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Rookie Officer Facing Federal Charges For Smuggling Boyfriend Into U.S. Illegally

Brownsville, TX - Rookie Brownsville Police Officer Valerie Rivas admitted to her role in her boyfriend of twelve years being smuggled into the U.S. illegally when she was arrested by Border Patrol agents last month.

According to federal court records obtained by News Center 23, Rivas was arrested on February 26th after she hid in the sand dunes of Padre Island National Seashore. The reports allege Rivas facilitated her boyfriend, Alfredo Salazar-Hernandez of Tabasco, Mexico, to be smuggled from Brownsville, the city she swore to protect, to Victoria, TX. The operation did not go according to plan.

Salazar was supposed  to contact Rivas when he arrived in Victoria, Sunday February 25th but the call never came. "RIVAS states when she did not hear from Salazar at the desingated time she contacted an unnamed coconspirator to ask about Salazar" the coconspirator informed Rivas, the people who were supposed to pick him up had been arrested and could not pick up Salazar" 

Rivas then drove from Brownsville to Padre Island to locate her boyfriend. The coconspirator told Rivas the location of where he was intended to be left. As a helicopter flew overhead, Rivas spoke with another immigrant and was told her boyfriend had left the area, Rivas then hid from the agents but was found in the dunes. 

Upon questioning she informed agents, she was a Brownsville Police Officer. Inside the vehicle she borrowed from a relative was her badge and gun.  

Salazar was arrested several hours earlier. 

The Brownsville Police Department confirmed, Rivas is on paid administrative leave and is facing federal alien smuggling charges. 

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