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Former EGF Border Patrol agent indicted in fabricated threat story

A former U.S Customs and Border patrol agent has been indicted with one count of making a false statement regarding two men who purportedly threatened his family.

The federal indictment against Andrew Rodriguez, 29, of East Grand Forks, was unsealed Thursday following his initial appearance in U.S. District Court.

According to a press release from the U.S. Department of Justice:

The indictment alleges that Rodriguez on Nov. 7 told FBI agents that he was pulled over by two men while driving along U.S. Highway 71. He claimed one of them threatened to harm his family if he failed to do as instructed.

Allegedly, Rodriguez told the BI agents he saw the men's vehicle near his home on a few recent occasions.

Later, Rodriguez allegedly admitted he had fabricated the story in an attempt to be relocated to the southern border.

If convicted, Rodriguez faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison.

According to initial reports from the Beltrami County Sheriff's office, two urgent calls were received just before 8:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 7, one from the Koochiching County Sheriff's Office and one from the Border Patrol reporting that a Border Patrol officer was down, had sounded a distress call and needed assistance near Funkley. The officer was believed to be located near the Itasca County/Beltrami County line.

Many departments responded and located the officer in his squad car on Highway 72 about 12 miles north of Bemidji near Turtle River.

On Wednesday, Nov. 10, the incident was reported to be unfounded.

The case is the result of an investigation by the FBI, Customs and Border Patrol. Minnesota State patrol and the Beltrami County Sherriff's Office. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kimberly M. Hare.