From the daily archives: Monday, November 8, 2010

Calexico, Calif. — In addition to preventing more than 380 pounds of marijuana with an estimated value of more than $230,000 from entering the country, U. S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at the Calexico West Port of Entry in California arrested a Mexican citizen enrolled in the Secure Electronic Network for Travelers Rapid Inspection (SENTRI) program for assaulting a CBP officer yesterday.

Thirty bundles of marijuana with an estimated street value of more than $230,000 in the trunks of a 1994 white Toyota Camry driven by a 46-year-old female Mexican citizen. (Photo courtesy of U.S. Customs and Border Protection)
Thirty bundles of marijuana with an estimated street value of more than $230,000 in the trunks of a 1994 white Toyota Camry driven by a 46-year-old female Mexican citizen. (Photo courtesy of U.S. Customs and Border Protection)

On Nov. 4, at approximately 1:30 p.m., a 26-year-old female Mexican citizen enrolled in the SENTRI trusted traveler program applied for entry at the designated SENTRI pedestrian lane accompanied by her three-year-old daughter. The woman presented her SENTRI card and stated she forgot her daughter’s. She was referred for a more in-depth inspection and verification of the child’s identity.

In the inspection area, the woman began raising her voice at CBP officers and refused to comply with instructions. During her inspection, she struck a CBP officer in the jaw with her elbow. The woman was then restrained and placed in a holding cell.

In addition to being charged for assaulting a CBP officer, the women will have her SENTRI program privileges revoked. Her three-year-old daughter was turned over to the custody of her grandmother.

“We require our CBP officers to treat the travelling public with respect, and train them to maintain their professionalism as they perform their duties,” said Calexico Port Director Billy Whitford. “Although CBP officers deal with verbally abusive travelers at times without incident, physical abuse will not be tolerated.”

Also on Nov. 4, at approximately 5:05 p.m., a 1994 white Toyota Camry driven by a 46-year-old female Mexican citizen applied for admission into the U.S. During the primary inspection a CBP officer asked her to open the trunk of her vehicle and she said it wasn’t functional which lead the CBP officer to pull down the back seats of the vehicle revealing 30 packages of marijuana tightly packed into the trunk. The woman was placed under arrest and turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement for prosecution.

 

By Mario Conde

The Calexico City Council passed a new policy which will allow employees to speak to Council members without fear of retaliation.

The new policy that was proposed by Councilman Bill Hodge was requested in an effort to allow City employees to come forward to City Council members individually on the employees’ personal time to provide constructive criticisms and/or suggestions regarding non confidential daily operations, efficiencies and budget saving ideas without fear of reprisal. The new policy also encourages employees to meet and discuss these budget saving suggestions with supervisors, Department Head, or the City Manager.

Councilman Hodge proposed this ordinance since he has been approached by City employees who talk to him about City issues and concerns but are fearful they will be victims of reprisal by their superiors because they spoke to the members of the City Council. Hodge believes that with this new open communication policy, City employees can feel safe and comfortable talking to council members.

This policy does not apply to personnel related matters. Employees will continue to follow the City’s existing policies, state and federal law, and report problems or concerns, such as personnel matters, potential harassments or discrimination, to supervisors, human resources or the City Manager. This policy also is not meant to interfere with the chain of command in the employee’s department and should not be used by an employee to refuse or fail to perform work as directed by employee’s supervisor.

In other items, the City Council approved to dedicate the City Council Chambers after Fernando “Nene” Torres who passed away last month. The former Calexico Mayor and Godfather of Politics was a two-time Mayor of Calexico and was a community advocate who acted as a mentor of a new generation of politicians making an impact on the improvement of city governance.

“The future of any city is dependent on the involvement and direction of its community members, and Fernando “Nene” Torres more than demonstrated his commitment to the well-being of his community through his continued interaction and involvement with the city and its leaders in working towards the goal of a better Calexico.” The resolution stated.

 
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