In May 2018, Antonio Burgos approached an immigration officer and explained that he wanted his wife and her daughter deported after their marriage had begun to sour. The 48-year-old offered to pay the officer $4,000 for his services. His requested ended in a much different manner than he probably expected.
Burgos, who lives in Oregon, originally approached the ICE officer and offered him $3,000 to deport his wife and her daughter from another marriage back to El Salvador. The ICE officer refused and reported the incident to the Office of Professional Responsibility, the Daily Mail reported.
In turn, a sting investigation was conducted on Burgos. A few days after their original meeting, the ICE agent called Burgos on a recorded line to tell him that he had changed his mind and would be willing to do it. Without asking, Burgos offered the ICE agent $4,000 to deport the two.
The two set up a date to meet where he gave the officer $2,000, and told him that he would give him the other $2,000 after the two were deported. In June 2018, Burgos was subsequently arrested and charged with bribery of a public official.
Billy J. Williams, U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon, commented on the severity of the charges. “Attempting to bribe a federal law enforcement officer is a serious crime and will be met with equally-serious consequences,” he said in November. “I commend the ICE officer involved in this case for responding to Burgos’ criminal proposition with the utmost level of professionalism and resolve.”
Burgos could have faced up to 15 years in prison, Fox News reported. Instead, he was given a four-month prison sentence with three years of supervised release. It’s unclear if his wife and her daughter were in the country legally or not. In the spring of 2018, Burgos and his estranged wife started divorce proceedings.
Brad Bench, an ICE agent who oversaw of the Seattle office of Homeland Security Investigations in 2018, commended the ICE agent.
“We rely upon our officers to perform their duties with integrity,” he said. “This case should send a strong message that those who attempt to coerce a public official will be punished.”