US Border Patrol agent arrested and charged with trafficking over 350,000 pills believed to be fentanyl

  • A US Border Patrol agent assigned to Tuscon, Arizona, was arrested and charged with drug trafficking after he was found with thousands of pills and substances that tested positive for cocaine, heroin, and fentanyl.
  • Roughly 350,000 pills that tested positive for fentanyl were found in bags that were transferred from the agent's car.
  • Agents found nearly $330,000 in his home and $40,000 in his vehicle.
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A US Border Patrol agent assigned to Tuscon, Arizona, was arrested and charged with drug trafficking after he was found with thousands of pills and substances that tested positive for cocaine, heroin, and fentanyl.

Carlos Victor Passapera Pinnot, 53, left his home around 3:15 a.m. on Sunday and drove to the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, where he placed two duffel bags into another vehicle, the Justice Department said in a press release.

The driver of the second vehicle was stopped by law enforcement officials, and the bags were searched.

The contents included substances that tested positive for an assortment of drugs, including 21 kilograms of cocaine, one kilogram of heroin, and one kilogram of fentanyl. Roughly 350,000 pills that tested positive for fentanyl were found in the bags.

Pinnot was arrested that same day, and his home was searched. Agents found nearly $330,000 in his home and $40,000 in his vehicle, the Justice Department said. The FBI, Department of Homeland Security, and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) took part in the investigation.

If convicted, Pinnot could face a minimum prison sentence of 10 years and a maximum of life in prison.

Other Border Patrol agents have been arrested on charges of possessing drugs. In 2018, a Border Patrol agent based in San Diego, California, was charged with possessing heroin, according to KMGH-TV. Agent Brandon Herrera was found unconscious in a pickup truck parked on the street, law enforcement officials reportedly said at the time.

In a separate incident in 2016, Texas-based US Border Patrol agent Eduardo Baza Jr. was arrested on suspicion of lying about a drug bust nearly a decade earlier, according to KUTV.

Bazan admitted to being a part of a drug ring, one that confiscated authentic cocaine from dealers and then created a watered-down version. That weaker substance was planned to be seized by officials and the stronger drug would be sold in the black market, according to The Dallas Morning News and The McAllen Monitor.

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