CHULA VISTA (CNS) - Five suspected drug traffickers were facing charges Wednesday following an undercover narcotics investigation at an Eastlake-area strip mall that culminated with a Homeland Security agent fatally shooting a sixth suspect who allegedly became combative.
Agents from a Homeland Security Investigations Federal Drug Task Force called Operation Alliance descended on the shopping center in the 2300 block of Proctor Valley Road in Chula Vista about 2 p.m. Tuesday, according to Chula Vista police.
One of a half-dozen suspects they had contacted attacked an agent, which prompted the lawman to open fire, according to a CVPD statement. The wounded suspect later died in a hospital. The agent was evaluated and later released.
"During the operation, one of the trafficking suspects assaulted an HSI Agent,'' according to the statement. "Robbery is considered a motive for the assault.''
Jesus Rizo, 20, Rafael Morataya-Aguilar, 19, and Jovani Bernal-Moreno allegedly fled in a white Ford Focus after the shooting, but were involved in a crash in the 2200 block of Huntington Point Court. They may have attempted to steal a second getaway vehicle before being arrested, authorities said.
A fourth suspect, 31-year-old Sergio Arias-Ibarra, was found hiding inside the trunk of a silver Chevy Cruz as officers searched the mall where the altercation occurred and fanned out into surrounding neighborhoods. A fifth man, 22-year-old Miguel Parra, was later apprehended at the U.S.-Mexico border, according to police.
The name and age of the man killed in the shooting was not immediately available.
Authorities said the suspects would face charges of possession of marijuana for sale, robbery and conspiracy.