FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Lt. Craig Carter, 760-839-4487
On September 10, 2011, at approximately 1300 hours, an Escondido Police Officer conducted a traffic stop in the area of 400 N. Fig St., Escondido, CA, for a traffic violation (Section 4000(a) VC, Expired Vehicle Registration.)
The driver of the vehicle was not able to provide a valid government identification. Due to the lack of identification, the Escondido Officer contacted an ICE Officer with Operation Joint Effort to assist with the stop. With the information given, the ICE Officer discovered the subject had a criminal history and was an ICE fugitive.
Accordingly, the officer arrested, Miguel Pantoja Fuentes, 59 of Escondido for the federal violation. A search incident to the arrest revealed a concealed knife in Fuentes’ waistband (a violation of 12020(a) PC, Carrying a Concealed Dirk or Dagger)
A records check on Fuentes revealed the following information:
Fuentes is a citizen of Mexico, who has been removed or deported to Mexico on 7 occasions and was Federally prosecuted for a violation of 8 USC 1325 & 1326.
- Arrested in 1978 211 PC, Robbery
- Arrested in 1985 11359 HS, Possession of Marijuana for Sale
- Arrested in 1986 11594 HS, Fail to Register as a Control Substance Offender/ 12020(a) PC, Possession of Dangerous Weapon & 12021 PC, Felon/ Addict Possession of Firearm
- Arrested in 1988 20001 VC, Hit and Run: Death or Injury
- Arrested in 1995 11378 HS, Possession of Controlled Substance for Sale with Prior Prison
- 7-time prior removal/ deport (the latest was on 09/17/2006.)
- 1990-Sentenced to Federal custody for Deported Alien Found in US
- 2001-8 USC 1325 & 8 USC 1326, Illegal Re-Entry into the US,
- 2002-8 USC 1325, Illegal Entry
In May of 2010, Escondido Police Department and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) partnered for Operation Joint Effort. Operation Joint Effort is a cooperative effort between the Escondido Police Department and Immigration Customs Enforcement. This program deals with subjects who are lawfully detained and have previously been deported and or have a criminal history. These individuals will be further screened by ICE Officers working with Escondido Police Officers to determine their status.
Operation Joint Effort has been very effective in removing the criminal element from our community. Individuals with no criminal history and have not been ordered removed from the country are not the focus of this program.
Since the program began in May of 2010, ICE has arrested 581 undocumented foreign nationals that have been previously deported, have a criminal history, or are ICE Fugitives at large.
If not for Operation Joint Effort, Miguel Fuentes would not have been arrested and would have remained in our community.
Miguel Pantoja Fuentes was transported to Vista Detention Facility for a violation of 12020(a) PC, Carrying a Concealed Dirk or Dagger) and an ICE hold.
To report any suspicious activities in your neighborhood, you may contact the Police Department directly, or you may make an unidentified call on our Anonymous Tip Line at 760-743-TIPS (8477) or via our Web site at police.escondido.org. For breaking news releases, please follow the Escondido Police Department on Twitter at Escondido_PD.