From the daily archives: Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Calexico, Calif. – El Centro station Border Patrol agents apprehended a convicted sex offender Saturday while working near downtown Calexico.

The man, who was identified as Francisco Avila, has a previous conviction involving indecent exposure and has been previously removed from the U.S.

On Saturday morning, agents arrested Avila after he was found to be illegally present in the U.S. Avila was subsequently arrested and transported to the El Centro station for processing.

Record checks revealed that Avila is a registered sex offender in the state of California and is an aggravated felon.

Avila will be held at the Imperial County Jail pending prosecution proceedings.


By Mario Conde

The Planning Commission approved Monday a General Plan Amendment and Zone Change that will also help continue with the Casino project that has been on hold because of a lawsuit.

As part of the report given by City Manager Victor Carrillo to the City Council and reported by the Calexico Chronicle last week, said that parallel to the Manzanita effort is the lawsuit made against the City of Calexico regarding a property next to the Casino property and the issues that need to be resolved regarding this settlement. This lawsuit has stalled the Casino project development for quite some time.

The settlement agreement was signed in January of 2010 but the dismissal of the lawsuit would not occur until the following issues are resolved such as housing element amendment approval by the City Council which has been completed; a development agreement for Raul Estrada’s property which will required approval; a General Plan Amendment and Zone Change to Raul Estrada’ property of approximately 33 acres of land form commercial highway and industrial to High-density residential apartments.

The Planning Commission approved Monday a general plan amendment that would re-designate the project site form Commercial Highway, Commercial Highway usage to High Density Residential usage in order to ensure conformity with the City’s General Plan. This will allow the area to have residential apartments between 12.1-20 acre units/acre. This proposed zoning would be consistent with the proposed General Plan amendment and the city’s zoning classifications.

In a report given by planning director, Armando Villa, said this application would re-designate and change zoning to allow future construction of multi-family residential developments. These actions could be characterized as efforts to comply with housing element policies by changing zoning to allow higher density residential. The above application would comply with the housing element directive approved by the City in 2009.

With the Planning Commission approval, the item will now goes to the Calexico City Council were the governing board will have to pass a first and second reading and the zone change will take effect on December 2nd. Raul Estrada will legally withdraw the lawsuit thus allowing the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) to hold hearings regarding the Environmental Impact Statement which is a result of transferring City land to Federal Land Designation for purposes of establishing and Indian Reservation/Casino.

The Associated Press
Posted: 09/24/2010 06:54:45 PM PDT
Updated: 09/24/2010 06:54:45 PM PDT
EL CENTRO, Calif.—A U.S. border inspector was charged Friday with taking more than $50,000 to wave drug-laden vehicles from Mexico through his lane.Oscar Osbaldo Ortiz Martinez, a Customs and Border Protection officer since 2008, allegedly took $22,000 in June for allowing a Jeep Cherokee that he believed was carrying cocaine to pass through his booth at the border crossing in downtown Calexico, about 120 miles east of San Diego.

Ortiz, 30, took $30,000 for waving through a Ford Lobo he believed to be packed with drugs on Monday, according to the complaint. He was arrested Thursday after allegedly accepting the money from an informant in a Lucky’s supermarket parking lot in neighboring El Centro.

Ortiz, of El Centro, was charged with bribery, conspiracy and attempting to import cocaine and methamphetamine. If convicted of any of those charges, he faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.

Victor Manuel Silva, 30, was charged with the same crimes for allegedly taking bribes to facilitate the crossings.

According to the complaint, Silva, also of El Centro, introduced the informant to Ortiz at an El Centro parking lot in October 2009.

Neither defendant had an attorney listed in court filings. They are scheduled to appear in court Tuesday to determine if they are eligible for bail.


November 2, 2010 Consolidated General Election is coming up very quickly and citizens need to be aware of Election deadlines.

September 23 thru Oct. 12, 2010. Between these dates Sample Ballot Booklets are mailed to registered voters.  The Sample Ballot Booklet has information about candidates, local measures, initiatives and location of your polling place on the back page.

Oct. 18, 2010              Last Day to Register to Vote

Citizens who are not registered and want to participate in the democratic process need to register to vote by October 18, 2010.  You must be a U.S. citizen, a resident of the Imperial County, at least 18 years of age on Election Day, and not in prison or on parole for the conviction of a felony.  Voters must re-register if their name has changed, if you have moved or want to change your political party.   Call the Registrar of Voters office to obtain an application or information on registering to vote at 760-482-4226.  A link to voter information can also be found at

Oct 26, 2010               Last Day to apply for a Vote By Mail Ballot

A ballot may be requested by: (1) using the form on the back of the Sample Ballot Booklet, or

(2) sending a letter by fax stating: “I request a ballot for the Nov. 2, 2010 General election”, the voter must sign the letter and include their registered address and a mailing address where they would like the ballot to be mailed, the request may be mailed or faxed to the Registrar at 760-337-4182.

It is not necessary for Permanent Vote by Mail voters and Vote by Mail Precinct voters to request a ballot; it will automatically be mailed.

Military/Overseas Vote by Mail ballots were mailed to 135 qualified voters.

Questions about the deadlines maybe directed to the Registrar of Voters office at 760-482-4226.

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