You can't specialize in a market like this; you've got to be a jack-of-all-trades to keep your head above water.
There are some Customs & Border Protection inspectors out there who focus strictly on taking bribes to bring illegal aliens into the country. There are others who concentrate strictly on taking bribes to sneak drugs in.
But Sergio Hernandez of Brownsville, he's a legend. He's like the Michael Keaton character in the classic Night Shift who pulls out a tape recorder to save his latest brainstorm: "What if you mix the mayonnaise in the can, WITH the tunafish? Or... hold it! Chuck! I got it! Take LIVE tuna fish, and FEED 'em mayonnaise! Oh this is great. Call Starkist!!!"
Like him, Hernandez had his Malcolm Gladwell moment: Don't do just coke and aliens; do both.
Which was a great idea, until he got caught.
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Hernandez plead guilty late yesterday to an array of smuggling charges, according to the US Attorney's Office:
He admitted that between July 2008 through Jan. 28, 2009, while employed as a CBP inspector, he conspired with others to bring illegal aliens to the U.S. and transporting them in furtherance of their illegal presence in the United States, bringing in illegal aliens to the United States for commercial advantage and private financial gain, and accepting bribes to influence him in his official capacity as a officer with the Department of Homeland Security-CBP.
Hernandez also pleaded guilty to accepting in excess of $150,000 in bribe money and to conspiring to possess with intent to distribute approximately 15 kilograms of cocaine on Jan. 28, 2009.
Hernandez had $85,000 in cash on him when he was arrested. He won't be getting it back.
Sentencing is set for June.