TIJUANA – There’s been a break in the case of four former state police agents wanted in the killing of a Mexicali man, a death that cost their boss his job.
One of the ex-agents of the State Preventive Police (known as the PEP) was detained in the Sinaloa city of Guamúchil over the weekend and brought back to Mexicali, the State Attorney General’s Office announced Monday.
The former agent, Víctor Alfonso Cuevas Caro, had a preliminary hearing Sunday morning before Judge Bernardino Ahumada González, who ordered him held until he can be arraigned on Thursday on charges of homicide and auto robbery.
Cuevas along with ex agents Julio Alfonso Coronado Orozco, also under arrest, and Carlos Miranda Tapia and Ismael González García, both at large, were working on the PEP force when they allegedly killed the man.
State authorities said the victim, Óscar Enrique Lucero Jaramillo, 22, was allegedly picked up by the PEP agents at his house on Aug. 11. His body was found five days later in an agricultural area.
The killing occurred as the state is trying to convert all 420 PEP agents into the first police force in Mexico that passes a series of character tests and professional certifications to prove that it’s reliable and honest. The federal government has proposed that each state only have one well-trained, trustworthy police agency, and the Baja California force is seen as the model for that department.
Following Jaramillo’s killing, the state Secretary of Public Safety, Daniel de la Rosa, asked for the resignation of the director of the PEP and announced a department-wide initiative to root out corruption.