Bond Set At $20,000 For Border Patrol Agent
EL PASO, Texas (AP) _ A federal magistrate set bond Tuesday at $20,000 for a U.S. Border Patrol agent charged with conspiring to smuggle illegal aliens, rejecting the government’s request that no bail be granted.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Ricardo Gonzalez argued that agent Joe Navarrette presented a ″serious risk″ to witnesses, but Magistrate Philip Cole rejected the contention.
He granted bond, saying Navarrette only will have to post 10 percent - or $2,000 - before he can be released.
Navarrette, 38, was arrested Friday while on duty at the El Paso International Airport and was charged with conspiring to harbor, conceal and transport three illegal aliens from Colombia.
Another man, identified as ″El Gato″ or Jose Rodolfo Fiero Carrillo, no age or hometown available, also was charged in the federal complaint.
A bond hearing for Fiero was scheduled for Friday.
During Navarrette’s detention hearing Monday, Perry Suitt, a criminal investigator with the office of professional responsiblity for the Immigration and Naturalization Service, testified that Navarrette discussed smuggling activities with undercover Border Patrol agent Frederick Capio.
Suitt said Navarrette was taped during a Jan. 17 conversation with Capio as saying he would retaliate against Capio if he informed officials of the alleged alien smuggling.
However, Navarrette’s attorney, John Langford, said transcripts of the Jan. 17 tape show that Capio stated he did not believe Navarrette was threatening him. He said the tape indicated that Capio and Navarrette were agreeing not to turn on each other.
Navarrette joined the Border Patrol in October 1975 and since has received numerous commendations for his work with the agency.
The complaint against Navarrette and Fiero alleges that on two days last week, they smuggled the three Colombians by commercial airliner from El Paso to the interior of the country.
The aliens were being held as material witnesses in the case.