An Oregon man pleaded guilty Tuesday to charges stemming from an October pursuit outside Blythe, but a co-defendant failed to appear in court and had a warrant issued for his arrest.
Cesar Octavio Velazquez, 36, or Medford, Oregon, pleaded guilty Tuesday to one felony count of transporting narcotics for sale and two misdemeanors of destroying and concealing evidence and willfully resisting arrest. He was immediately sentenced to four years behind bars.
Co-defendant Serfino Benjasmin Grajeda, 43, of Burbank, was a no-show in court Tuesday, and a judge issued a bench warrant for his arrest.
Grajeda and Velazquez were arrested Oct. 19, 2021, after failing to yield during an attempted traffic stop on westbound Interstate 10 at Corn Springs Road, according to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.
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 authorities.
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, authorities said.
The pair were originally 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 counts 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.