Two men accused of leading Riverside County sheriff’s deputies on a chase in Blythe while allegedly tossing $4,000 worth of narcotics out of their vehicle pleaded not guilty Friday to a series of charges.
Serfino Benjasmin Grajeda, 43, of Burbank, and Cesar Octavio Velazquez, 36, of Medford, Oregon, were both charged with evading a peace officer, possessing narcotics for sale, transporting narcotics for sale, conspiracy to commit a crime, possessing controlled substances while armed, carrying a gun in commitment of a felony and other charges related to the chase and attempted destruction of evidence.
Grajeda was also charged with being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm and possessing ammunition when prohibited.
Grajeda and Velazquez appeared at the Larson Justice Center on Friday and pleaded not guilty to the charges. They were scheduled to return Oct. 26 for a felony settlement conference.
They remain jailed at the John Benoit Detention Center in Indio in lieu of $500,000 bail.
Grajeda and Velazquez were arrested Wednesday after failing to yield during an attempted traffic stop on westbound Interstate 10 at Corn Springs Road, according to Riverside County Sheriff’s Department Sgt. Ed Reynoso.
During the ensuing pursuit, the two suspects allegedly threw bags of suspected narcotics, specifically fentanyl pills, out of the windows of their vehicle.
The suspects eventually yielded on state Route 177 near Desert Center, and both were taken into custody without incident.
A search of the suspects’ vehicle turned up additional suspected narcotics as well as an unregistered firearm, according to Reynoso.
Deputies searched the interstate in the stretch where the suspects allegedly tossed the bags of narcotics out of the vehicle, and they discovered an estimated $4,000 worth of fentanyl pills, Reynoso said.