Feds raid ambulance company in El Cajon

EL CAJON, Calif. - Federal investigators raided the headquarters of an East County ambulance-services company Tuesday as part of a criminal investigation.

Agents with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the FBI served a search warrant at the offices of Balboa Ambulance in the 1100 block of Broadway in El Cajon at about 6:30 a.m., said Darrell Foxworth, a spokesman for the FBI.

The court order approving collection of potential evidence at the premises was sealed, prohibiting the government from publicly disclosing details about the case, including its general nature, Foxworth said.

"The agents were seizing computers, hard drives, other types of documentation that would be within the scope of the search warrant authorized by the court," Foxworth told 10News.

Foxworth said he could not disclose what they were under investigation for and if it had an impact on patient care.

He did say, however, that no one was arrested.

"They've been here since a little bit after six (in the morning), so they must be looking for something," witness David Pilcher Jr. told 10News. "It looks like they were checking everybody that was leaving and coming in for work."

Witness Jack Leary said, "All I could see was a whole plethora of FBI agents, they more or less sealed off the entrances."

Leary describes what he saw agents do next.

"A little bit later they started carrying out boxes, computers and all kinds of good stuff and I thought this is interesting," he added.

According to its company website, Balboa Ambulance is a private medical service that has been providing transportation for residents across the county for nearly 25 years. The company has offices and offers their transportation services all over Southern California.

Outside of the El Cajon office, an attorney representing Balboa told 10News that he was unclear what the agents were searching for.

"Balboa's operations are continuing, the reason for the investigation has not been disclosed and we do not know the reason for the investigation," said attorney Joseph LaMagna.

Earlier this year, the company was fined by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement $50,000 for hiring undocumented immigrants.

The company and the FBI said Tuesday's raid is not related to that incident.

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