Arizona Daily Star
A former Border Patrol agent in Tucson was sentenced to more than 12 years in prison for drug trafficking, taking bribes and buying weapons for convicted felons.
Ramón Antonio Monreal-Rodríguez, 36, of Vail, was sentenced December 14 by Federal Judge James A. Soto to 152 months in prison and also ordered to pay $151,000 in restitution to the United States Border Patrol for the salary collected while participating in criminal activity.
Monreal-Rodriguez pleaded guilty to bribery, conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine and marijuana, conspiracy to make false statements in connection with the acquisition of firearms, and conspiracy to provide firearms to a convicted felon and for his role in three separate conspiracies in two federal criminal cases, according to a news release from the US Attorney’s Office in Arizona.
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Between July and August 2018, Monreal-Rodriguez was involved in two firearms-related conspiracies in which he illegally purchased guns from federally licensed dealers on behalf of others and provided them to criminals who are prohibited from owning firearms, according to federal prosecutors.
While investigations into the firearms conspiracies were ongoing, Monreal-Rodriguez also conspired to import narcotics into the United States from Mexico from January 8, 2018 until his arrest on September 25, 2018.
During this time, a drug trafficking organization he worked with smuggled narcotics across the border. Monreal-Rodriguez would retrieve the narcotics and drive them past the checkpoint several miles from the border, often in his on-duty Border Patrol vehicle, and then transport the drugs to the Tucson area. He admitted to distributing 250 pounds of cocaine and 235 pounds of marijuana as part of the conspiracy, the office said in the statement.
In addition, Monreal-Rodriguez admitted to receiving cash from drug sales totaling at least $1.2 million, which he transported to the border and then gave to others so it could be taken to Mexico. In exchange for this, Monreal-Rodríguez received cash payments.
Monreal-Rodriguez used his Border Patrol vehicle and his radio to transport the smuggled drugs and cash, the office said.