By Associated Press - Friday, September 9, 2016

EL PASO, Texas (AP) - A U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer has been sentenced to 7½ years in federal prison for smuggling Mexican nationals illegally into the United States.

A federal judge in El Paso sentenced 53-year-old Lawrence Madrid on Friday. Senior U.S. District Judge David Briones also ordered Madrid to serve three years of supervised release after he leave prison.

On May 26, a federal jury found Madrid guilty of single counts of conspiracy to smuggle immigrants and aiding and abetting immigrant smuggling, as well as two counts of taking a bribe.

Investigators accused Madrid of allowing three Mexican nationals to enter the country illegally in August 2010, then allowing a Mexican national to enter illegally in September 2011.

Wife Odet Madrid also is charged in the case but is considered a fugitive.

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