Mexican Immigration Official Arrested

Ioan Grillo, AP, Jan. 30, 2006

MEXICO CITY—The U.S. Border Patrol arrested a Mexican immigration official who was allegedly trying to help a group of undocumented migrants sneak into the United States, the Mexican government said Sunday.

Immigration agent Francisco Javier Gutierrez was arrested at a checkpoint near Alamogordo, N.M., about 100 miles north of the U.S.-Mexico border, the Mexican Interior Department said in a news release.

Gutierrez had been fired on corruption allegations last year but returned to his job after winning a court case in which he claimed he had been unfairly dismissed, according to the National Immigration Institute.

The Mexican government promised to cooperate with U.S. authorities in the case. A spokesman for the Border Patrol in El Paso, Texas, declined to comment Sunday.

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Also last week, a tunnel was discovered running about 2,400 feet from a warehouse near the airport in Tijuana to a warehouse in San Diego. More than 2 tons of marijuana had been found inside. It was unclear how long the tunnel had been in operation.

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