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 erupted in a squatters camp spread through part of a La Jolla-area canyon Friday, blackening steep open terrain near clusters of large homes but causing no reported structural damage or injuries.
A wildfire spread over hilly rural terrain east of Ramona Friday afternoon, threatening several back-country homes and destroying one of them before ground and airborne crews could subdue the flames.
Scripps Health this week announced it would be expanding its walk-in, convenient care division, Scripps HealthExpress.
The California Highway Patrol will increase enforcement in the San Diego and Oceanside areas this weekend in an effort to reduce the frequency of motorcycle crashes, authorities said Friday.
"Great progress" has been made in efforts to reunite children who were separated from their parents at the border during the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" crackdown on illegal immigration, a federal judge in San Diego said Friday.
An unlicensed and uninsured motorist, who fled the scene after hitting a good Samaritan helping two people stranded in a broken- down car in Ocean Beach, was sentenced to a year in local custody.
A 2-year-old girl is in the hospital Friday with serious injuries after she fell from a fourth-floor window at an apartment complex in San Diego's University City neighborhood, police said.
The Trump administration said Thursday that it has reunified 364 children ages 5 and older with their families after they were separated at the border, still leaving hundreds to go before a court-imposed deadline a week away.
Major road repairs are underway on South Twin Oaks Valley Road between Craven road and Barham in San Marcos after a sinkhole formed in the middle of the road.