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Selling border security map nets man prison time

 A Bellingham man has been sentenced to prison for trying to sell a map showing the location of surveillance cameras along the U.S./Canada border.

According to federal court records,  Leif Rankin planned to sell the map to drug smugglers. 

He told someone he thought was a smuggler, but was actually an informant for the U. S. Department of Homeland Security, that he stole the map from a garage sale at a border agent's house. Rankin said the  map was tucked inside a book.  Rankin promised that the 2007 map of sensors and cameras  revealed the best places to cross the border undetected in the Blaine area.

Rankin made a deal to sell the map to the informant  for $6,000.six thousand dollars.  He was arrested in September and pleaded guilty in November 2011.

Now, he’s been sentenced to a year in prison and three years of supervised release.

In sentencing Rankin, U-S District Judge Richard A. Jones told him,

“Once you sold those documents, you had no idea how they would be used…They could have been used by terrorists."

Paula reports on groundbreaking legal decisions in Washington State and on trends in crime and law enforcement. She’s been at KNKX since 1989 and has covered the Law and Justice beat for the past 15 years. Paula grew up in Idaho and, prior to KNKX, worked in public radio and television in Boise, San Francisco and upstate New York.