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Former Border Patrol agent sentenced to 6 years in prison for drug, bribery charges

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TUCSON - Jose Antonio Yanez, 50, of Pirtleville, Ariz. was sentenced to 72 months in prison by U.S. District Judge James A. Soto on Thursday.

Yanez had previously pleaded guilty to Possession with Intent to Distribute Marijuana, Receiving a Bribe, and Importation of a Schedule IV Controlled Substance, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Arizona.

Yanez was ordered to pay $340,434, in restitution to United States Border Patrol, for salary he received while he was involved in the conspiracy.

Yanez used his position as a U.S. Border Patrol Agent to assist drug traffickers to transport thousands of kilograms of marijuana while working at the Douglas and Naco stations.

In addition, Yanez assisted an 18-person group of smugglers carrying marijuana in large backpacks by turning Border Patrol cameras away.

He also purposely left his area of duty so that vehicles containing more than 4,100 kilograms of narcotics could cross the border. Yanez had also personally smuggled at least 160 narcotic pills in the U.S. from Mexico to distribute.

Yanez admitted to accepting more than $16,000 worth of bribes during the conspiracy.

The investigation was handled by the Cochise Border Corruption Task Force, comprised of the FBI, Department of Homeland Security's Office of Inspector General, Customs and Border Protection's Office of Professional Responsibility, Border Patrol, DEA, and the Douglas Police Department.

Carla Litto

Digital content producer for KVOA News 4 Tucson. Carla previously interned at the NBC affiliate. She is currently a senior at UArizona majoring in journalism.

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