A former Los Angeles Police Department officer who was convicted of rape was arrested on suspicion of human smuggling near Campo, the Border Patrol announced Friday.
Just before 10 p.m. on Monday, an area resident told agents about a possible smuggling incident — involving an older-model sport utility vehicle — near the intersection of the Shockey Truck trail and state Route 94, near the U.S.-Mexico border, according to the Border Patrol.
As agents approached the SUV, its driver pulled over. Agents spoke to the man, who presented a badge similar in appearance and style to that of the Los Angeles Police Department, “and identified himself as a lieutenant with the department,” the Border Patrol said.
The agent noticed four people — three women and one man — in the SUV back seat. They told the agent “that they had recently crossed the U.S.- Mexico border illegally,” the Border Patrol said.
The agent then arrested the driver and passengers, and took them to a nearby Border Patrol station for processing, officials said.
Authorities who searched the SUV found a non-serialized, 9 mm handgun, along with two fully loaded 9 mm magazines and a shoulder holster, the Border Patrol said.
Border Patrol officials said the suspect is a former Los Angeles Police Department officer who left that job in 1993, when he was convicted of forceful rape and sentenced to three years in prison.
The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department also took possession of the firearm and vehicle, while the migrants were “processed for removal,” according to the Border Patrol.
The man was booked into the San Diego Central Jail on suspicion of being a felon in possession of a firearm, including ammunition, and impersonating a peace officer, according to the Border Patrol.
His name was not released, although the Border Patrol reported he is a U.S. citizen.
Patricia McGurk-Daniel, a chief patrol agent, said her peers “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,” McGurk-Daniel added.