Reveal Radio: When Border Watchdogs Become Criminals

This hour of Revealfeatures a joint investigation with The Texas Tribune on federal border watchdogs who turned criminal.

When federal border officials go bad, they can compromise the same U.S. borders and ports of entry they were assigned to protect.

It's been a major drumbeat of the 2016 presidential campaign: America's southern border needs more protection, in the form of a wall, more boots on the ground or both. But a wall doesn’t help much if you can bribe an officer to get through it, and throwing people at the border won’t secure it if they can be hired to look the other way.

This hour of Reveal features a joint investigation with The Texas Tribune on federal border watchdogs who turned criminal. We found that since 2004, more than 100 federal law enforcement officials tasked with protecting U.S. borders have been arrested, charged or convicted of corrupt acts. Two such people are featured on the show — one of whom is a Border Patrol agent accused of a grisly drug cartel-related murder. 

Editor's note: This story is a collaboration between The Texas Tribune and Reveal, a public radio show and podcast from the Center for Investigative Reporting and PRX.