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CBP Officers Stop Fugitives Wanted for Homicide, Bank Robbery, and Other Offenses

Release Date: 
March 22, 2011

San Diego - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at ports of entry along the California/Mexico border caught a man wanted for homicide by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, as well as seized 841 pounds of narcotics and stopped more than 200 illegal entry attempts this weekend.

The total weight of the narcotics was 156 pounds with a street value of approximately $156,000.

Intensive examination of a load of ceramic tile, that included a canine screening, led to the discovery of 13 wrapped packages of marijuana.

At about 8:45 p.m. Saturday Johnny Angel Esquivel, a 26-year-old male U.S. citizen and resident of Fresno, arrived on foot at the San Ysidro Port of Entry. A CBP officer queried his name through law enforcement databases and discovered a felony, no-bail warrant for homicide, issued at the request of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.

CBP officers used fingerprints to confirm the man's identity before he was sent to the San Diego County Jail to await extradition.

CBP officers stopped seven other persons this Saturday and Sunday with active warrants for their arrest, for offenses such as burglary, larceny, and assault.

Just before the start of the weekend, CBP officers at the San Ysidro Port of Entry stopped a man wanted for bank robbery. At about 2:55 p.m. on Friday, Matthew David Lewis, a 27-year-old male U.S. citizen and resident of Newport Beach, arrived at the border crossing on foot. A CBP officer queried his name through law enforcement databases and discovered a felony warrant for bank robbery, issued at the request of the Federal Bureau of Investigations.

On Saturday and Sunday, CBP officers also seized approximately 97 pounds of cocaine, 723 pounds of marijuana, and 29 pounds of methamphetamine.

In one incident on Saturday at the Calexico East port of entry, CBP officers seized 102 pounds of cocaine and methamphetamine, worth an estimated $928,000, hidden in the gas tank of a 2003 GMC Safari.

At about 7:45 p.m. a CBP officer conducting inspections of travelers and vehicles entering the United States referred the 37-year-old female Mexican citizen driving the Safari for further examination.

An intensive examination that included a canine screening and use of a fiber optic scope led to the discovery of 45 wrapped packages of cocaine and methamphetamines co-mingled inside the vehicle's gas tank. The driver, a resident of Mexicali, Baja California, was arrested for the narcotic smuggling attempt.

During another seizure approximately eight hours later at the Calexico downtown Port of Entry, a CBP officer conducting inspections of travelers and vehicles referred a 20-year-old male U.S. citizen for further inspection after detecting anomalies to boxes of ceramic tiles that were located in the bed of the Chevrolet Silverado pickup he was driving.

An intensive examination, that included a canine screening, led to the discovery of 13 wrapped packages of marijuana concealed inside the tile boxes. The total weight of the narcotics was 156 pounds with a street value of approximately $156,000. The driver, a resident of Phoenix, Ariz., was arrested for the narcotic smuggling attempt.

Both individuals were turned over to the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents and transported to the Imperial County Jail where they currently await arraignment, and in both incidents, CBP seized the narcotics and vehicles.

CBP officers stopped more than 200 people attempting to enter the country illegally through ports of entry, either by using altered or counterfeit documents, acting as imposters to legitimate documents that did not belong to them, or attempting to avoid inspection altogether. In one such incident this weekend, CBP officers found a man hiding in a specially built gas tank compartment. In another, CBP officers found three persons hiding in the trunk of a car.

Also this weekend, CBP officers stopped 19 persons for various agriculture smuggling violations, assessing monetary penalties totaling $3,975 for attempts to bring undeclared, prohibited agriculture items, such as mangos, apples, tangerines, pears, and live plants into the United States.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.

Last modified: 
February 9, 2017