Lawyer: Border Agent Seeks Plea Deal In Drug Trafficking Case

Published: Wednesday, May 12, 2021 - 5:23pm

Up until the afternoon he was arrested last August, Carlos Passapera had lived in Buckeye and worked as a Border Patrol agent in Ajo. The FBI’s corruption task force arrested him after an investigation.

Investigators said he dropped off two duffel bags containing 350,000 pills — at least some of which contained fentanyl — along with several pounds of cocaine, heroin and fentanyl. A grand jury accused him of using his agency vehicle to also smuggle people across the border.

Passapera resigned from the Border Patrol. In court in Tucson earlier this week, his lawyer said they are in the midst of negotiations with the U.S. government for a plea agreement.

"Defense counsel is optimistic this case will be resolved in a non-trial disposition; however, negotiations are ongoing and there are a few items Defense counsel is requesting be amended in the extended Plea Agreement," a court memo filed Tuesday states.

When they announced his arrest last summer, prosecutors in Arizona said Passapera faced a potential life sentence prison and up to a $10 million fine.

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