DOUGLAS — The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) director of the Douglas and Naco ports of entry is awaiting a decision on whether she will keep her job, the Herald/Review has learned.
Margaret Rose Baldenegro had been area port director since at least 2015 but was relieved of her duties after her son pleaded guilty last fall to transporting undocumented immigrants for profit. Michael Quinonez is serving as acting area port director, spokeswoman Teresa Small said Tuesday.
A decision on Baldenegro’s status is expected soon. In the meantime, she has been temporarily assigned to other duties, sources confirm.
Details of why Baldenegro was relieved of her post have not been made public but she has taken part in proceedings to regain her position, according to CBP employees contacted by the Herald/Review. Her current duties have not been disclosed.
Earlier this month, the U.S. Marshals Service apprehended Baldenegro’s son Jaime Joel Rose on a nationwide warrant. He remains in federal detention, according to court records.
Rose, 37, had been arrested by federal agents in August after he crashed his car in the Douglas area while fleeing officers who suspected undocumented immigrants were in the vehicle. He pleaded guilty to transporting three undocumented men in exchange for payment.
A judge allowed Rose to remain out of custody pending sentencing in January on the condition he obey all laws. However, an arrest warrant was issued in December after Rose tested positive for illegal drug use. He also failed to appear for sentencing.
Rose evaded capture until March 15 when marshals took him into custody in Cochise County. He faces up to 21 months in prison when sentenced June 7 on the transportation charge.
Court records also show Rose previously served time in federal prison for a conspiracy to possess 100 pounds of marijuana in August 2012 with the intent to distribute the drug. He was released from prison on that case in May 2017.