The officers, Jesús Estrada Torres and Marco Quijas Castillo, along with four other men, were targeted in an undercover operation sometime before February 1, according to a criminal complaint filed by the District Attorney’s Office.
On the day of the attempted heist, the two cops crossed the U.S.-Mexico border to meet with their co-conspirators and unknowingly an undercover cop, according to the complaint. Together, the group of men planned to target a house in Chula Vista that they believed had $1 million to steal.
Would be interested to read the complaint, obviously an off shoot of a drug investigation, and these guys were taking the bait on a drug rip
The men were taken into custody after entering a code into a lockbox that contained a key to the home, according to the document.
Tijuana police confirmed that two of their officers with names matching the arrestees have not shown up for work since February 1. Actions against the officers would not be taken until wrongdoing is proven in U.S. court, the police agency said.
In a statement, the head of the police agency, Jorge Alberto Ayón Monsalve, reiterated their commitment to keeping honor among the force and to working with the U.S. investigating agencies.
Torres, Castillo and their alleged accomplices appeared in court Tuesday to face charges of conspiracy to commit a crime.
Several of the men were armed with guns and will face additional charges of felons in possession of a firearm, though the two officers were not believed to have firearms at the time of the robbery.
All six entered not guilty pleas and were being held in San Diego County Jail on $1 million bail, which, if paid, must have proof that it was not illegitimately obtained, the DA’s Office said.
If found guilty of the charges against them, all defendants could face time of 10 years.
The defendants will next appear in court on February 14 and 19.
NBC 7 has reached out to the Federal Bureau of Investigations but has not yet received a response.