3 U.S. citizens arrested on drug charges in Tijuana

Authorities said they had cocaine hidden in cars

Por: Omar Millán 3 Julio 2011 @ 11:58 am
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TIJUANA – Four people were arrested Saturday morning, three of them U.S. citizens, who allegedly had nearly five pounds of cocaine hidden inside vehicle batteries, state authorities announced.

Baja California police said officers on routine patrol in Paseo de los Héroes Boulevard, in the R*o zone, saw two people moving items from a VW Beetle to an Audi. When the two saw the officers they attempted to hide in their cars.

The officers questioned the two and in an inspection of the cars discovered packages wrapped in plastic containing the cocaine hidden inside automobile batteries found inside each vehicle, authorities reported. The cars were bound for the border crossing, state authorities said.

They identified those detained as Sergio Jasso Peña, 24, who was standing next to the Beetle, and Antonio Carrillo, 19, a U.S. citizen from National City, who was next to the Audi. Also detained were Viridiana Hernández, 19, and Melisa Mart*nez, 25, both U.S. citizens from Chula Vista who were both in the Audi. The four were turned over to federal authorities.

The 4.8 pounds of cocaine seized had an estimated street value of $200,000.

Authorities believe that after the direct battle they have had in the last few years against the Arellano Félix and Sinaloa cartels, and the fight the two crime organizations had against each other, the current transportation and sale of drugs in this city is being done by smaller groups that operate independently of the remaining criminal cells that once worked for the cartels and still try to exert control of the border area.

Most of the 820 violent deaths authorities logged in Tijuana in 2010 and the 268 this year through June, and the dozens of arrests made, involve cases related to disputes among street-level drug dealers, said Ferm*n Gómez, Baja California’s deputy attorney general for organized crime.

Omar.millan@sandiegored.com

http://www.sandiegored.com/noticias/145 ... n-Tijuana/