IMPERIAL VALLEY, Calif. – U.S. Border Patrol agents apprehended two dangerous men, a felon gang member and a convicted rapist, during separate incidents. Both men were illegally present in the United States.
The first incident occurred Tuesday afternoon, when the City of Brawley Police Department requested Border Patrol agents to respond to their station to determine alienage of a suspect in their custody.
Agents interviewed the man and determined that the 43-year-old, Omar Celaya-Salazar, was illegally present in the U.S., and was an active member of the “Norteno” criminal street gang out of Salinas, Calif. It was also revealed that Celaya is an aggravated felon that received a prison sentence of six years for Corporal Injury on a Spouse and Transportation of a Controlled Substance. Celaya was ordered removed from the United States on April 27, 2009.
Celaya is in Border Patrol custody and will be processed for re-entry of a removed alien.
The second incident occurred at approximately 11:16 p.m., when Border Patrol agents from the Calexico station apprehended Hector Esteban Verdugo who illegally entered into the U.S. and attempted to enter into local neighborhoods, near Anza Rd. and Rivera Ave.
At the station, record checks revealed that Verdugo had an extensive criminal history including an arrest and conviction for rape by force in 1985 out of Los Angeles, Calif. Verdugo was sentenced to twelve years in prison and was required to register as a sex offender.
Verdugo will be processed for prosecution for re-entry after deportation as a registered sex offender.
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.
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.