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Ex-Border agent charged in drug and human smuggling schemes on trial in October

A now former Border Patrol agent from Buckeye accused of drug smuggling in southern Arizona will go to trial in October more than two years after his arrest.

Carlos Passapera Pinott was accused of running hundreds of thousands of fentanyl pills from the U.S.-Mexico border up to Phoenix. Then a grand jury indicted him for smuggling undocumented immigrants past his own colleagues at a Border Patrol checkpoint. 

Passapera was first arrested in August 2020. Passapera was supposed to stand trial this month. But his attorneys successfully argued that the U.S. government included more charges against him, including money laundering, bribery, and heroin and cocaine trafficking. And argued he needs more time to prepare for trial. Now he’s slated for a jury trial in October.

Fronteras Desk senior editor Michel Marizco is an award-winning investigative reporter based in Flagstaff.