Former Calexico Officials Sentenced in Marijuana Bribery Scheme

Two former Calexico officials have been sentenced to two years in prison for accepting bribes in exchange for guarantees of a commercial cannabis dispensary permit.

Ex-Mayor Pro Tem David Romero and ex-Economic Development Commissioner Bruno Suarez-Soto took $35,000 in what they thought were cash bribes from an undercover FBI agent last year. They told the agent — whom they believed to be a representative for marijuana investors — that they would ensure rapid issuance of a city permit. They also promised to thwart the application process for any potential competitors.

During conversations with the FBI agent, the two admitted they had taken bribes previously, explaining that “this isn’t our first rodeo.”

In addition to the two-year prison sentence, both men have been ordered to pay $17,500 in forfeiture.


Top Stories

Sunday, June 13, 2021 - 08:30

A group of agencies led by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department uncovered 500 illegal cannabis grows worth $50 million dollars in the Antelope Valley last Tuesday.


Sunday, June 13, 2021 - 08:23

Fresno’s marijuana retail industry is expanding before it even gets off the ground. The City Council has increased the number of allowable marijuana retail permits from 14 to 21.