A Bellingham man allegedly sold maps that showed the location of Border Patrol sensors and cameras at the U.S.-Canada border to someone he thought was involved with smuggling people and drugs.
Those maps, which were dated 2007, showed where to cross the border in the Blaine area with the least chance of detection.
Leif Rankin was arrested on suspicion of theft of government property Sept. 26 after allegedly selling the documents for $6,000 to an undercover informant for Homeland Security. His case is being heard in U.S. District Court in Seattle.
According to court documents, agents with Homeland Security's Integrated Border Enforcement Team were told about Rankin's possession of the maps Sept. 1 by officers of the Northwest Regional Drug Task Force. Officers told the agency that Rankin was offering the documents for sale for $10,000, and he had been asking criminals he knew if they knew any cross-border smugglers who would be interested in buying the maps.
Agents arranged for the introduction of an undercover informant, who posed as an East Indian residing in Canada who was involved in international drug and human smuggling. On Sept. 21, Rankin told the informant about the maps and explained that, though the maps were dated 2007, he had explored the border area and found the information in the maps accurate, according to court documents.
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