In a historic first meeting, the District Attorneys from Mexico and the United States met to discuss collaboration so that justice can be served on both sides of the border.
On May 16, 2023, the San Diego County District Attorney San Diego, Summer Stephen hosted a historic meeting bringing together Imperial County District Attorney George Marquez, Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer, Riverside County District Attorney Mike Hestrin, San Bernardino County District Attorney Jason Anderson and representatives of Congressman Lou Correa, to meet with Baja California Attorney General Ricardo Iván Carpio Sánchez and his senior staff.
The main objective of the meeting was to strengthen and establish direct channels of communication with the Baja California Attorney General’s Office, to foster collaboration to address transnational crime and promote the overall security of the border region. The meeting was also attended by the San Diego District Attorney’s Chiefs of Investigations and the Imperial County District Attorney’s Mexico Liaison, Investigator Orlando Espino.
The State Attorney General of Baja California, Ricardo Iván Carpio Sánchez, said that endorsing the mutual trust that exists between them and maintaining direct communication channels between law enforcement authorities on both sides of the border was the main objective of the meeting.
The Attorney General of Baja California expressed the importance of uniting wills and strengthening coordination schemes to achieve common objectives; endorsing the commitment of the institution in charge to continue collaborating with the Mexican and United States authorities to vigorously combat crime and impunity, which focuses on the clarification of criminal acts, justice for the victims and severe punishments against the criminals.
In previous interviews, District Attorney Marquez expressed interest in meeting with his Mexican Counterparts to create lines of communication especially when it comes to addressing fentanyl on the border. In Imperial County, seizures of fentanyl increased by 272% from 2019 to 2022.
Based on the Imperial County Sheriff’s Officer Coroner’s Division data, 2020 was one of the highest years with 86 overdose deaths. 33 were fentanyl-related, representing 38% of all drug overdose deaths that year.
In 2021, Imperial County saw a decrease in fentanyl-related overdose deaths with 17 and even a further reduction in 2022 with 13.