Arizona Department of Public Safety (ADPS) troopers responded to the United States Border Patrol (USBP) checkpoint on Interstate 8 to assist with suspicious objects in a pickup. Inside the pickup, troopers found property reportedly stolen out of San Diego, California.
On Wednesday, March 30, 2016, around 8:42am, ADPS troopers were asked to go to the USBP checkpoint on Interstate 8 east of Yuma to assist with two subjects who had personal use marijuana in their possession. Two men, identified as Alberto Casillas, 22, from Chula Vista, California, and Christopher Hernandez, 22, Coronado, California had a small amount of marijuana, drug paraphernalia, and a 9MM handgun in their possession. While speaking with the suspects, troopers saw a large amount of items stuffed throughout the pickup. During their investigation the troopers were able to develop information that led them to believe the items in the pickup had been stolen from residences in the San Diego area. The San Diego Police Department was contacted and detectives from San Diego responded to Yuma to assist in the investigation. The detectives were able to identify some of the property as items taken in a residential burglary that occurred in the San Diego area on Saturday, March 26. San Diego Police reported that $45,000 in property was stolen while the burglary caused approximately $60,000 of damage to the residence.
Alberto Casillas and Christopher Hernandez were booked in the Yuma County Jail on the charges of possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, and misconduct involving a firearm. Further charges are pending.
Approximately 100 stolen items and $1,992 cash were turned over to the detectives from San Diego. The investigation is ongoing and possibly fifteen additional burglaries in the San Diego area may be connected to the recovered property.
In addition to the San Diego Police detectives, ADPS troopers were assisted by USBP agents, detectives from the Yuma County Sheriff Office, Yuma City Police, and GIITEM units.
Captain Michael McLaren, Yuma District Commander stated, “I feel the troopers did a great job, working with the San Diego Police Detectives. This type of inter-agency cooperation helps enhance the safety of our Arizona communities”.
The Arizona Department of Public Safety is a state-level law enforcement agency whose mission is to protect human life and property by enforcing state laws, deterring criminal activity, ensuring highway and public safety.