A former Customs and Border Protection officer convicted on charges that he let marijuana be smuggled from Mexico into southeastern Arizona should be sentenced to 19 years in prison, prosecutors say.

Luis Carlos Vasquez should face the lengthy sentence to reflect the seriousness of his crimes and deter others from abusing the public's trust, the U.S. Attorney's Office says.

Vasquez allowed marijuana loads inside vehicles to be smuggled through a lane that he monitored at the port of entry in Douglas, authorities say.

Vasquez's attorney is asking for the minimum mandatory sentence of five years in prison and says the government's sentencing recommendation exceeds the punishment given to another man who was convicted in the case and is more culpable than Vasquez.

His sentencing is set for Monday.

Senior Editor, News, Arizona Daily Star, Tucson, Az.

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