From the daily archives: Friday, April 9, 2010

Lawn mower blade area is filled with marijuana.

San Diego — U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at San Diego area ports of entry yesterday arrested a wanted man fraudulently using a U.S. passport to enter the country and this morning discovered a man smuggling marijuana inside two lawn mowers.

Lorenzo Muniz, a 23-year-old Mexican male residing in Tijuana, was arrested by CBP officers after he entered the San Ysidro port of entry on foot at about 5:15 a.m. April 7 and presented a valid U.S. passport. The processing officer suspected that the document had been altered and escorted Muniz to a secure area for further investigation.

During the secondary inspection, officers determined that the document did not legally belong to Muniz and that the legal owner’s photo on the passport had been replaced with a photo of Muniz, so he could attempt to enter the U.S. undetected.

CBP officers also discovered Muniz was wanted by the Ventura County Sheriffs Office on three active no-bail dangerous drug warrants.

He is currently being held at the San Diego County Jail.

This morning at about 5:30 a.m., officers at the Otay Mesa border station encountered a

48-year-old Mexican male citizen and resident of Riverside, Calif., as he waited in line for inspection in a 1996 Dodge Dakota. A CBP canine team was screening vehicles in the area when the detector dog alerted to the pickup truck. Officers escorted the driver and vehicle to the secondary area for further investigation.

Officers searched the truck and discovered 21 packages of marijuana weighing 53 pounds stuffed in the blade area of two lawn mowers that were in the bed of the truck.

The man was arrested and transported to the San Diego County Jail. CBP seized the truck and narcotic.

This case comes on the heels of a similar incident on March 30, when officers at the San Ysidro port of entry found 91 pounds of marijuana in two lawn mowers in the back of a 1995 Dodge Dakota pickup truck. The driver, a 21-year-old Mexican male, was arrested.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation’s borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.


The American Red Cross Shelter originally located at the Kennedy Middle School Gymnasium has been relocated to:
This shelter is for Imperial County residents whose housing situation is unsafe or if they do not feel comfortable staying in their own home.
Services available are food, shelter and showers. The Imperial County Departments of Public Health, Behavioral Health, and Social Services will be onsite providing assessments and services. Staff from the Imperial County Office of Economic Development will be available to answer questions regarding damage reporting.
The Imperial County Animal Control will provide animal shelter services for animals of residents housed in the American Red Cross Shelter.
Condados de San Diego/Imperial
El lugar de Refugio de La Cruz Roja Americana que fue originalmente ubicada en el gimnasio de la escuela Kennedy Middle School se ha reubicado al siguiente local:
225 Wake Ave
El Centro, CA
(760) 482-4968
Éste lugar de Refugio es para residentes del condado de Imperial de quiénes sus casas estan en un estado de peligro estructural y esten en peligro de ser dañados fisicamente.
Servicios incluyen refugio, alimentos, regaderas y servicios sanitarios. El departamento de Salud Pública proporcionará atención médica, el departameto de Salud Mental proporcionará atención en problemas de salud mental y el departamento de Sevicios Sociales asistirá con servicios para asistencia de situaciones financieras y servicios de MediCal y MediCare através de las oficinas del Condado de Imperial.
La Oficina de Desarrollo Económico del Condado de Imperial estarán disponibles para contestar preguntas relacionados en cómo reportar daños de su propiedad/vivienda.
El departamento de Control de Animales del Condado de Imperial proporcionará servicios de refugio para animales de los residentes quiénes se están quedando en el lugar de Refugio de La Cruz Roja Americana.


San Diego/Imperial County, California, April 6, 2010 — It has come to the attention of the San Diego/Imperial Counties Chapter of the American Red Cross that erroneous “tweets” are being circulated among users of the popular website, Twitter.

There might be some variations, but the gist of the invalid message is as follows:


Red cross ALERTS ppl in less than 48hrs theres going to be an earthquake harder than Chile so be Prepared please pass On 4 safety!

This message was NOT initiated by the Red Cross, and is therefore invalid.  The Red Cross does not predict disasters.

The Orange County Chapter of the American Red Cross began receiving messages yesterday and worked diligently to dismiss the communication, however, it seems that the statement has reached Twitter users all over California.

About the American Red Cross, San Diego and Imperial Counties Chapter

The American Red Cross is not a government agency and relies on the generosity of the American people to provide our programs and services. The San Diego/Imperial Counties Chapter is leading the effort to make San Diego and Imperial Counties “America’s most prepared communities.” With the public’s ongoing support we provide life saving preparedness training; disaster relief services; 24-hour emergency services to deployed military personnel and their families; and nutritional counseling through our Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program. For more information about or to support the chapter please contact (858) 309-1200 or visit


After daily inspections of each school in the Holtville Unified School District, today work crews discovered that Holtville Middle School has a major electrical problem, apparently caused by one of the aftershocks to Sunday’s earthquake.  Underground wires that supply power to 12 classrooms have shorted out, most likely from a shift in the underground conduit. We have had electricians on scene and estimate the damage to be approximately $65,000.

The repair could take up to two weeks.

Students who would normally attend the affected classrooms will be moved to empty classrooms on Monday either at the Middle School or at Finley School, located across the street.

Jon LeDoux


Holtville Unified School District

621 E. 6th Street

Holtville, CA 92250


(760)356-4936 (Fax)




Due to recent aftershocks and a roof cave-in on Third Street, we are reassessing structures and
reevaluating them as a security measure. As such, the plan to open downtown to pedestrian
traffic is being delayed until further notice. In the interest of public safety we have extended the area of closure to now include Third Street from Paulin Avenue to Heber Avenue.
All businesses, public streets and sidewalks bounded by First St. to Third St. between Paulin Ave. and Heber Ave. are closed. Pedestrian and vehicular traffic are not allowed in this area until further notice.
The Downtown Calexico Port of Entry remains open and fully operational.
If a business or residence in Calexico has suffered damage due to the earthquake, they may be entitled to assistance. A Damage Assessment form must be completed and submitted to the City of Calexico in order to be considered for assistance. Please download the form from our website or request a form from any City office. If you have any questions regarding this form, you may call (760) 768-2178. Once completed, forms should be delivered to City Hall located at 608 Heber Avenue by the end of Monday, April 12, 2010. If you wish to submit your form outside of regular business hours you may drop off your completed form at the water payment drop box outside of City Hall. Staff will collect them on the next regular business day.

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