A retired Customs and Border Protection officer was sentenced today in San Diego by a federal judge to three years probation for allowing an illegal immigrant to be smuggled through his inspection lane, according to court records.

Alonso Vasquez, 64, was arrested in May 2008 at his home in Escondido following an investigation by the FBI-led Border Corruption Task Force in San Diego, federal agents said.

A former marine who served two combat tours in Vietnam and was awarded the Purple Heart for injuries sustained there in 1967, Vasquez worked as an inspector for nearly 30 years, his attorney, Daniel Smith, said. He last worked at the San Ysidro border crossing, the nation’s busiest.

Vasquez, who retired in 2007, pleaded guilty in March to one count of encouraging and inducing illegal aliens to come to and enter the United States, and aiding and abetting. His retirement came several months after allowing illegal immigrants with false documents to enter the country in February 2007, Smith said.

He was indicted in May 2008 on 18 counts, including charges of bringing in illegal aliens for financial gain and conspiracy. The other charges were dropped.

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Andrew Becker is a reporter for Reveal, covering border, national and homeland security issues, as well as weapons and gun trafficking. He has focused on waste, fraud and abuse – with stories ranging from border corruption to the expanding use of drones and unmanned aerial vehicles, from the militarization of police to the intersection of politics and policy related to immigration, from terrorism to drug trafficking. Becker's reporting has appeared in The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, Newsweek/The Daily Beast and on National Public Radio and PBS/FRONTLINE, among others. He received a master's degree in journalism from UC Berkeley. Becker is based in Reveal's Emeryville, California, office.