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Local-area union president dead after apparent suicide

Found hours after he bailed out of jail on child sex charges

Staff Writer

BARSTOW• A local-area union president is dead after an apparent suicide following charges he engaged in lewd acts with a minor.

Clarence Sanchez, 60, was found by a family member at a residence on the 27000 block of Azurite Road in Barstow on Monday afternoon. He had suffered an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, said Cindy Bachman, spokesperson with the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, on Tuesday.

Sanchez was the president of the American Federation of Government Employees at the Marine Corps Logistics Base, Reina Barnett, public affairs chief with the MCLB, confirmed.

Sheriff’s deputies arrested Sanchez on Sunday after issuing a search warrant and following an investigation that he engaged in lewd acts with a child under 14 or 15 years old.

Sanchez was booked into the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Jail in Barstow and later released on $25,000 bail only hours before he was found dead.

The American Federation of Government Employees is “the largest federal employee union representing 650,000 federal and D.C. government workers nationwide and overseas” and has 1,100 local chapters, according to their website.

The apparent suicide comes on the heels of last week’s death of Aaron Antill, who was involved in a similar legal case.

Antill had been ordered to Barstow Superior Court for sentencing on child sexual assault charges the morning he died at Desert Valley Hospital in Victorville. Antill was rushed to the hospital by the San Bernardino County Fire Department after his wife had made a medical aid call, officials said.

The cause and matter of death in that case is pending official results from the autopsy.

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