San Diego

Drug Trafficker Caught After Two Months as a Fugitive

A fugitive wanted for trafficking cocaine through the Otay Mesa port of entry was arrested Monday in his hometown of Gilroy, Calif.

Itai Enriquez-Rodriguez, 21, was arrested on July 7, 2016 after crossing the border with three kilograms of cocaine in his car, according to the San Diego Office of the U.S. Attorney.

He was charged with conspiracy to import cocaine and importation of cocaine, but went missing for two months after being released on bond following his first day of trial, June 21, 2017.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said when Enriquez-Rodriguez failed to appear in court, agents found Facebook pictures of him with his brother that had been posted that morning.

His disappearance was ruled a voluntary absence and his trial continued without him. On June 23 Enriquez-Rodriguez was found guilty of both charges against him.

On Aug. 18 Enriquez-Rodriguez was indicted by a federal jury for bail jumping.

Since his disappearance, Homeland Security and the U.S. Marshals Service were searching for his whereabouts. On Aug. 21 the U.S. Marshals Service found evidence that Enriquez-Rodriguez was hiding in Gilroy and arrested him outside his girlfriend’s residence, according to a statement.

Enriquez-Rodriguez’s sentencing for the cocaine trafficking charges is scheduled for Oct. 23.

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