Don Bauder 7:30 p.m., Aug. 29
Judge calls disgraced Border Patrol agent "an abomination" at sentencing
Chula Vista man helped fugitive brother-in-law sneak into U.S., scammed insurance company by faking truck theft
A federal judge called the actions of former U.S. Border Patrol agent Thomas Silva “an abomination,” sentencing him to eight months in prison and ordering him to forfeit $16,000 and pay another $8,129 to Farmer’s Insurance after he pleaded guilty to concealing a wanted fugitive from arrest and falsely claiming that his truck had been stolen in order to collect insurance money.
While working at the San Ysidro border crossing Silva, a Chula Vista resident, verified on an agency computer system the fugitive status of his brother-in-law Julio Cesar Landaverde-Valdez, allowing the latter to enter the United States and falsifying information related to Landaverde-Valdez’s car in the system in order to help him evade arrest.
In a separate incident, Silva admitted to defrauding Farmer’s after claiming his Nissan Titan pickup had been stolen in the San Diego area, when in fact he had transported the vehicle to Mexico prior to reporting it stolen.
U.S. District Judge Anthony Battaglia told Silva at sentencing that he had “brought shame” upon the United States for committing his crimes while acting as a government agent.
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