September 17, 2012 (San Diego) – Daphne Hearn, Special Agent in Charge of the San Diego FBI Office, and Chris Maston, Director of Field Operations, Customs Border Protection (CBP) announced the arrest of CBP Officer Thomas Silva, age 33, a nine-year veteran with the CBP. Silva was arrested on Friday, September 7 2012, at approximately 8:30 a.m, at the San Ysidro Port of Entry by CBP and FBI Agents assigned to the FBI Border Corruption Task Force (BCTF) pursuant to a federal arrest warrant based on a complaint filed with the U.S. District Court, Southern District of California, case number 12MJ3305. The complaint charges Silva with wire fraud and concealing a person from arrest.
The charges emanate from a multi-agency investigation conducted by the BCTF. The BCTF investigation was initiated in November 2010, after the CBP detected irregularities with Silva’s work. Specifically, the CBP reported that Silva was allowing individuals with imposter immigration documents to pass through the SYPOE. Subsequent investigation by the BCTF revealed that Silva was involved in a variety of criminal activity, some of which related to his position as a CBP officer, according to FBI special Agent Darrell Foxworth.
The complaint alleges that in April 2012, Silva knowingly allowed Julio Cesar Landaverde Valdez, a federal fugitive, to enter the United States from Mexico through the SYPOE. Landaverde Valdez was convicted in 2006 for alien smuggling. In this matter, Landaverde Valdez and an associate tried to enter the United States through the SYPOE with an undocumented alien concealed in a dashboard compartment of the vehicle. Landaverde Valdez is Silva’s brother-in-law.
The complaint also alleges that in 2011, Silva engaged in a scheme to defraud Farmers Insurance Company by filing a false claim concerning the theft of his personal vehicle. Silva was paid $7,329.37, as a result of this false claim.
Silva has been booked into the Bureau of Prisons (BOP), Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) and expected to have his initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge William V. Gallo, on Monday, September 10, 2012.
This matter is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys (AUSAs) from the U.S. Attorney’s Office (USAO), Southern District of California, San Diego, California.
The BCTF is composed of the CBP-Internal Affairs, CBP-Field Operations, Transportation Security Administration (TSA), U.S. Border Patrol, Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), USAO, and the FBI.