- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 3, 2015

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Authorities in Philadelphia have charged a federal immigration agent accused of stealing from a prisoner he was assigned to transport, the city’s district attorney said Tuesday.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agent Justin Ford was arrested last week after he was caught in a sting allegedly taking $200 from an undercover Philadelphia police officer posing as a deportee, District Attorney Seth Williams said.

“What Mr. Ford did was deplorable. It wasn’t the first time he stole from deportees,” Williams said. “He will be punished to the fullest extent of the law.”

Williams said that after searching the undercover officer and finding $2,000, Ford took two $100 bills. Ford transported the undercover officer to York County Prison and turned over the money to an intake officer, who confirmed that $200 was missing, Williams said.

Ford was arrested in Philadelphia and allegedly acknowledged the theft, as well as thefts from other prisoners, according to authorities.

Investigators have information that makes them believe this was not his first time, Williams said.

“Others had claimed to be missing money after he transported them” the district attorney said.

Ford, 31, was charged with theft, unlawful taking and related offenses. He’s due in court on March 27.

Bail was set at $25,000; it’s unclear whether Ford had an attorney who could offer comment.

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