Federal Judge Describes Former Customs Agent's Conduct As An "Abomination"

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A former Customs and Border Protection Officer Thomas P. Silva, of Chula Vista, was sentenced last week to eight months behind bars for concealing a wanted fugitive by allowing him to enter the United States from Mexico without inspection, despite verifying the fugitive's status Customs and Border computer systems, according to federal officials.

In handing down the sentence, Judge Anthony J. Battaglia told Silva, 33, that his conduct was "an abomination" and that he had "brought shame" to the United States by carrying out these criminal activities while working as a Customs officer at San Ysidro Port of Entry, federal authorities stated.

Silva also admitted to engaging in a separate scheme to defraud Farmers Insurance of over $7,000 by falsely reporting that his Nissan Titan pickup truck had been stolen from a local San Diego community, federal officials allege.

Silva  said he took the truck to Mexico prior to reporting it stolen in furtherance of his fraudulent scheme. Thereafter, Silva filed the false claim with Farmers Insurance, which the insurance company then paid based on his misrepresentations, federal officials stated.

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The Court Reporter
Raul Hernandez has spent years writing stories about the drama that unfolds in the courtroom. Here he answers common questions, share some insights on the judicial system and passes along some of the little things that make the Ventura County courts an interesting place to be. You can contact him at rhernandez@vcstar.com.