SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A veteran Customs Border Protection officer was in custody in San Diego Monday on suspicion of knowingly letting his fugitive brother-in-law pass through the San Ysidro Port of Entry and other crimes.
Thomas Silva, 33, was arrested Friday by the FBI Border Corruption Task Force, according to a statement released by the FBI's San Diego field office Monday morning.
Silva, a nine-year veteran of the CBP, faces charges that include wire fraud and concealing a person from arrest.
According to a federal arrest warrant, Silva has been under investigation since November 2010 because of "detected irregularities" with his work. Specifically, the CBP alleged that Silva allowed individuals with "imposter immigration documents" to pass through the San Ysidro Port of Entry.
Among those individuals Silva allegedly helped get into the United States illegally was his brother-in-law, Julio Cesar Landaverde Valdez, a federal fugitive. Valdez was convicted in 2006 of alien smuggling after he tried to enter the country at the San Ysidro Port of Entry with an undocumented alien hidden in a vehicle.
Silva is also accused of engaging in a scheme to defraud Farmers Insurance Company by filing a false vehicle theft claim. He was paid more than $7,000 as a result of the false claim, federal authorities said.
Silva was booked into the Metropolitan Correctional Center in downtown San Diego. He could make his first appearance in federal court as early as Monday.