Ex-Border Patrol agent gets two years for lying about drug seizure

McALLEN — A former U.S. Border Patrol agent was sentenced to two years in prison for lying to federal agents.

U.S. District Judge Randy Crane sentenced Edinburg native Eduardo Bazán, 50, to two years in prison Tuesday to be followed by three years of supervised released, according to a news release.

A criminal complaint states that Bazán, who was a Border Patrol agent for several years, admitted last November that he lied to federal agents on Oct. 31, 2016, about receiving information that led to a Feb. 18 seizure netting 66 kilograms of cocaine. In addition, Bazán told federal agents he lied about the presence of suspects being at the scene of the seizure and that of an abandoned vehicle.

At his initial hearing in October 2016, the former agent pleaded not guilty to providing false information to federal agents, but he changed his plea eight months later to guilty, according to court records.

“Bazán stated he had run from the scene to make other agents believe the vehicle had been occupied,” the court document states, further noting that he also admitted to being paid approximately $8,000 for assisting a drug trafficking organization with the staged seizure.

In October 2013, HSI agents, after receiving information from a confidential informant, began an investigation into a drug-trafficking organization they believed was operating in the Rio Grande Valley with the help of unknown law enforcement officials.

“The (criminal investigation) identified members of the drug trafficking organization who were responsible for re-distributing narcotics that the organization had stolen from various sources of supply,” the complaint states. The confidential informant also told agents the drug organization was able to coordinate fake seizures of diluted or sham drugs with the help of law enforcement officials. The informant said the drug organization redistributed the real cocaine for a profit, according to the criminal complaint.

Bazán is the son of Eduardo “Walo” Bazán, who served as Hidalgo County Precinct 5 Constable for nearly 20 years. The elder Bazán was removed from office following his 2006 felony conviction for theft of property by a public servant after a jury found him guilty of using a stolen car seized by his deputies as a personal vehicle. He was re-elected in 2008 while appealing his conviction but was ultimately removed from office in 2010, shortly after his appeal was denied. In August, he announced his candidacy for his old post in next year’s primary.

Bazán, who was facing a maximum five years in prison, will be allowed to remain on bond and voluntarily surrender to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined at a later time, according to the release.

Read the complaint.