El Centro Sector Border Patrol Arrests Criminal Gang Member and Arrests Aggravated Felon at Immigration Checkpoint

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cbpCALEXICO – Wednesday, U.S. Border Patrol agents assigned to the Calexico station apprehended a dangerous gang member attempting to make an illegal entry into the United States.

Border Patrol agents arrested a 40-year-old Mexican national as he entered the United States illegally from Mexico at around 12:30 a.m., approximately 5 miles west of the downtown Calexico Port of Entry.

The man, later identified as Mario Benitez-Luna, was transported to the Calexico Border Patrol station where he admitted to being an active member of the “West Park” criminal street gang out of Santa Maria.  Benitez has numerous tattoos affiliated to this gang.  Agents also discovered that Benitez has an extensive criminal and immigration history.

The gang member is an aggravated felon who has convictions from the state of Calif., for False Checks/Records.  He was ordered to serve no less than 90 days in prison and 60 months of probation for his crimes.  The gang member was ordered removed by an Immigration Judge in May, 1997.

The man is in Border Patrol custody and will be criminally prosecuted for re-entry into the United States after being ordered removed.

This is the 27th gang member arrested in the El Centro Sector area of responsibility this year.

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cbpSALTON CITY – Tuesday, El Centro Sector Border Patrol agents assigned to the Indio Station arrested a 62-year-old man, a previously deported aggravated felon, at the Highway 86 checkpoint.

At approximately 3:30 p.m., the man approached the primary inspection area of the checkpoint on foot.  Through interview and further inspection, agents identified the man as Oscar Gonzalez-Faguaga, previously arrested for attempted first degree murder.  Gonzalez plead to first degree assault and was sentenced to 10-15 years in Nebraska State penitentiary.

Gonzalez has multiple convictions for illegal entry after being previously deported as an aggravated felon.  The convicted felon is being held at the Imperial County Jail pending federal prosecution.

The El Centro Sector’s Community Awareness Campaign is a simple and effective program to raise public awareness on the indicators of crime and other threats.  We encourage public and private sector employees to remain vigilant and play a key role in keeping our country safe.  Please report any suspicious activity to the Border Community Threat Hotline at 1-800-901-2003.