Two Tijuana police officers are among six people accused of taking part in a break-in at a Chula Vista home because they believed there would be $1 million in cash to steal from the residence, prosecutors said Wednesday.
Marco Quijas-Castillo, 27, and Jesus Estrada Torres, 34, are charged with conspiracy to commit robbery and conspiracy to commit burglary for allegedly providing “counter-surveillance” for their four co-defendants as they met with an undercover FBI agent in Chula Vista.
The officers allegedly also kept watch outside the Chula Vista home, while one co-defendant worked to break in, according to the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office.
The two officers, along with Igancio Martinez-Cruz, 33, Mario Eugene Hall, 34, Tomas Emmanuel Ramirez, 29, and Nicholas Jeremiah Shaw, 24, were arraigned Tuesday at the Chula Vista courthouse.
The defendants, who pleaded not guilty, face between 10 years and 10 years, eight months in state prison if convicted, according to prosecutors. All six are being held on $1 million bail.
The criminal complaint alleges Castillo and Torres crossed into the United States from Mexico with Cruz and met up in Chula Vista with the other defendants, who traveled from San Bernardino.
Castillo and Torres “provided counter-surveillance” at a Kohl’s store in Chula Vista, while the other four men met with an undercover agent, the complaint alleges. The document does not disclose what was allegedly discussed between the defendants and the agent.
Castillo and Torres also provided surveillance at the Chula Vista residence while Shaw walked up to the house, and “entered a code into a lockbox containing a key to enter the house,” the complaint alleges.
The alleged crimes occurred sometime between Nov. 14 and Jan. 31.
Castillo and Torres are due back in court Feb. 14 for a readiness conference.