Calexico Officials Accused of Accepting $35K Bribe for Cannabis Store Permit – NBC Los Angeles

Two Calexico metropolis officers had been charged with accepting money bribes in change for the fast issuance of a hashish dispensary allow, the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of California introduced.

Elected councilmember David Romero, 36, and Bruno Suarez-Soto, 28, had been arraigned on May 21 through video convention and launched on $10,000 bonds.

The two males are accused of accepting $35,000 in money bribes from an undercover FBI agent who they believed represented buyers looking for to open a hashish dispensary in Calexico, the U.S. Attorney’s Office stated.

In return, they “guaranteed” they might pace up the allow course of for the dispensary and impression different candidates if wanted to make sure the applying was profitable, in accordance with the workplace.

Romero was set to develop into the mayor of Calexico in July and Suarez-Soto was just lately appointed to town’s Economic Development and Financial Advisory Commission.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office reported each males admitted to taking bribes previously.

They allegedly advised the FBI agent, “This isn’t our first rodeo.”

At a gathering with the agent and in accordance with court docket data, Romero reminded the agent how tough it was to work with the Calexico, and the way lucky it was that the agent was working with Romero.

Soto later added that in return for the bribe, Romero would lower via “so much bulls*** [red] tape that exists” with town.

Court paperwork additional allege each males additionally admitted to making a shell company to launder the proceeds of their bribery scheme.

“Public officials must act with honesty and integrity when doing the public’s business,” stated U.S. Attorney Robert Brewer. “If civic leaders won’t uphold these standards, we will. We allege that these defendants traded on their positions of trust, selling the integrity of government in exchange for thousands of dollars. We will vigorously enforce the law whenever a public official puts his own greed ahead of the interests of his constituents.”

If convicted, they may resist 5 years in jail and a $250,000 advantageous. Their subsequent court docket date is July 2.

NBC 7 reached out to the accused for remark and has not but heard again.

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