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FBI Arrests Az. Border Town Mayor in Arizona on Corruption Charges

Mayor Octavio Garcia-Von Borstel

Mayor Octavio Garcia-Von Borstel

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

FBI agents on Tuesday arrested the mayor of the border town of Nogales, Az., on public corruption charges including bribery, theft, fraud and money laundering, authorities said.

Mayor Garcia Von Borstel, a Democrat, was arrested at his city hall office in the morning and search warrants were executed at his home, business and government office, the Arizona Attorney General’s Office said.

“Today’s arrest of Mayor Van Borstel has been a collaborative effort with the FBI’s Southern Arizona Corruption Task Force and the Arizona Attorney General’s Office,” Nathan T. Gray, head of the FBI’s Phoenix office said in a statement. “When a public official allegedly commits criminal acts it erodes the public’s trust. The FBI and our law enforcement partners are determined to address public corruption at all levels of government.”

The case is being prosecuted by the state Attorney General’s Office in state court.

Authorities said mayor’s father, Octavio Suarez Garcia, 59, of Nogales, was also indicted and arrested on charges of fraud, theft and money laundering.

Authorities said the FBI began investigating Garcia Von Borstel five months ago and found that he allegedly solicited Nogales businesses to hire him as a consultant as early as February 2009.

At least one business told the FBI it was paying the mayor to help obtain business contracts. In another instance, investigators found that the mayor allegedly received a bribe from at least one business to protect a contract with the city and to land another one, authorities said.

The mayor’s father, Garcia Suarez, was also charged.

Authorities also alleged that the mayor’s father Garcia Suarez, a Western Union agent in Nogales,  stole $3.2 million in money orders and put it into an account.

The father and son subsequently withdrew $565,000 for personal use before authorities froze the account, the Attorney General’s Office said.


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