Portland man tries to bribe ICE officer to deport wife after sour marriage

ICE arranged a sting operation to catch the man offering the bribe.

A Portland man was sentenced to prison for trying to bribe a U.S. deportation officer in an effort to deport his wife after their marriage soured, federal authorities said.

Antonio Burgos, 48, allegedly followed an Immigration and Customs Enforcement officer near the Oregon-Washington border last spring and offered him money to deport his El Salvadorian wife and her young child, federal authorities said Monday.

Burgos, who was going through a divorce at the time, allegedly made the first of several bribery attempts on May 24, 2018, officials said.

Instead of accepting Burgos' request, the officer reported Burgos to the ICE Office of Professional Responsibility [OPR], who set up an organized sting operation.

The team managed to record the suspect offering as much as $4,000 to deport his wife and her child from a previous relationship, the Department of Justice said in a statement.

"On May 31, 2018, the officer made a recorded call to Burgos with the assistance of an OPR investigation team," the statement said. "Burgos offered to the pay the officer $3,000 to remove his wife from the U.S. On June 5, 2018, the officer and OPR team made a second recorded call on which Burgos again offered to pay the officer for his wife’s removal."

Burgos agreed to an in-person meeting with the officer the next day, but he didn't know that they were being watched.

"Burgos met the officer in a pre-determined location and offered to pay $4,000 for the removal of his wife and his wife’s minor child from a previous relationship," the statement said.

He was arrested on June 29 and later pleaded guilty to one count of bribery of a public official.

Burgos was sentenced to four months in federal prison and three years’ supervised release on Monday.