ICE agent sentenced to three years for immigrant bribery scheme

ICE agent sentenced to three years for immigrant bribery scheme
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Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent Clifton Divers was sentenced Monday to three years in prison for running a bribery scheme on immigrants trying to avoid deportation, The Detroit News reports.

Divers pleaded guilty in January to bribery and fraud charges. He faced up to four years in prison for the charges.

“No one is above the law, particularly law enforcement officers in whom we place our trust to maintain the highest standards of honesty, integrity, and professionalism,” U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider said at the sentencing.


Divers admitted to conspiring with Birmingham attorney Charles Busse between 2013 and 2015 to obtain deportation deferrals and other immigration benefits for the lawyer's clients. 

Busse is serving three years in prison for his role, according to the Detroit Free Press

For hefty sums of bribe money, Busse would construct information showing that immigrants from Iraq, Mexico and Albania were undercover informants in federal investigations. This qualified them for a deportation deferment program.

Divers would use his security clearance to make sure the deferment materialized.

Prosecutors wrote in a filing Friday that Divers was integral to Busse’s success.

They went on to emphasize how vulnerable the people were that the two men accepted bribes from. 

According to the filing, Busse would not “have been able to make hundreds of thousands of dollars likewise exploiting the inexperience, trust and desperation of his clients and their families.”

One report estimated that Busse made $990,000 in bribe money over the six years that the two ran the scheme.

During that time, the two men shielded at least four immigrants from deportation, the Detroit Free Press reports.

According to court documents, a female Albanian immigrant helped bring the two men’s crimes to light. When it became apparent in 2014 she was to be deported and that there were no legal avenues for her to stay, she worked with the federal government, pretending to be a client for Busse.

Busse offered the woman "a way" to avoid being deported, according to prosecutors, helping lead to the arrest and conviction of the two men.