5-Year sentence for Border agent in smuggling case

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Aaron Anaya By Jennifer Thomas Aaron Anaya By Jennifer Thomas

PHOENIX (AP) -- A former U.S. Border Patrol agent who admitted smuggling marijuana while on duty along the Arizona-Mexico border has been sentenced to five years in federal prison.

Authorities say investigators conducting aerial surveillance saw then-Agent Aaron Anaya load marijuana bundles that had been dropped over the border fence from Mexico into his patrol vehicle on Dec. 2 between Yuma and Wellton.

Anaya pleaded guilty to possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense.

Anaya's lawyer says his client accepts responsibility for his actions and was seeking the mandatory five-year minimum sentence.

Attorneys on both sides agreed to the term, and the judge issued the sentence on Monday afternoon.

Court officials say Anaya must also serve five years' probation upon his release and pay a $2,000 fine.