Sunday, June 19, 2011

Local immigration agent accused of passing information to drug traffickers

A Nogales-based immigration agent has been arrested and charged with illegally accessing, stealing and transferring sensitive U.S. government documents to family members and associates in Mexico with alleged ties to drug trafficking organizations.

Jovana Samaniego Deas, 33, of Rio Rico, is charged with computer fraud, theft of government records and making false statements/entries in a 12-count federal indictment issued April 28 by U.S. District Court in Tucson.

Deas, a special agent with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), was arrested Tuesday and was released on bond after her initial court appearance, a news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

Deas started her government work in June 2003 as a U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer at a Nogales port of entry, the prosecutor's office said. In 2008, she became a special agent at the HSI Nogales office.

Nogales International

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