Known drug smugglers can bring huge sums of cash illegally across the border, while others who have not compensated Customs agents have their cash seized, says a whistleblower who recently made his charges public.
John Carman, a career Customs agent and former Secret Service agent who has charged Customs with widespread corruption in an exclusive WorldNetDaily investigative report, commented on the recent highly publicized currency seizures along the Mexican border:
“Why don’t you write about the currency that never gets seized from powerful families like Jorge Hank-Rhon,” asked Carman, who claims Hank-Rhon is a wealthy drug dealer who has many friends in U.S. Customs who help him.
“When he flew into Brown Field (Airport) one time, he forgot to declare over $200,000 of U.S. currency. This is required to be declared by each person transporting over $10,000,” explained Carman.
Hank-Rhon was given a “free pass” by former Port Director Jerry B. Martin and former District Director Alan J. Rappoport, Carman said.
Senior Inspector Andrew Aldana was the agent who seized the money and was ordered to release Hank-Rhon and all the money. Aldena will not speak to the press.
Persons who enter the United States with more than $10,000 in currency are required to fill out a CF-4790 form to declare the money. If they do that, and have a reasonable explanation, they generally will be permitted through legally and their money will not be seized.
Carman filed many written complaints about a Customs supervisor who he claims was ignoring the law regarding the seizure of large sums of cash from only certain people. His complaints were ignored and no action was taken.
“A Customs supervisor by the name of Filemon Fuentes would side with the Mexican female violators and wash out any good currency seizures that were legal seizures under the law,” explained Carman. “I even saw him try to give consideration to a violator, with priors, after she tried to smuggle over $16,000 in her clothes, personal purse, and in her children’s pockets.”
Carman’s formal complaints to internal affairs were not investigated, even though he says he witnessed many such circumstances. Certain people were permitted to smuggle currency while others were not, he said. WorldNetDaily.com requested an interview with Fuentes through the U.S. Customs public affairs office, but the interview was declined.
Carman said he discovered that Fuentes was receiving compensation for his assistance.
“I and many others have reported illegal activity and the agency does nothing. I receive death threats and they do nothing at Customs headquarters. They actually told one agent, ‘Investigate the threats yourself! Carry your automatic weapons,’” said Carman.
As a former member of the Secret Service who protected presidents Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter, Carman is highly trained in protection. He was dismayed that when he and other agents like him received death threats, they were not given the same protection they knew had been provided to a U.S. attorney who was also threatened. He had been given three special agents from the FBI as bodyguards.
“I am not afraid of confronting these crooked people. Only cowards leave death threats when they try to intimidate me or other honest Customs employees,” said Carman, who is now a private detective.
Death threats have been made because Carman, and other whistleblowers who have not made their names public, have complained about the corruption they see on a daily basis. Carman says the good agents are forced out of the service, and the bad ones are left to become even more corrupt. He believes the death threats are coming from the corrupt Customs officials who feel threatened by what Carman is doing.
Dishonest, corrupt officials who engage in small infractions of the law should be eliminated from the Customs service before they engage in greater crimes, warned Carman. He gave an example of a customs employee trying to steal a handgun that was seized from someone entering the country.
The Customs agent wrote down the serial number of the gun on the required form incorrectly, then put the gun in an accessible place rather than locking it away as it should have been.
“If I didn’t come across the handgun laying inside the unlocked gun lockers in the Customs security office, anyone could have walked away with it,” explained Carman.
“I located it and secured it properly and I had to change all the paperwork to reflect the correct changes. The shift supervisor was notified and I put the handgun into a special drop safe next to the supervisor’s office. To my knowledge, nothing happened to the employee,” said Carman.
“If you have to rely on a dishonest employee, that is the weakest link in the chain. In my opinion there are many other weak areas which I have tried to point out to Customs management, but they didn’t like hearing it from me,” he added.
Carman has 15 years of stories he tells of various levels of corruption. A previous WorldNetDaily exclusive details drug smuggling, and the failure of investigators to respond to Carman’s evidence and accusations.
Vincent Bond of the San Ysidro, Calif., Customs office said in a phone interview that he had never heard of John Carman. Bond claimed he had been there only a short time and must have begun work after Carman left Customs a year ago.
Bond was told of Carman’s complaints, and stated he knew nothing about them and was unaware of any of the legal actions Carman has filed against U.S. Customs.
But Carman stated that he knows Bond personally and worked with him for many years. He said that Bond may be new in the public affairs office, but that he has been with Customs for many years.
Bond failed to return additional calls for information and Dean Boyd of the national public affairs office also did not return calls.
“We need to educate the American public so that they understand that indicators of corruption are future indicators of the fall of a great country. The moral fiber of this Country has been infested like a cancer and we need to clean it out before the rest of the Country dies,” said Carman.