(LOS ANGELES) — The dragnet for suspected cop killer Christopher Dorner has been extended as far south as the Mexican border as the Border Patrol is scrutinizing more carefully people trying to cross into Mexico.
The focus on the border, which is creating longer lines than normal at the San Diego-Tijuana border crossing, comes as law enforcement continue to comb through Big Bear Mountain where Dorner’s burned truck was found last week, but that effort appears to be scaling back.
The dragnet was expanded as Dorner, a dismissed Los Angeles Police Department cop, was formally charged with murdering a Riverside police officer, a charge that could bring the death penalty if Dorner is captured and convicted.
The charges do not involve two other people Dorner is suspected of killing in Orange County.
The Border Patrol said they were heightening their checks of vehicles and pedestrians passing south into Mexico.
“Customs and Border Protection officers and agents from the Office of Field Operations, the U.S. Border Patrol and the Office of Air and Marine are providing assistance in the search as requested from law enforcement authorities,” a statement from the Border Patrol reads. An official with the agency said the request was part of the search for Dormer.
The statement said that because of the extra precautions, “travelers heading southbound into Mexico may experience delays.”
Dorner, 33, is suspected of killing Riverside police officer Michael Crain and seriously wounding another in an ambush that occurred last Wednesday. He is also suspected of killing Monica Quan, the daughter of ex-Los Angeles Police Department captain Randal Quan, and her fiancé Keith Lawrence, who were found shot to death on Feb. 3 in the parking lot of their condominium complex in Irvine, Calif.
“By both his words and conduct, he has made very clear to us that every law enforcement officer in Southern California is in danger of being shot and killed,” Riverside District Attorney Paul Zellerbach said.
Dorner released a 6,000 word so-called “manifesto” on his Facebook page which outlined his distaste for the Los Angeles Police Department and made threats against individuals he believed were responsible for ending his career with the police force five years ago. The LAPD has assigned 50 protection details to guard officers and their families who were deemed possible targets.
Despite the costs, there are no plans to reduce the protection until Dorner is in custody, Los Angeles police Sgt. Rudy Lopez said.
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