California border patrol supervisor accused of false alerts on US resident

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Border Patrol Agent Arrested for False Alerts on US Citizen

A U.S. Border Patrol supervisor has been charged with creating bogus alerts in the agency's database to force routine stops, sometimes at gunpoint, of a legal U.S. resident who frequently crosses the border with Mexico, court documents said on Friday.

The supervisor at the border station in San Diego, Martin Rene Duran, was trying to force his target to withdraw allegations that his brother-in-law had sexually abused the target's son and stepson, according to a federal complaint.

Duran was charged with falsifying records, depriving the victim of his civil rights under color of law and illegal transportation of firearms that investigators said he had lied to obtain, according to the complaint unsealed on Friday.

Duran's brother-in-law, Raymundo Estrada Figueroa, was charged with two counts of international travel for illicit sex in the same complaint.

Duran's target was a Mexican citizen who holds legal residency in the United States and reported to Mexican police that Figueroa had sexually abused both his son and his stepson in Tijuana, the court documents said.

The alleged target was not named to protect the two boys, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney's office.

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California border patrol supervisor accused of false alerts on US resident
FILE - In this Dec. 3, 2014 file photo, cars wait to enter the United States from Tijuana, Mexico through the San Ysidro port of entry in San Diego. San Diego police say a 40-year-old man died after a border inspector shot him with a stun gun at the nation's busiest crossing. Police said Thursday, Dec. 25, 2014 that the man jumped over a counter and attacked an inspector after being escorted to a separate area for questioning at the San Ysidro port of entry between San Diego and Tijuana, Mexico and a records check revealed he was wanted on a felony charge. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
In this Dec. 3, 2014 picture, An Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agent watches cars as they waits to enter the United States from Tijuana, Mexico through the San Ysidro port of entry in San Diego. Long lines disappeared overnight for tens of thousands of motorists who regularly enter the country at the nation’s busiest border crossing, after a $741 million makeover. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
In this Dec. 3, 2014 picture, cars wait to enter the United States from Tijuana, Mexico through the San Ysidro port of entry in San Diego. Long lines disappeared overnight for tens of thousands of motorists who regularly enter the country at the nation’s busiest border crossing, after a $741 million makeover. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
In this Dec. 3, 2014 picture, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer checks under the hood of a car as it waits to enter the United States from Tijuana, Mexico through the San Ysidro port of entry in San Diego. Long lines disappeared overnight for tens of thousands of motorists who regularly enter the country at the nation’s busiest border crossing, after a $741 million makeover. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
In this Dec. 3, 2014 picture, cars wait to enter the United States from Tijuana, Mexico through the San Ysidro port of entry in San Diego. Long lines disappeared overnight for tens of thousands of motorists who regularly enter the country at the nation’s busiest border crossing, after a $741 million makeover. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
In this Dec. 3, 2014 picture, cars wait to enter the United States from Tijuana, Mexico through the San Ysidro port of entry in San Diego. Long lines disappeared overnight for tens of thousands of motorists who regularly enter the country at the nation’s busiest border crossing, after a $741 million makeover. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
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Duran was charged with entering false alerts into the U.S. Customs and Border Protection database used to screen people entering the United States.

The alerts prompted customs officers to detain the alleged target five times between May 2013 and August 2013 because they believed he was associated with smuggling narcotics, armed with a handgun and had threatened federal agents, according to the complaint.

More than once, the target was detained at gunpoint, according to a statement from prosecutors. In July 2013, the target and his wife were handcuffed, separated from their children and held for two hours before being released, according to the complaint.

The alleged target believed Duran was pressuring him to drop the complaint against Estrada, it added.

Duran was arrested on Thursday, officials said.

It was not immediately clear if he had obtained a lawyer or how he intended to plead. Attempts to reach Duran by phone were not successful.

Duran also faces federal charges of having lied on Arizona gun purchase forms, saying he was an Arizona resident when he lived in the San Diego-area.

(Editing by Victoria Cavaliere and Stephen Coates)

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