On December 19, 2019, an undercover FBI agent attended a meeting with two Calexico city officials, Bruno Suarez-Soto and David Romero.
He presented himself as a representative of investors seeking to open a cannabis dispensary in Calexico.
According to the charging documents, Romero and Soto accepted $35,000 in cash bribes for the rapid issuance of a city permit for the dispensary, and for revoking or hindering other applicants if necessary.
The city officials required half of the money to be paid upfront, “because they had done similar work for other people, and those people had not paid the agreed-upon fee after the favors had been rendered.”
Soto explained somewhat smugly, perhaps: “This isn’t our first rodeo.”
Long story short, they were both charged in federal court, pleaded guilty, and are awaiting sentencing.
However, there are reasons to suspect this corruption “rodeo” will continue its show long after Calexico officials take their penalties.
Published: August 04, 2020
Founder & Interim Editor of L.A. Cannabis News