Border Agent Pleads Guilty

El Paso – A 43-year-old U.S. Customs and Border Protection technician says she's guilty of conspiring to smuggle marijuana and illegal immigrants into the country.

Martha Alicia Garnica pleaded guilty Friday in federal court to charges of conspiracy to import more than 100 kilos of marijuana into the United States, conspiracy to smuggle undocumented immigrants, three counts of bribery of a public official and one count of importation of a controlled substance.

Prosecutors said Garnica, who faces up to five years in prison when sentenced later this year, admitted helping smuggle marijuana and illegal immigrants into the U.S. starting in April 2009. Three other defendants have also pleaded guilty and are scheduled to be sentenced later this year. Prosecutors say a fourth defendant was killed in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, just across the Rio Grande from El Paso, in February.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.