A former police officer flashed a badge when border agents pulled over his SUV containing four migrants who had just illegally crossed the Mexico border, federal officials reported.
The officer, who left the Los Angeles Police Department after being convicted of rape in 1993, showed agents a badge “similar in appearance and style” to an LAPD badge, the U.S. Border Patrol said in a Nov. 10 news release.
He identified himself as a police lieutenant, agents said. A search of his SUV revealed an “un-serialized 9mm handgun, commonly referred to as a ’ghost gun,’” the release said.
Agents had pulled his SUV over near Campo after residents reported a possible human smuggling incident the night of Nov. 6, officials said.
The three women and one man in the SUV told agents they had recently crossed the border illegally.
A records check revealed the ex-officer is a registered sex offender who was sentenced to three years in prison after his conviction, agents said.
He was arrested in connection with human smuggling while in possession of a firearm and taken into custody.
Campo is a border town, about 60 miles east of San Diego.