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Border Patrol Agent Charged with Possession of Marijuana with Intent to Distribute


August 1997

On August 6, a U.S. Border Patrol agent was arrested with more than 550 pounds of marijuana in his patrol vehicle. Thomas Bair was apprehended in San Diego County (CA), and was charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute (Anne-Marie O'Connor, "Border Agent Arrested With 550 Pounds of Marijuana," Los Angeles Times (Washington Edition), August 7, 1997, p. B1; "U.S. Border Agent Found With 500 Pounds of Pot," San Francisco Chronicle, August 7, 1997, p. A8).

Two Border Patrol agents found Bair on a road that was not part of his assigned post, and he appeared to be kicking something under his vehicle. They found duffel bags in his car allegedly stuffed with marijuana. "Bair began shouting that the agents were not supposed to be there and that they had ruined everything," a Drug Enforcement Agent said. The DEA estimated the value of the seized marijuana at $200,000 to $300,000.

Bair is being held without bail. "We are handling this as a standard narcotics smuggling investigation," said DEA spokesperson Rodney Adams.