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5 Suspected Drug Traffickers Face Charges After Fatal Chula Vista Shooting

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Photo by 10News

Chula Vista police respond to a shooting at an Eastlake strip mall involving a federal law enforcement officer, June 14, 2016.

Five suspected drug traffickers faced charges Wednesday following an undercover narcotics investigation at an Eastlake-area strip mall that culminated with a Homeland Security agent fatally shooting a sixth suspect who allegedly became combative.

Authorities said the suspects were charged with possession of marijuana for sale, robbery and conspiracy.

Agents from a Homeland Security Investigations Federal Drug Task Force called Operation Alliance descended on the shopping center in the 2300 block of Proctor Valley Road in Chula Vista about 2 p.m. Tuesday, according to Chula Vista police. One of the six suspects they had contacted attacked an agent, which prompted the lawman to open fire, according to a statement from the Chula Vista Police Department.

The wounded suspect later died in a hospital. The agent was evaluated and later released.

"During the operation, one of the trafficking suspects assaulted (a Homeland Security Investigations) agent," according to the statement. "Robbery is considered a motive for the assault."

Jesus Rizo, 20, Rafael Morataya-Aguilar, 19, and Jovani Bernal-Moreno allegedly fled in a white Ford Focus after the shooting, but were involved in a crash in the 2200 block of Huntington Point Court. They may have attempted to steal a second getaway vehicle before being arrested, authorities said.

A fourth suspect, 31-year-old Sergio Arias-Ibarra, was found hiding inside the trunk of a silver Chevy Cruz as officers searched the mall where the altercation occurred and fanned out into surrounding neighborhoods. A fifth man, 22-year-old Miguel Parra, was later apprehended at the U.S.-Mexico border, according to police. The name and age of the man killed in the shooting was not immediately available.


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