Federal agent charged in scheme to help cocaine trafficker

Posted at 6:45 AM, Sep 26, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-26 06:45:57-04

MIAMI (AP) -- Authorities say a Department of Homeland Security agent took bribes to help a Colombian cocaine trafficker avoid charges.

A Department of Justice news release says Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent Christopher Ciccione was indicted by a federal grand jury in Florida Monday on charges of conspiracy, corruption and obstruction of justice.

The indictment say Ciccione was the case agent for a large-scale organized crime and drug enforcement task force that resulted in indictments of Cali Cartel cocaine traffickers, including Jose Piedrahita Ceballos.

Court records say the Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, man accepted about $20,000 in cash, dinner, drinks and prostitution in exchange for getting the indictment against Piedrahita dismissed. Authorities say Ciccione altered records and lied to federal prosecutors.

It wasn't known if Ciccione had an attorney.