From the daily archives: Monday, July 19, 2010

Camp Pendleton, Calif. – A collaborative effort between the Border Patrol and the Oceanside Harbor, Calif., police department prevented a maritime smuggling attempt early Friday morning as 22 foreign nationals who illegally entered the country at sea were arrested on the shore at Camp Pendleton.

At about 3:30 a.m., Border Patrol agents on patrol along the coastline spotted a panga boat approaching the shore at Camp Pendleton. The agents responded and arrested the group as they disembarked from the boat. Officers from the Oceanside Harbor Police Department, working under Operation Stonegarden, also responded and prevented the individuals from escaping by returning to sea aboard the boat.

The group of smuggled people included 20 Mexican nationals, one national of Guatemala and one national from Columbia. Agents transported the group to a local Border Patrol station for processing.

Agents later learned that the group was at sea for an extensive period of time and several members were suffering from severe sun exposure and dehydration.

An investigation is being conducted to identify and prosecute the individuals responsible for this smuggling attempt.

Joint enforcement efforts between the U.S. Border Patrol and its strategic partners act as a force multiplier to detect and interdict smugglers who attempt to exploit the coastal border in San Diego County.

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.

 

EL CENTRO, Calif. – A bi-national law enforcement effort between the U.S. Border Patrol and the Mexican Federal Police (PFP) has resulted in the prosecution of four smugglers in Mexico.

On July 13, at approximately 10 a.m., El Centro Station agents apprehended a group of individuals who had illegally entered the United States through the mountainous area which is approximately 21 miles west of downtown Calexico, Calif.  At approximately 12 p.m., the PFP contacted San Diego Sector’s International Liaison Unit (SDC/ILU) and stated that they had arrested three subjects in Mexico, south of the area where El Centro Station agents had apprehended a group of illegal aliens earlier in the day.

PFP stated that the individuals revealed they had recently smuggled a group into the U.S., but had returned to Mexico after they saw Border Patrol agents in the area.  SDC/ILU contacted El Centro Sector’s ILU (ELC/ILU) and provided this information.  ELC/ILU subsequently identified and interviewed the group of individuals that had been apprehended by El Centro Station agents and one of the six subjects admitted to helping smuggle the group.

With this information, the PFP agreed to present the three subjects they apprehended plus the one in custody at El Centro Station in front of a Mexican Magistrate under alien smuggling charges.  ELC/ILU arranged for the return of the five smuggled aliens and the self-admitted alien smuggler to Mexico.  All were subsequently interviewed by the PFP as part of their investigation and subsequent prosecution.

“This type of cooperation with the government of Mexico has allowed us to provide consequence for illegal activity along the border,” said Chief Patrol Agent Jeffrey A. Calhoon.  “The arrest and prosecution of these alien smugglers further disrupts the ability of criminal organizations to conduct and profit from illegal activity.”

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.

 

SANTA ANA – In a “notable judgment” for victims of violent hate crimes, Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. announced that his office has secured a novel civil award against two individuals who targeted a man based on his ethnicity, forced him out of his car and beat him until blood flowed from his ears.

“Victims of crimes inspired by hate deserve every remedy available under the law,” Brown said. “This notable judgment ensures that in California, justice doesn’t stop at the criminal courtroom door.”

The judgment, signed late last week, requires James Joseph Kelly III, 28, of California City and Justin Louis Mullins, 26, of Garden Grove each to pay $25,000 to Felipe Alvarado, 31, whom they brutally assaulted and verbally harassed.

The incident began about 2 a.m. on August 9, 2007 in Garden Grove. As Alvarado waited at a traffic light at the intersection of Magnolia Street and Trask Avenue, Mullins and Kelly pulled up and began verbally harassing him. Alvarado ignored the insults, but on the other side of the intersection, in the parking lot of his workplace, the two men jumped out of their vehicle, forced Alvarado out of his vehicle and dragged him to the pavement. Defenseless, Alvarado was punched, kneed and kicked until blood flowed from his ears.

During the assault, the men insulted Alvarado with ethnic slurs. The beating left him with permanent back pain and hearing loss.

Today’s civil judgment follows criminal convictions in October 2008. Kelly was sentenced to nine months in jail on one count of misdemeanor assault. Mullins was sentenced to three years in state prison for misdemeanor assault, driving under the influence and violating probation.

The civil case marks the first time the Attorney General has filed a case to benefit victims of violent crimes under the Ralph Civil Rights Act, which enables victims of many types of hate crimes to pursue civil penalties in addition to criminal charges. Given the circumstances and brutality of the crimes, Brown decided to pursue a civil case after the defendants were released from confinement.

Victims who believe their rights have been violated under the Ralph Act or any of California’s other civil rights laws, can file a complaint with Brown’s Civil Rights Enforcement Section at http://ag.ca.gov/contact/complaint_form.php?cmplt=PL.

 

Red Cross Provides Meals and Hydration For Search-And-Rescue Team

San Diego, July 17, 2010 – The American Red Cross San Diego/Imperial Counties Chapter continues to assist first-responders searching the jogger who went missing in Escondido, CA on July 16, 2010.

The Red Cross provided canteen services to approximately 50 search-and-rescue responders yesterday and are back at the search site today providing canteen services to the responders.

The local Red Cross assists the community in times of need and will continue to offer assistance as long as they are needed.

For more information on American Red Cross services please visit www.sdarc.org or call (858) 309-1200.

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 www.sdarc.org.

 
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