Former Airport Customs Agent Sentenced

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) -- A former customs inspector was sentenced Tuesday to 7-1/2 years in prison for taking bribes to smuggle Indian nationals into the United States.

Otis L. Rackley, 41, could have gotten less than five years, but failed to appear to answer questions from the U.S. Probation Department for a pre-sentence report, Judge Dennis M. Cavanaugh noted.

Rackley, an inspector with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, pleaded guilty in June, admitting he provided illegal immigrants with documents and passport stamps.

Investigators believe he received about $1 million in bribes from 2000 until his arrest in December 2003 for getting about 100 illegal immigrants into the country, Assistant U.S. Attorney Scott Resnik said.