A Portland man who offered four times to pay a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent thousands of dollars to have his estranged wife and daughter deported last year was sentenced Monday to four months in prison.
Antonio O. Burgos, 48, and his wife were in the process of divorcing when he followed an ICE deportation officer from the agency’s Portland office to Vancouver last May, offered the agent money to deport his family to El Salvador after the officer pulled over and confronted him and gave the officer his contact information after he was turned down, federal prosecutors said.
Burgos and his wife married in El Salvador. He later brought his wife and daughter to the U.S. The couple’s marriage and his wife moved into another home with their child, prosecutors said.
The federal officer who was followed by Burgos reported their interaction to ICE, called Burgos a week later and recorded the conversation. At the time, Burgos offered $3,000 to have his wife removed from the country. Burgos again made the $3,000 offer during another recorded conversation in early June, met the federal officer in Oregon the next day and increased the payment to $4,000 for the deportation of his wife and daughter, according to prosecutors.
Burgos gave the officer half of the money on that day and agreed to provide the rest after his family was removed from the U.S. He was arrested at the end of June when he met the officer again and was carrying the other $2,000 at the time, authorities said.
Burgos pleaded guilty in November to bribery of a public official. Prosecutors sought a six-month sentence and the defense was looking for six months of home detention, court records show.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Oregon said in a sentencing memo that prison time would show the community that “the United States Government will not sit idly by while someone attempts to trample another person’s individual rights.”
“This is a nation that respects and upholds its laws and Constitution, not the conceit of angry men.”
— Everton Bailey Jr.