FBI snares Border Patrol agent in drug smuggling sting

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SAN DIEGO — A U.S. Border Patrol agent assigned to the Imperial Beach station has been charged trying to smuggle methamphetamine and cocaine from Mexico.

Noe Lopez, 36, was charged with attempted distribution of six pounds of methamphetamine, attempted distribution of seven kilograms of cocaine and bribery at his first court appearance at the federal courthouse in downtown San Diego, the FBI announced.

According to the complaint, Lopez told an undercover informant that he could smuggle narcotics into the U.S. from Mexico and agreed to pick up and transport drug-filled backpacks across the border.

He carried two backpacks that he thought contained methamphetamine and cocaine into the U.S. while on duty on Dec. 6 and Dec. 8, and collected a $10,000 fee, the complaint alleges.

Lopez is scheduled to appear before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jill L. Burkhardt on Tuesday for a detention hearing to determine whether he should remain in custody.

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