A Tequila Shot
The plan has ben rejected and CBP has launched an internal probe Unsplash.com/Francisco Galarza

Two high-ranking Border Patrol officials are the subject of an internal investigation after engaging with a Mexican tequila mogul who wanted to make a Border Patrol-branded tequila, NBC News reported.

The outlet said it's not clear whether the officials disclosed their relationship with Francisco Javier González, the grandson of the creator of Don Julio tequila, a requirement for officials with high security clearances. The chance they received anything that could violate ethics rules is also under questioning.

The officials, Border Patrol chief Jason Owens and Rio Grande Valley sector chief Gloria Chavez, were seen at the González's distillery complex in Jalisco, Mexico.

Photos of them there were uploaded to social media in February, but their relationship dates back at least to July of last year, when González hosted a party for Border Patrol's top brass in Laredo, Texas.

At some point over the past months González reportedly discussed with the officials making a Border Patrol-themed tequila to commemorate the entity's 100th anniversary. The milestone will be celebrated at a days-long event in Laredo later in May.

However, the possibility of doing so has been cancelled as an internal investigation has been opened. The celebration is still scheduled to feature two golf tournaments, a parade and a black-tie gala event.

"CBP has confidence in our senior leaders and holds them to the highest standards of integrity and professionalism. Consistent with our commitment to accountability, we thoroughly investigate all allegations and take appropriate action to address any issues identified throughout the course of investigations. CBP will continue to reinforce our commitment to the agency's standards at all levels," a CBP spokesperson told the outlet in a statement.

"CBP officials frequently maintain ties with local businesses. But at the same time, CBP officials also are aware of the potential for things to go wrong in that kind of a relationship," said Tom Warrick, a former DHS counterterrorism official who directs the Future of DHS Project at the Atlantic Council think tank. "CBP has very high standards for integrity and security. And this is why I think even pictures like this are taken very seriously by CBP."

CBP's top brass has recently been embroiled in other controversies, the latest one taking place in February of this year, when the entity's number two, Joel Martinez, retired amid allegations of sexual misconduct. A year before, the acting chief of law enforcement allegations also resigned amid similar allegations.

Update: The individual noted in the story is not affiliated with the Tequila Don Julio Brand, which is not collaborating with the United States Customs & Border Patrol or any of its representatives on any product. the brand specified in a comment to The Latin Times.

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