Border Patrol Officials Under Investigation for Ties to Mexican Tequila Mogul

( – Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Patrol agents are responsible for safeguarding the United States borders against illegal immigrants and other threats. That requires them to remain uncompromised. Some high-ranking officials have recently come under scrutiny for allegedly partying with a Mexican mogul and another Mexican-American businessman.

In early May, NBC News reported that two top-ranking Border Patrol officials were under investigation. Rio Grande Valley sector chief Gloria Chavez and Chief Jason Owens reportedly entertained a relationship with Francisco Javier Gonzalez, a tequila distiller. They also allegedly attended parties at a Laredo, Texas, ranch owned by Eduardo Garza, owner of Uni-Trade. Others also attended smaller parties in Mexico.

Now, CBP’s Office of Professional Responsibility is looking into whether Chavez and Owens properly reported their connection to Garza and anything the mogul gifted to them. The Department of Homeland Security is also looking into the events the pair attended.

Even if it turns out that Chavez and Owens did disclose their connection and/or any gifts, they could be found in violation of the CBP’s ethics policies. One states that they cannot take gifts from someone with “interests that may be substantially affected by the performance or nonperformance of the employee’s official duties,” or someone who “conducts activities regulated by the employee’s agency.” Since the CBP directly regulates some of Garza’s activities, it could prove to be a conflict.

The investigation has set off a firestorm in the agency. On May 25, the CBP was supposed to hold a celebration honoring the Border Patrol’s 100th anniversary. That event has since been canceled, according to the Washington Examiner. The publication also reported that three sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, revealed that there has been no wrongdoing on the parts of Chavez and Owens and that the entire ordeal has been blown out of proportion.

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