CBP Officer Pleads Guilty to Alien Smuggling and Bribery

BROWNSVILLE, TX—A Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer has been convicted of alien smuggling and bribery, United States Attorney José Angel Moreno announced today.

At a hearing late Wednesday, Aug. 4, 2010, on the eve of jury selection for trial, Rudy Trace Soliz, III, 44, of Brownsville, pleaded guilty to two counts of an indictment. He admitted that on Sept. 25 2009, while serving as a public official—a Department of Homeland Security CBP officer—he knowingly allowed a 28-year-old female co-conspirator to bring in aliens and merchandise through his vehicle inspection lane at the B&M International Bridge in return for sexual favors with the co-conspirator.

The transporting of illegal aliens conviction carries a maximum punishment of 10 years’ imprisonment, while the bribery conviction is punishable by a maximum 15-year-term of imprisonment. Each count of conviction is also punishable with fines of up to $250,000.

Judge Andrew S. Hanen, who accepted the guilty pleas and convicted Soliz of both offenses, has set sentencing for Nov. 8, 2010. Soliz has been permitted to remain on bond pending that hearing. The female co-conspirator previously pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine and is pending sentencing on Aug. 11, 2010.

The investigation leading to the charges was conducted by the Brownsville office of the FBI, Immigration and Customs Enforcement Office of Professional Responsibility, Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General, and Customs and Border Protection Office Of Internal Affairs. Assistant United States Attorney Angel Castro prosecuted the case.