November 1, 2013 10:11 pm -

RevereFacepalmThe optics on this are, to put it mildly, pretty embarrassing:

The sister of the top-ranking U.S. Customs and Border Protection official in Arizona pleaded guilty Thursday to smuggling an immigrant through a Border Patrol checkpoint near Tucson in the car she was driving, her defense attorney said.

Tammy Leigh Stephens, 52, of Phoenix, admitted in U.S. District Court in Tucson to aiding and abetting an illegal entry. As part of a plea agreement, a second charge of transporting a migrant not authorized to be in the U.S. for financial gain was dropped, her attorney, Eric S. Manch, said in a telephone interview.

Stephens is the sister of Jeffrey Self, the commander of the agency’s Arizona Joint Field Command, which, under his control, unifies three major border operations in the state and includes one of the busiest smuggling corridors along the Southwest U.S. border.

Agency officials said they have no information that suggests any employees were involved or aware of the alleged criminal activity, including Self.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection “is fully cooperating with the U.S. Attorney’s Office and will refer all questions to them,” Melanie Roe, the agency’s assistant commissioner for public affairs, said in a written statement.

D.B. Hirsch
D.B. Hirsch is a political activist, news junkie, and retired ad copy writer and spin doctor. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.