San Diego, California - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at ports of entry along the California/Mexico border discovered about 1,275 pounds of marijuana commingled with a commercial shipment of carrots, and apprehended two men wanted on homicide charges.
The first incident occurred on Monday, April 7, at about 12:40 p.m., when Orlando Villalobos, a 32-year-old U.S. citizen, entered the San Ysidro port of entry on foot and without identification. A CBP officer escorted Villalobos to a secure location for further investigation.
Officers conducted a ten-print query utilizing the Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System (IAFIS) confirming Villalobos’ identity and that he was wanted for attempted murder by the Downey Police Department with bail set at $2 million.
Villalobos, a resident of South Gate, Calif., was taken into custody and later booked into the San Diego County Jail to await extradition.
The second incident occurred later in the afternoon, at about 6:45 p.m., when CBP officers encountered a 2000 Freightliner tractor-trailer that entered the Otay Mesa commercial facility carrying a shipment of mixed produce. Officers referred the truck to the dock area for a more in-depth examination.
While conducting an inspection of the conveyance, which included the use of the port’s imaging system, officers discovered a total of 82 wrapped bundles concealed inside boxes of carrots.
The bundles field-tested positive as marijuana and have an estimated street value of $765,000.
CBP seized the vehicle and narcotics.
The third incident occurred shortly before 2 a.m. on April 8, when a CBP officer working at the San Ysidro port of entry referred Jessie Arredondo Mariscal, a 31-year-old U.S. citizen, for further inspection after he arrived from Mexico as a pedestrian.
Officers ran Arredondo’s information through law enforcement databases and were alerted to an active no-bail warrant for homicide; he was wanted by the Clark County Sherriff’s Office, in Clark County, Nevada.
Arredondo, a resident of Las Vegas, Nevada, was taken into custody and later booked into the San Diego County Jail to await extradition.