- Associated Press - Tuesday, December 16, 2014

BROWNSVILLE, Texas (AP) - A South Texas border officer has been accused of letting drug-hauling vehicles pass in deals allegedly done via cellphone.

Customs and Border Protection Officer Jose Luis Zavala of Brownsville remains in federal custody pending a court appearance Thursday.

Zavala was arrested last Friday on charges of bribery of a public official and conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute marijuana. Prosecutors say text messages allegedly coordinated payments.

Zavala on Nov. 19 was working the Gateway Port of Entry when a van in his lane was randomly chosen for inspection. Officers found about 3,000 pounds of marijuana. The driver ran back to Mexico.

Zavala was denied bond at an initial court appearance Monday. Attorney information wasn’t immediately available for Zavala, who faces up to life in prison if convicted.


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