CALEXICO, Calif. – 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.
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.