FBI arrests Imperial police officer accused of accepting bribes

Gerardo Rocha 

IMPERIAL — An Imperial police officer was arrested while in full uniform Wednesday following an FBI-led investigation of bribery allegations. 

Imperial police Officer Gerardo Rocha, 32, was arrested around 10:25 a.m. by FBI agents with assistance of the Imperial County District Attorney’s Office and the Department of Homeland Security Office of the Inspector General investigators, said FBI Special Agent Darrell Foxworth. 

Rocha was arrested and taken into custody at the Imperial Police Department while on duty, as a result of an investigation involving the officer allegedly receiving a bribe. At this time, he’s facing one state charge of bribery. 

No details on the alleged crime have been made available at this time, but the “bribe would have to do with allegations of on-duty criminal conduct as it pertains to his position of a police officer with the Imperial Police Department,” Foxworth said. 

If convicted, Rocha is facing four years in state prison. He has posted $25,000 bail and was released from Imperial County jail, according to jail records. It’s expected that he will be arraigned early next week. 

Imperial County Assistant District Attorney Deborah Owen said the DA’s office was notified of the case about two weeks ago and that “issues of public corruption, of public integrity are issues that the District Attorney’s office takes very seriously,” she said. 

The arrest comes just weeks after an FBI investigation of possible criminal conduct at the Calexico Police Department was announced. 

“With some of the recent activity out there, we are looking into potential police corruption out there in the Valley, and if there’s anyone with any information concerning this case or other cases involving allegations of corruption, we ask them to contact the FBI,” Foxworth said. 

Information can be provided to the FBI at 760 355-0397.

Staff Writer Chelcey Adami can be reached at 760-337-3452 or cadami@ivpressonline.com 

Staff Writer Chelcey Adami can be reached at 760-337-3452 or cadami@ivpressonline.com

I covered the border and Calexico for two-and-a-half years but am now the courts and crime reporter. I studied journalism at the University of Texas at Austin and previously worked as a staff photographer in Austin, Dallas, Costa Rica and rural Oklahoma.

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