The Chicago Syndicate: Federal Agent Felix Cisneros Convicted of taking Bribes from Organized Crime #HomelandSecurity

Montana West World

Montana West World

Thursday, May 05, 2022

Federal Agent Felix Cisneros Convicted of taking Bribes from Organized Crime #HomelandSecurity

A former special agent with Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) was found guilty by a federal jury of dozens of criminal charges for accepting cash payments and other benefits to help an organized crime-linked person, including taking official action designed to help two foreign nationals gain entry into the United States.

Felix Cisneros Jr., 48, of Murrieta, was found guilty of 30 felonies: one count of conspiracy to commit bribery of a public official, one count of bribery, 26 counts of money laundering and two counts of subscribing to a false tax return. After the verdict was read, Cisneros was ordered immediately remanded into federal custody.

According to evidence presented at his five-day trial, over an 18-month period that started in September 2015, Cisneros accepted cash, checks, private jet travel, luxury hotel stays, meals and other items of value from a person identified in court documents as “Individual 1,” who was associated with a criminal organization. Cisneros received approximately $100,000 in checks and gifts from Individual 1 in 2015 and 2016.

Cisneros accepted the cash and other bribes while employed as a special agent with HSI, which is an agency within the United States Department of Homeland Security. In exchange for the bribes, Cisneros performed a series of official acts at the behest of Individual 1, including:

  • Accessing a DHS database for information about a German national identified as W.R., and telling Individual 1 he removed a “hit” on W.R., “thus indicating derogatory information had been removed”;
  • Placing an alert in a law enforcement database for an address associated with an illegal marijuana grow operation so Cisneros could learn of law enforcement interest and warn Individual 1;
  • Obtaining an official DHS letter signed by an HSI assistant special agent in charge to allow the parole of Individual 1’s brother-in-law into the United States from Mexico, and later providing updates about the brother-in-law’s asylum application; and
  • Collecting information on an associate of Individual 1 whose home had been searched by law enforcement and later providing Individual 1 with information about the investigation. 
Cisneros also underreported his total income on his federal income tax returns by at least $20,000 for the year 2015 and at least $73,404 for the year 2016.

Judge R. Gary Klausner has scheduled an August 1 sentencing hearing. The conspiracy charge carries a statutory maximum sentence of five years in federal prison, the bribery count carries a sentence of up to 15 years, each money laundering charge carries a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years’ imprisonment, and each tax count carries a statutory maximum sentence of three years in federal prison.

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