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Press Release

Supervisory Customs and Border Protection Officer Arrested and Charged With Strangling a Traveler at San Ysidro Port of Entry

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of California

Assistant U. S. Attorney Ryan R. Crosswell (619) 546-9661

NEWS RELEASE SUMMARY – August 15, 2018

SAN DIEGO – Supervisory U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officer Harvey Booker was indicted by a federal grand jury yesterday for deprivation of rights under the color of law. He was arrested at his home early this morning.

Booker made his initial appearance in federal court today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Karen S. Crawford.  His next court appearance is a motions hearing on September 7, 2018, at 2:00 p.m. before Chief U.S. District Judge Barry T. Moskowitz.

According to the indictment, on July 8, 2018, Booker, while acting under color of law as a Customs and Border Protection Officer, strangled M.N., willfully depriving him of the right, secured by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, to be free from unreasonable force and unlawful assault by a law enforcement officer. According to the indictment, Booker’s assault resulted in bodily injury to M.N. The victim was not identified in the indictment to protect his privacy. A prosecutor explained in court that this incident was “an act of violence against a traveler at the Port of Entry.”

“There is no excuse for law enforcement officials to abuse the significant trust and power placed in them,” said U.S. Attorney Adam Braverman. “Law enforcement takes great pride in protecting the civil rights of all people. When that trust is betrayed, we must hold that officer accountable.”

Amanda Thandi, Special Agent in Charge of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Office of Inspector General (OIG), San Diego Field Office, stated: “All DHS law enforcement officers are required and expected to abide by the laws they enforce and protect.  DHS OIG is committed to hold anyone who betrays the public’s trust accountable for his/her actions, while supporting the men and women who proudly uphold their duties to serve, protect, and ensure the constitutional rights of all persons.” The public is encouraged to report violations of civil rights regarding DHS programs and activities to the DHS Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties; the civil rights complaint form is available at

“U.S. Customs and Border Protection stresses professionalism, honor and integrity in every aspect of our mission and does not tolerate actions by any employee that would tarnish the reputation of our agency,” said CBP Director of Field Operations for San Diego, Pete Flores.  “CBP is fully cooperating with the FBI and DHS Office of the Inspector General regarding this investigation.”


Harvey Booker                                               Age: 70                       San Diego, CA                       


Deprivation of Rights Under Color of Law – Title 18, U.S.C., Section 242

Maximum penalty: 10 years’ imprisonment and a $250,000 fine


Department of Homeland Security – Office of Inspector General

U.S. Customs and Border Protection – Office of Professional Responsibility

Federal Bureau of Investigation

*An indictment is not evidence that the defendant committed the crime charged. The defendant is presumed innocent until the United States meets its burden in court of proving guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.


Updated August 15, 2018

Civil Rights
Press Release Number: CAS18-0815-Booker