Ex-border officer given probation for lying about shoplifting arrest

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SAN DIEGO — A former U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer at the Calexico West port of entry, who lied on his background investigation questionnaire about his 2009 arrest for shoplifting, was sentenced in San Diego Monday to probation and ordered to complete 40 days at a halfway house and 200 hours of community service.

Eric Alfonso Marquez, 37, who was employed by U.S. Customs and Border Protection from 2009 until he was fired this year, was arrested with his wife on Aug. 9. 2009, on suspicion of shoplifting at the Burlington Coat Factory store in El Centro.

Marquez was convicted in May of making a false statement on the background questionnaire stemming from his shoplifting arrest.

“We want people who are honest and trustworthy who will protect us,” said U.S. District Judge Larry Burns. “He (Marquez) fell short of that. Every action he has taken has been an effort to manipulate. This disqualifies him as someone who represents law enforcement.”

Marquez will be on probation for five years.

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