More U.S. border enforcement officers are being arrested on corruption charges as Mexican drug cartels use bribes as a way to get around tougher enforcement, reports USA Today. Investigators arrested 21 U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers on corruption charges in the year that ended last September, up from eight in the previous 12 months. This year, 14 have been arrested. Since 2004, 84 officers have been arrested and 62 were convicted.
That number is a small fraction of the more than 52,000 people employed by the agency, which enforces U.S. law along the 2,000-mile border with Mexico. Still, the trend is alarming, says a U.S. official: “We’re deeply concerned. The numbers are disturbing.” Mexican syndicates are trying to plant their own people in the agency. Investigators have arrested at least four agents since 2007 they believe were sent by drug cartels to infiltrate the unit.