Antonio Oswaldo Burgos wanted to get rid of his wife, authorities said.
The couple had met and married in El Salvador and moved to Portland, Ore., but their marriage had soured. By last spring, they were going through a divorce.
But Burgos had a plan. On May 24, he drove to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement office in Portland. When an officer left the building, Burgos followed. The officer eventually stopped in a parking lot across the state line in Vancouver, Wash. Burgos stopped, too.
There, Burgos, now 48, offered the officer money — to deport his wife.
The officer declined and reported Burgos to authorities.
On Monday, Burgos was sentenced to four months in federal prison and three years of supervised release on one count of bribery of a public official, according to the Justice Department. He accepted a plea deal in the fall for a lesser sentence.
The ICE officer, whom officials have not identified, reported Burgos to the ICE Office of Professional Responsibility.
A week after the parking lot meeting, an OPR investigation team helped the officer record a phone call with Burgos in which Burgos offered the ICE officer $3,000 for his wife to be removed from the country, according to court documents. A few days later, Burgos and the officer spoke again and arranged to meet.
This time, Burgos gave the officer $2,000 and offered $2,000 more — if his wife and her minor child from a previous relationship were deported, according to court documents.
Burgos was later arrested and charged. Had his case gone to trial, he could have faced up to 15 years in prison.
“We rely upon our officers to perform their duties with integrity,” Brad Bench, special agent in charge of the Seattle office of Homeland Security Investigations, said in a statement last year. “This case should send a strong message that those who attempt to coerce a public official will be punished.”