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‘Godfather at Camp Pendleton’ held in FBI bribery sting

SAN DIEGO -- A civilian supervisor on construction projects at Camp Pendleton has been charged with bribery after being caught in an FBI sting, federal officials said Monday.

Natividad Lara Cervantes, 64, a civilian employee of the Department of Defense, was arrested after accepting $10,000 cash as a down payment on a $40,000 bribe in exchange for helping a contractor receive a $4-million flooring contract at the base, officials said.

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Cervantes, a supervisor for construction and service contracts in the  inspection branch, used his position to “extort bribes from businesses seeking to do business” at the base and referred to himself as the “Godfather at Camp Pendleton,” the FBI said.

The bribes stretch back to September 2008, the FBI said, with Cervantes receiving thousands of dollars in cash and remodeling work on his San Diego condominium. Cervantes was arrested Thursday and booked into the Metropolitan Correctional Center in San Diego.

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Twitter: @latsandiego

tony.perry@latimes.com


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