Bungling feds blow thousands on strippers, boxing tickets in botched Border Patrol sting

stripper picking up bills, photo

The Justice Department’s corruption case against a 10-year Border Patrol veteran fell apart this week after his attorney accused the feds of entrapment – despite thousands of taxpayer dollars spent on strippers and boxing tickets as part of the sting.

Money-laundering and corruption charges against Lauro Tobias were dropped by a federal judge after motions to dismiss were filed by both his attorney and the Justice Department, BuzzFeed reported.

According to court records quoted by BuzzFeed, Tobias was arrested in March 2013 after he took a trip from Phoenix to Las Vegas, thinking he was going to be paid $4,000 for work as a security guard.

While Tobias was in Las Vegas, $100,000 was exchanged among unnamed individuals for 6 kilograms of cocaine. Tobias, though, was the only one on the trip who didn’t know there were drugs involved, or that a federal task force was trying to root out corrupt Border Patrol agents, according to the BuzzFeed story.

border_patrol_badgeTask force agents from Border Patrol, the FBI, the Justice Department, the Internal Revenue Service and other agencies used taxpayer money to pay for Tobias’ trip to Nevada and for strippers and tickets to a Manny Pacquiao boxing match, according to court documents cited by BuzzFeed.

Hours after Tobias’ attorney filed a motion to dismiss all charges against Tobias, citing entrapment, the Justice Department also filed motions to drop the case, though it’s still unclear why.

Tobias’ attorney said in the motion that department officials would not release information about the investigation, including “an accounting of how much money was spent on this operation by the government … on hotel rooms, air fare, frequenting adult entertainment establishments, rental car costs, restaurant bills, and any other ‘perks’ that were used to implement the operation, such as the Pacquiao fight at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.”

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Don Noel

A self-described "political enthusiast," Don Noel is a veteran of the local political scene with keen insights to share about the world of politics, government and nonprofits.
Don Noel

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