LOCAL

Valley Border Patrol Agent Hit With Drug Smuggling Charges

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A local Border Patrol agent remains in federal custody after being brought before a federal magistrate Monday on drug smuggling charges. 22-year-old Oberlin Cortez Pena was arrested Friday following an undercover sting operation.

Prosecutors say Pena twice accepted $1,000 for helping a vehicle carrying 5 kilograms of cocaine get through the Falfurrias checkpoint. The criminal complaint states Pena used his knowledge as a Border Patrol agent to provide detailed instructions to the driver about how to avoid an inspection.

Pena is charged with attempting to aid drug smuggling, which carries a minimum punishment of 10 years in prison. He’ll be back in McAllen federal court Thursday for a detention hearing.

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