IMPERIAL COUNTY — Forty-year-old Gabriela Lawson, of Brawley, was sentenced Monday by a federal judge to five years probation, 250 hours of community service and ordered to pay $30,122.88 in restitution for having made more than $30,000 in unauthorized purchases while she was purchasing agent for the Sonny Bono National Wildlife Refuge.
According to court records, Lawson was employed at the refuge for 10 years, where she had the use of credit cards to purchase needed supplies for the refuge. Investigators with the Department of the Interior began to investigate her after having noticed suspicious credit card activity in May 2011. The review determined she had spent more than $30,000 between 2008 and 2011, a press release stated.
— Julio Morales, firstname.lastname@example.org
Agents stop drug smuggler, seize $272,000 worth of meth
SALTON CITY — U.S. Border Patrol agents apprehended a suspected drugs smuggler and seized 8.5 pounds of methamphetamine at the Highway 86 checkpoint Friday.
Around 2:40 p.m., a 22-year-old female U.S. citizen driving a 1999 Chrysler Cirrus approached the checkpoint between Westmorland and Salton City.
A canine detection team alerted to the vehicle, and it was referred to secondary inspection, where agents found 16 packages of methamphetamine hidden in the vehicle’s back seat.
The methamphetamine had an estimated street value of more than $272,000, and the driver was taken into custody. The woman, vehicle and contraband were turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration for further investigation.
Officer resuscitates child who fell in pool
CALEXICO — A Calexico police officer provided medical assistance to a 4-year-old girl who fell in a pool early Sunday evening, according to authorities.
The child fell into a pool for an unknown amount of time, and an officer responded around 6:45 p.m. to the 900 block of Establo Street for the report of a child drowning.
The responding officer provided CPR and hit the child’s back, causing her to throw up water.
Calexico Fire Department responded and also provided treatment to the child, who was later flown out via air ambulance for further treatment.
Calexico Police Interim Chief Gonzalo Gerardo said police were updated on the child Monday when they were told that the girl was talking and eating.
— ChelceyAdami, email@example.com
“Peeping tom” detained
EL CENTRO — A male in his mid-20s was detained by police Sunday afternoon after reportedly videotaping underneath women’s dresses while at the Imperial Valley Mall.
The suspect was taken into custody and some evidence, including a camera, was retrieved, said El Centro police Cmdr. Mike Crankshaw.
Officials tried to find potential victims and the one individual found did not want to prosecute the suspect, he added.
“The subject was released, a report has been taken and further follow up needs to be done,” Crankshaw said.
The incident was reported shortly before 5 p.m., according to El Centro police call logs, which note the suspect was described as wearing a black baseball cap, a red T-shirt and jeans.
No further information was available.
Vehicle and garage on fire
IMPERIAL — A vehicle and a garage caught fire near G and Third Street over the weekend.
The incident was reported around 1 a.m. Saturday, according to Imperial police call logs.
No further information is listed in the logs.
— Alejandro Davila, firstname.lastname@example.org