A former US Immigration and Customs Enforcement special agent has been sent to federal prison for ten months as of Monday. In December Joohoon David Lee made a guilty plea to charges of accepting a bribe worth thousands of dollars from an individual accused of the sex trafficking of a woman to the United States.
Prosecutors claim that Lee, who has lately been living in Las Vegas, was given money by a Korean man, identified only as HS in court documents. Lee was an investigator of trafficking offences based in Los Angeles. The former agent interviewed an immigrant woman in March 2012, who claimed to have entered the United States to work as a sex slave for HS.
Authorities allege that Lee later went to Korea and that the businessman, known as HS, paid him as much as $13,000 in cash as well as entertainment and hotel expenses. Lee came back to the United States and wrote a report on the HS investigation, claiming that the victim’s statement was contradictory, that no evidence was found to support her story and that the case had been closed with no further action necessary.
Special agent Joe Jeronimo, from the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement office of Professional Responsibility, says that public officials who violate the trust placed in them by the public and abuse their authority will be shown zero tolerance and that they are obligated to guard against unethical or illegal activities undertaken by people in positions of public trust.