Ex-federal agent from Murrieta arrested on bribery charge

News release from the U.S. Department of Justice: MURRIETA -- A Murrieta man who is a former special agent with the U.S. Department of Ho...

News release from the U.S. Department of Justice:


MURRIETA -- A Murrieta man who is a former special agent with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security was arrested Tuesday morning by federal authorities on suspicion of accepting bribes in exchange for helping someone linked to organized crime, the U.S. Department of Justice announced.

Felix Cisneros Jr., 46, was taken into custody without incident and was expected to be arraigned on a 28-count indictment in U.S. District Court, Los Angeles.

Cisneros served as a special agent with Homeland Security Investigations, an arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security that's responsible for investigating transnational crime and threats. He was arrested by special agents with the FBI, IRS Criminal Investigation, and the Department of Homeland Security's Office of Inspector General.

According to an announcement from the U.S. Attorney's Office, Central District of California, Cisneros allegedly accepted cash payments and other benefits to provide assistance "to a person linked to organized crime, including taking official action designed to help two foreign nationals gain entry into the United States."

The indictment filed February 16 and unsealed Tuesday charges Cisneros with conspiracy to commit bribery of a public official, bribery, and 26 counts of money laundering.

Over an 18-month period that started in September 2015, Cisneros accepted cash, checks, private jet travel, luxury hotel stays, meals and other items of value from "a person identified as Individual 1, who was associated with a criminal organization," according to the indictment.

Cisneros allegedly received at least $122,000 in bribes from that person, which were received while the lawman served as a special agent with HSI. In exchange for the money, Cisneros allegedly performed a series of official acts for Individual 1, including:

-- Accessing a DHS database for information about a German national identified as W.R., and telling Individual 1 he removed a "hit" on W.R., "thus indicating derogatory information had been removed";

-- Placing an alert in a law enforcement database for an address associated with an illegal marijuana grow operation so Cisneros could learn of law enforcement interest and warn Individual 1;

-- Obtaining an official DHS letter signed by an HSI assistant special agent in charge to allow the parole of Individual 1's brother-in-law into the United States from Mexico, and later providing updates about the brother-in-law's asylum application; and

-- Collecting information on an associate of Individual 1 whose home had been searched by law enforcement and later providing Individual 1 with information about the investigation.

The conspiracy charge in the indictment carries a statutory maximum sentence of five years in federal prison, the bribery count carries a sentence of up to 15 years, and each money laundering charge carries a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years' imprisonment, according to the DOJ.

This case is being investigated by the FBI, IRS Criminal Investigation, and the Department of Homeland Security's Office of Inspector General, and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ruth C. Pinkel of the Public Corruption and Civil Rights Section.

Related

News 4831311354986261427

Post a Comment

emo-but-icon

Follow Us






Subscribe Via E-mail

item