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 brush fire that spread over open terrain near the far northwestern reaches of Camp Pendleton Wednesday, threatening homes, has scorched about 700 acres and is now 10 percent contained.
The body of a fallen hero returned home to San Diego Wednesday night, and fellow sailors were there to pay tribute and escort him from the airport to the funeral home in Chula Vista.
Protesters gathered in Rancho Peñasquitos Wednesday night upset over a plan to demolish an affordable housing complex.
Cooler temperatures will continue Thursday with the weather expected to remain stable through the Fourth of July.
We've all been there, standing at our trash and recycling bins wondering, "is it trash or is it recyclable?"
With just days to go before the San Diego County Fair comes to a close for 2017, we are getting a look at all the strange items that ended up in the lost and found.
News 8's Shawn Styles reports from Del Mar with what was left behind.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled Tuesday for an oft-deported Mexican citizen accused of driving drunk and fleeing the scene after blowing through a stop sign and crashing his truck into a car containing a family returning home from a day at Disneyland, seriously injuring a 6-year-old boy.