A South Texas police officer has been charged with human smuggling after being caught among the dunes at Padre Island National Seashore during a Border Patrol search for immigrants.
Brownsville police Officer Valerie Rivas appeared in federal court in Corpus Christi and was released on a $20,000 unsecured bond. Brownsville police put Rivas on paid administrative leave.
Rivas dated a Mexican man who was supposed to be smuggled to Victoria but never showed up and she was looking for him. Agents had found him earlier.
When Rivas was located by Border Patrol agents, she was armed and identified herself as a police officer.
Her attorney says his client is not guilty.