SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Two men, including a border guard, who allegedly accepted bribes from undercover agents they thought were drug smugglers, were arraigned Friday on suspicion of bribery, conspiracy to import cocaine and other charges.
Oscar Osbaldo Ortiz-Martinez, 30, of El Centro, a Customs and Border Protection Officer in Calexico, was arrested Thursday as he tried to accept what he allegedly thought was a $30,000 bribe for allowing a vehicle with drugs hidden inside to pass through his inspection station two days earlier, according to a four-count criminal complaint.
Co-defendant Victor Manuel Silva Jr., 30, also of El Centro, is accused of being the alleged middleman between Ortiz-Martinez and the bogus drug traffickers who were actually undercover officers, according to the complaint.
Both were arraigned before U.S. Magistrate Judge Peter C. Lewis in federal court in El Centro.
The complaint alleges that Ortiz-Martinez received $22,000 for allowing vehicles he believed to be carrying drugs to pass through his primary inspection lane on June 3 and Sept. 21.
According to the complaint, the defendants thought they were taking bribes from drug traffickers who were in fact undercover agents and informants.
The defendants are scheduled to return to court Tuesday for a detention hearing.
A shallow, 3.1 magnitude earthquake struck the Ocotillo Wells area of San Diego County but there were no reports of injury or damage, authorities said.
Two San Diego police officers shot and wounded in a standoff in the College Area over the weekend are recovering Monday.
High pressure will bring warmer temperatures and shallower marine layer through Tuesday. Overnight and morning low clouds and fog are possible.
In Silicon Valley, entrepreneurs have heralded innovations like smartphones and car-sharing. Now, Tim Draper, one of the valley's most successful venture capitalists, wants to similarly shake up the way California is governed by dividing it into three states.
Police searched for a suspected car thief who fled into a canyon in Linda Vista on Sunday afternoon.
A motorcyclist smashed his bike into the rear of a sheriff's patrol car, as the deputy made a left turn, and was killed in Encinitas Sunday.
Hundreds of statewide faith leaders will march Saturday afternoon to the Otay Mesa Detention Center, where they will protest immigration policies that separated more than 2,300 children from their parents.
A 325-acre blaze burning at Camp Pendleton Saturday was described as a ``training fire'' by a base official.
The average price of a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline in San Diego County dropped today for the 16th consecutive day, decreasing nine-tenths of a cent to $3.697.