The Department of Homeland Security is the first line of defense against threats to Americans, entrusted with guarding the borders, protecting the skies and cracking down on potential terrorist attacks.
But instead of protecting America’s citizens, hundreds of DHS agents have been busy smuggling drugs, guns and illegal immigrants, obtaining child porn, and raking in thousands in bribes and theft.
Those are just a sampling of the crimes DHS agents committed, according to the “Summary of Significant Investigations” released by Homeland Security’s Inspector General this month.
It was a busy 2011 for the IG’s office, which investigated 1,389 allegations that resulted in 318 arrests and 260 convictions. Fines and recovered funds saved more than $45 million in taxpayer funds, according to agency estimates.
DHS is a massive government agency, with “over 225,000” employees, so it may not be surprising that there would be some individuals breaking the rules. But the seriousness of the crimes — including cases where American security was directly compromised by the very agents who are supposed to secure the borders and airports — is eye opening.
“A corrupt DHS employee may accept a bribe for allowing what appear to be simply undocumented aliens into the U.S. while unwittingly helping terrorists enter the country,” warned Charles Edwards, the acting inspector general (IG) at DHS, in Congressional testimony August 1. “Likewise, what seems to be drug contraband could be weapons of mass destruction, such as chemical or biological weapons or bomb-making materials.”
Among the more incendiary crimes profiled in the report: