Border agent busted with pills and fake pot in Phoenix

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By Alicia Barron By Alicia Barron

PHOENIX – A Border Patrol agent was taken into custody for allegedly speeding and being in possession of narcotic drugs.

Deputies with the Maricopa County Sheriff Department’s Human Smuggling Unit conducted a traffic stop Thursday night while patrolling what MCSO describes as a known smuggling corridor on southbound State Route 85.

Michael Angelo Atondo, 34, identified himself as a border patrol agent to deputies. He reportedly said he was going back to work after spending a few days with friends in Glendale.

Border Patrol was contacted and they confirmed Atondo was an agent.

They also said he had been suspended indefinitely in April due to an ongoing DEA drug-smuggling case where he was allegedly found in possession of almost 750 pounds of marijuana.

Deputies discovered the prescription drug Oxycodone and synthetic marijuana in Atondo’s car during a search of the vehicle.

“Deputies also seized sensitive documents concerning Border Patrol activity in Southwestern Arizona,” Sheriff Joe Arpaio said. “My Office will continue to work closely with the US Border Patrol and other Federal Agencies on this matter.”

Atondo was booked into the Fourth Avenue Jail where he faces charges including criminal speeding and possession of narcotic drugs.