WASHINGTON -- The number of arrests of U.S. border enforcement agents on bribery charges jumped from 8 to 21 in the last fiscal year, statistics indicate.
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency says the trend is alarming as Mexican drug cartels step up their efforts to bribe and corrupt border officials, USA Today reported Friday.
An additional 14 agents have been arrested so far this year.
Since 2004, 84 border officers have been arrested and 64 convicted.
Even though the numbers represent a tiny fraction of the 52,000 people who work for the CPB, "We're deeply concerned. The numbers are disturbing," James Tomsheck, assistant commissioner for internal affairs at the CBP, told the newspaper.
Tomsheck said Mexican drug dealers are also trying to plant their own operatives in the agency. He told USA Today that investigators have arrested at least four agents since 2007 that they accused of being sent by the cartels to infiltrate the CBP.
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