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Scare causes police to rerout traffic

(45 year old arrested in El Centro)….El Centro police received the call at 6:12 Monday evening.

The call indicated George Cortez was possibly armed in a restaurant in the 300 block of North Imperial Avenue. Officers arrived at the scene and quickly located the suspect. He was detained without incident. Officers searched the scene for a shotgun. They found a piece of pipe, shotgun shells, handgun ammunition and a suspicious looking object in the restroom. The restaurant was immediately evacuated and traffic in the area was rerouted for approximately two hours. Members of the El Centro Fire Department and Imperial County Bomb Squad was called in to the scene. The device was examined, rendered safe and ultimately determined to be a homemade firearm. Cortez was arrested and booked into Imperial County Jail. He faces felony charges of felon in possession of a firearm and a misdemeanor charge of a felon in possession of ammunition