A registered sex offender was arrested by San Diego Sector Border Patrol agents for human smuggling while in possession of a firearm Monday night.
At approximately 9:55 p.m., agents received information from a local resident who reportedly observed a suspected human smuggling event near the border involving an older model SUV. An agent responded to the area and located a vehicle matching the resident’s report. Before the agent could attempt a vehicle stop, the driver of the vehicle pulled to the side of the road and came to a stop.
As the agent contacted the driver, a male United States citizen, the driver presented a badge similar in appearance and style to a Los Angeles Police Department badge and identified himself as a lieutenant with the department. The agent also observed four individuals in the back seat of the SUV and proceeded to conduct an immigration inspection. The individuals, three adult women and one adult male, advised the agent that they had recently crossed the U.S./ Mexico border illegally. The agent placed the driver and passengers under arrest and transported all vehicle occupants to a nearby Border Patrol station for processing.
During a search of the suspected smuggling vehicle, agents discovered an un-serialized 9mm handgun, commonly referred to as a “ghost gun”. Agents also located two fully loaded 9mm magazines and a shoulder holster.
Record checks revealed that the driver is a former Los Angeles Police Department officer who separated from service in 1993, the same year he was convicted for forceful rape and sentenced to three years in prison.
The driver, firearm, and vehicle were turned over to San Diego Sheriff’s Office for further processing. The smuggled migrants were processed for removal.
“Our agents never know what they are going to encounter on any given day. In this instance, our agents were able to take a dangerous criminal out of the community,” said Chief Patrol Agent Patricia McGurk-Daniel.