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Protecting the Homeland From Homeland Security

As previously reported on Truthdig, there’s a lot going on in Homeland Security that doesn’t make it onto the reality show of the same name. The Center for Investigative Reporting’s G.W. Schulz continues to dig into the department’s unsavory bits, including an immigration officer who was arrested for allegedly having sex with an 11-year-old girl in Rio while there on official business.

Center for Investigative Reporting:

On Jan. 9, prosecutors accused 44-year-old Michael Clifford, an Immigration and Customs Enforcement officer from Massachusetts, of having sex with an 11-year-old girl in Rio de Janeiro while there on official duty for the Department of Homeland Security. Clifford propositioned the girl outside of a cafe late at night, took her back to his hotel and snapped photographs of the two engaged in sexual acts, according to the allegations. Investigators say security camera footage from the hotel showed Clifford entering with the child and then sending her away in the morning. He is currently in detention.

Then, the day before Clifford was arrested, a federal judge in an unrelated case sentenced former U.S. Border Patrol Agent Juan Sanchez of Arizona to 15 years in prison after he pled guilty to drug, bribery and worker’s compensation fraud charges. Prosecutors say he smuggled thousands of pounds of marijuana in his work vehicle over a period of two years into the United States. He also received a total of $45,000 in bribes, according to the charges, and continued to illegally collect worker’s compensation benefits after recovering from an on-duty vehicle accident without notifying officials that his condition had improved.

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