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.
Hundreds of statewide faith leaders will march Saturday afternoon to the Otay Mesa Detention Center, where they will protest immigration policies that separated more than 2,300 children from their parents.
A 325-acre blaze burning at Camp Pendleton Saturday was described as a ``training fire'' by a base official.
The average price of a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline in San Diego County dropped today for the 16th consecutive day, decreasing nine-tenths of a cent to $3.697.
A crash on an Oceanside freeway Saturday morning left two cars on their roofs and sent one person to a hospital, a fire official
Cooler weekend for the County due to a low pressure trough moving through the Great Basin. Weak and shallow marine layer may still be slow to clear.
A stretch of road in National City was shut down briefly after a large crowd took to the streets to celebrate the Mexico national soccer team's 2-1 victory over South Korea today in the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
The San Diego Humane Society today urged residents to volunteer their homes as foster spaces for the influx of animals typically lost after Fourth of July.
A man was critically injured Friday night when he chased a ball into the street and was hit by a car.
Clayton Richard pitched three-hit ball over six innings for his fourth consecutive win and the San Diego Padres beat the San Francisco Giants 6-2 on Friday night.
A powerful show of support for migrants being held in detention facilities has hundreds of interfaith leaders gathered Friday night for a vigil and demonstration at the border.