SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A former U.S. Border Patrol agent who hid his illegal-immigrant and drug-selling father at his home in San Ysidro was sentenced Friday to six months in a halfway house.
Marcos Manzano Jr., 27, pleaded guilty in July to harboring a fugitive.
Besides 180 days in a community confinement center, U.S. District Judge Jeffrey Miller sentenced the defendant to credit for time already served in federal custody and placed Manzano Jr. on two years of supervised release.
"I see this as a significant case," the judge said.
Miller said the defendant knew or should have known about his father's illegal activities at the home, which included an under-construction bunker in the backyard.
The judge noted that Manzano Jr. was fired from the Border Patrol and can never again work in law enforcement.
No fellow Border Patrol agents submitted letters of support for the sentencing, which Miller said was unusual.
"He has completely alienated himself from the Border Patrol," the judge said.
Defense attorney Frank Ragen told the judge that Manzano's parents divorced when he was 14, and his mother eventually put her son on the title of the home on Shooting Star Drive. The son lived with his father at the residence and rented a room, the attorney said.
Ragen successfully argued that giving Manzano Jr. more time in federal custody wasn't warranted.
The defendant told the judge he was "ashamed and embarrassed" for what he did.
"I know what I did was wrong," the defendant said.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Peter Ko asked the judge to sentence Manzano to 10 months in federal prison.
Ko called the crime "outrageous," given the fact that the defendant was a Border Patrol agent at the time.
Ragen said there was no evidence that his client was aware of his father's drug dealing from the home.
Marcos Manzano Sr., 47, pleaded guilty to possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute and being in the United States illegally after being deported and was sentenced last month to 6 1/2 years in federal prison.
Federal agents raided the house last Jan. 10, hours after the younger Manzano was arrested as he reported to work in Imperial Beach. Manzano Sr. escaped the raid but surrendered to authorities several weeks later.
Manzano Sr. was deported in 2008 after being convicted of drug charges in state court. He returned to the United States the next year, and federal agents spotted him living at his son's home in September 2009.