Former Border Patrol agent facing federal drug charges won't stand trial until 2023

Published: Tuesday, August 9, 2022 - 6:19pm
Updated: Wednesday, August 10, 2022 - 9:38am

A former Border Patrol agent facing multiple drug smuggling, bribery and money laundering charges was in federal court in Tucson on Tuesday. 

Carlos Victor Passapera Pinott was an agent in the Ajo station. Court filings allege he drove to a remote desert stretch near the Lukeville Port of Entry in the early morning hours of Aug. 9, 2020. Filings say he then delivered two duffel bags full of some 50 pounds of cocaine, heroin and fentanyl pills to the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport that morning. A search warrant executed later that day at Passapera's home and truck turned up more than $350,000.

He now faces multiple federal counts including intent to smuggle and distribute drugs, bribery, money laundering and others. He was scheduled to face trial in October. But in court again this week, two years to the date since Passapera's arrest, his attorney asked the judge to push back the date of his trial and plea deal deadline. 

In filings, he argued he needed more time to put together evidence, convene with his client and discuss alternatives to trial with government lawyers. Judge Jennifer Zipps granted the motion. The new trial date is set for April of next year.