VISTA (CNS) - A renowned 23-year-old opera singer from Tijuana remained jailed in Vista Saturday, as he was arrested for driving a car loaded with methamphetamine north across San Diego County.
Maximino Melchor Vazquez was arrested Sept. 19 after he was pulled over by members of a multi-agency task force targeting drug traffickers while driving north on Interstate 5 near Camp Pendleton. He was piloting a car allegedly containing 44 pounds of methamphetamine in a hidden compartment, U-T San Diego reported.
His attorney, Janice Deaton, told the newspaper Vazquez was initially pulled over for speeding and was cooperative when deputies asked to search his car.
Vazquez was booked into the Vista Detention Facility on felony counts of possession of a controlled substance for sale and transportation of a controlled substance, according to jail records.
Vazquez was placed on an immigration hold and a trial has been set for 8:15 a.m. Oct. 17 in San Diego Superior Court, according to jail records.
His friends believed Vazquez was either tricked or forced to become the unknowing "blind mule" driver of the drug-laden vehicle, U-T San Diego reported. Prior to his arrest, Vazquez told family members he was called on to give voice lessons near Oceanside but was unsure of the details, the newspaper reported.
Vazquez frequently crossed the border to teach classes or perform, Mario Montenegro, the director of Opera Ambulante, told U-T San Diego.
A masked gunman robbed four Vista businesses in quick succession before fleeing into a nearby vacant field where a sheriff's dog brought him down until deputies arrested him, authorities said Tuesday.
People from both sides of the gun debate are expected to speak out Tuesday afternoon in front of the Del Mar Fairgrounds Board of Directors.
A gunshot victim who was believed to have been shot in San Diego and was brought to a hospital in Coronado, where he died Monday night.
Local and state agencies are continuing their investigations into HiCaliber Horse Rescue, despite an announcement over the weekend that the Valley Center nonprofit is closing.
San Diego Congressional representatives on Monday urged the Navy to study the impacts of sewage spills from Mexico.
Southwest Airlines is canceling dozens of flights as it begins emergency engine inspections on its fleet of jets.
Carlos Asuaje homered and had a career-high four RBIs, Franchy Cordero went deep during a nine-run seventh inning and the San Diego Padres romped past the Colorado Rockies 13-5 on Monday night.
The City Council Monday voted to approve federal grant allocations that include $5 million for construction of a long-awaited community center at Bay Terraces Park in Southeast San Diego.
Legoland is days away from opening its new Castle Hotel and the new accommodations are fit for a king or queen.
An overturned semi truck put a snag in the evening commute Monday for drivers on northbound Interstate 805.