Border Patrol agents set for corruption trial

SAN DIEGO (AP) -- Two former Border Patrol agents are preparing for a high-profile corruption trial in San Diego.

Raul Villarreal was long a public face of the Border Patrol. He appeared on television as an agency spokesman and acted as a dangerous human smuggler in a public service announcement intended to warn Mexicans about the dangers of entering the United States illegally.

Federal prosecutors say Raul Villarreal and his brother Fidel smuggled hundreds of Brazilians and Mexicans to the United States in Border Patrol vehicles. They were arrested in 2008 in Tijuana, two years after prosecutors say they were tipped to the investigation and fled to Mexico.

The brothers were extradited to face federal charges of human smuggling, bribery and witness tampering. The trial begins July 5.


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