offering to make their anxiety disappear by shepherding them smoothly through his customs booth. While the charging papers do not name the cartel(s) he worked with, the dominant group in the Pharr-Reynosa area is the Gulf Cartel.
Unfortunately for Cantu, not one but two of his smuggling clients turned out to be federal agents, and he was arrested shortly after one of the federal groups caught him red-handed helping out the fake “smugglers” in August 2020. The plot to entrap him in the act of helping government “smugglers” move cocaine north had begun in June of that year, by which time federal agents already believed Cantu was deeply involved with the cartels.