From the daily archives: Monday, June 28, 2010

Suspect Attempted to Flee

Guns, ammunition and other weapons were seized in outbound enforcement efforts

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers seized 10 AK47 assault rifles with 70 magazines and more than 5,600 rounds of ammunition and arrested a Mexican national while conducting outbound inspections at the Mariposa port of entry.

On June 23, CBP officers at the Mariposa port of entry were conducting outbound screening of travelers headed to Mexico. CBP officers selected a black passenger vehicle to stop for inspection; the driver of the vehicle ignored the officer’s commands and sped away toward Mexico. The driver was unable to maneuver past a barricade and abandoned the vehicle in an attempt to flee to Mexico.

Officers were able to apprehend the suspect prior to him crossing the border. A search of the vehicle revealed a significant amount of weapons and ammunition. CBP officers found a total of 10 AK47 assault rifles, 70 AK47 assault rifle magazines, 5,610 rounds of high-caliber ammunition, 6 bayonets and other weaponry and accessories.

The suspect was identified as a 49-year-old man from Sonora, Mexico. He was found to be present in the U.S. without immigration documents.

CBP officers seized the weapons, ammunition and vehicle. The man was turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for further investigation.

A criminal complaint is simply the method by which a person is charged with criminal activity and raises no inference of guilt. An individual is presumed innocent until competent evidence is presented to a jury that establishes guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.


More than 95 pounds of narcotics with an estimated value of $579,000 and 20 rounds of ammunition is stacked on the tailgate of a 2002 grey Chevrolet Avalanche. U. S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers conducting vehicle operations at the downtown Calexico port of entry prevented the narcotics and ammunition from illegally entering the country on June 26. (Photo courtesy of U. S. Customs and Border Protection)

CALEXICO, Calif. – U. S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the downtown Calexico port of entry prevented more than 63 pounds of narcotics with an estimated value of $579,000 and 20 rounds of ammunition from illegally entering the country on June 26.   At approximately 10:12 a.m. on Saturday, June 26, a male 30-year-old Mexican citizen driving a 2002 grey Chevrolet Avalanche sought admission into the United States. The driver presented valid documentation and gave a negative declaration to the CBP officer.   The CBP officer referred the vehicle for a more intensive inspection after noticing anomalies with the vehicle. The vehicle was screened by a narcotic detector dog which alerted to the left wheel well area of the vehicle.   After further inspection, officers discovered artificial compartments built in the rear side fenders of the vehicle. Officers removed a total of 13 packages containing cocaine weighing 33 pounds with an estimated value of $264,000 and 20 packages of methamphetamine weighing 30 pounds with an estimated value of $315,000 from the hidden compartments. In addition, 20 rounds of ammunition were seized.   According to Port Director Billy Whitford, he was pleased with the effectiveness of the CBP officers involved and said their actions contributed to keeping communities safe.   “Our CBP officers superbly perform their duties on a day-to-day basis,” he said. “They truly are one facet of America’s first line of defense which keeps dangerous criminals and contraband from entering our communities.”   The narcotics, ammunition and vehicle were seized by CBP and the driver was arrested and turned over to Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for further investigation.


Congressman Filner announces El Centro teacher Nick Santana selected to get an inside view of Congress as a 2010 House Fellow WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Congressman Bob Filner announced today that Nick Santana, a teacher from Southwest High School in El Centro, Calif., was chosen to take part in the 2010 House Fellows program.  The week-long program gives teachers an insider’s view of the House of Representatives.   “I’m proud to welcome Mr. Santana to our nation’s capital!” said Congressman Filner.  “This program is a great way for teachers to get an up-close look at how our government works and take all they’ve learned back to their students and other teachers.”   The Office of the House Historian released the list of 46 individuals, including Mr. Santana, who were chosen in a highly competitive process to participate in the one-week intensive program on the history and practices of the House.  Mr. Santana will travel to Washington, D.C. to participate in the session running from Monday, July 12 through Friday, July 16.   Mr. Santana graduated from Southwest High School before going on to San Diego State University where he received his bachelor’s degree.  Then, after working as a UPS Operations Manager and a salesman, he moved back to El Centro and secured a position teaching A.P. U.S. History at his alma mater, Southwest High School.  Mr. Santana is currently finishing his teaching credential and has plans to pursue a master’s degree in education.   The House Fellows program began in 2006 as an interdisciplinary workshop for high school teachers focused on the history and practices of the House of Representatives.


New Features Aimed at Business Customers Seeking Anytime, Anywhere Access

Desert Commercial Bank has rolled out a new mobile banking service that enables unprecedented customer access to accounts via web-enabled cell phones or mobile devices.   The locally owned and headquartered bank, specializing in business banking for the Coachella Valley and Imperial County, becomes the first community bank in the region to offer the advanced technology.

With the new mobile platform, Desert Commercial Bank customers will be able to view balances, monitor account activity, transfer funds between accounts, and receive e-mail or text message alerts concerning direct deposits and balance thresholds. The bank designed the service over a period of several months, while monitoring account usage activity and trends to ensure features addressed the unique needs of the DCB customer base – particularly small business owners.

Bank information technology specialists integrated strong security features within the mobile banking program.   Examples include:  multiple levels of authentication;  a unique mobile PIN requirement; and a one-time password or link that changes each time an individual logs onto the site.   Customers, meanwhile, are encouraged to protect their password and PIN, verify all correspondences as authentic, and securely log off each session to ensure the safety of sensitive banking information.

Desert Commercial Bank President and CEO, Tony Swartz points to the new mobile banking platform as an example of how community banks can develop a competitive edge over the large mega banks.

“When you combine the highly personalized nature of community banking with leading-edge technology, you end up with a superior customer experience,” said Mr. Swartz.   It effectively extends the highly personalized relationship and interaction that we are known for delivering.”

He added, “We want to be where our customers need us to be – at home, in meetings, out of town – and provide actionable information whenever they need it.  This technology allows that to happen.  Our customers are no longer constrained by bank hours or locations.”

For more information about DCB mobile banking, individuals are encouraged to contact the bank and ask for a demonstration.  For those that wish to enroll directly, they can do so by visiting

Certain statements in this communication, including statements regarding the anticipated development and expansion of the Bank’s business, and the intent, belief or current expectations of the Bank, its directors or its officers, are “forward-looking” statements (as such term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995).  Because such statements are subject to risks and uncertainties, actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied.  These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, risks related to raising additional capital, the local and national economy, the Bank’s performance and implementation of its business plans, loan performance, interest rates, and regulatory matters.


Here is a picture of yet another building that went down this week. This was the building on second street that hosted the Payless Shoe Store, the legendary Hot Dog Stand and Casa Bonita. The good news is that this building will go up again in two months as they begin construction and will have the same stores it had.

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