Login

Register | Forgot Your Password? | Close
Register | Forgot Your Password? | Close

PHOENIX -- A U.S. Border Patrol agent who admitted smuggling marijuana while on duty along the Arizona-Mexico border has pleaded guilty to a felony drug-related gun charge.

The possible punishment for Agent Aaron Anaya, 25, ranges from a mandatory five-year minimum sentence up to life in prison for his guilty plea Wednesday to possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense.

Authorities say investigators conducting aerial surveillance in southwestern Arizona saw Anaya load marijuana bundles that had been dropped over the border fence from Mexico into his patrol vehicle on Dec. 2 in between Yuma and Wellton, about 185 miles southwest of Phoenix. Anaya was wearing his Border Patrol uniform at the time.

Investigators say they tracked Anaya for several hours as he appeared to return to normal duties and later found nearly 147 pounds of marijuana in back of the agency's patrol vehicle.

As part of his plea, Anaya admitted that he would have used service weapons- a handgun and rifle- that he carried while on duty to protect himself and the marijuana load if a situation had arisen in which rival traffickers would have tried to steal the drugs. Anaya didn't fire the guns when he was in possession of the marijuana.

Federal Magistrate David K. Duncan asked Anaya whether the allegations against him were true. ``Yes sir,'' said Anaya, dressed in a black and white striped jail suit.

Attorneys on both sides agreed to a five-year sentence, though the decision on punishment is ultimately up to U.S. District Judge Roslyn Silver, who is set to sentence the agent on June 24.

The Border Patrol said Anaya is still employed with the agency but is on indefinite suspension without pay.

The plea agreement requires prosecutors to dismiss four other charges, including marijuana importation, against Anaya once he is sentenced.

Associated Press,

share this story:
Attention KTAR.com Comment Users: We have recently changed our comments boards.
We would like you to be part of the conversation and The Voice of Arizona by logging in with your Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Disqus account. Existing KTAR (Arizona Sports) account members will need to create a Disqus account or use one of the aforementioned social media logins. Thank you.
comments powered by Disqus

World Class Arizona

  • Dignity Health

    World Class People. World Class Company. Excellent care, delivered with compassion, for all in need.
  • CopperPoint Mutual Insurance Company

    SCF Arizona has a new name. They are now CopperPoint Mutual Insurance Company.
  • Taylor Morrison

    World Class People. World Class Company. We are a national home builder committed to building homes inspired by you.
  • Go Daddy

    World Class People. World Class Company. Go Daddy is a Fortune 100 "Best Companies to Work For."
  • Avnet

    World Class People. World Class Company. Here's information on a Fortune 500 company from Arizona.

Voice For A Better Arizona

  • Working For Arizona

    The business and economics of Arizona at the start of 2014 and looking forward.
  • Arizonans In Need

    Putting a focus on charities and organizations who provide help and/or need your help to fulfill their missions.
close

Share: