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Promising Tijuana Opera Singer Jailed on Drug-Trafficking Charges

Tenor Maximino Melchor Vazquez was arrested Sept. 19 on Interstate 5 near Camp Pendleton.

A renowned 23-year-old opera singer from Tijuana remained jailed in Vista jail Saturday after allegedly driving a car loaded with methamphetamine.  

Maximino Melchor Vazquez, an operatic tenor, was arrested Sept. 19 after he was pulled over by members of a multi-agency task force targeting drug traffickers while driving north on Interstate 5 near Camp Pendleton.

He was piloting a car allegedly containing 44 pounds of methamphetamine in a hidden compartment, U-T San Diego reported.

His attorney, Janice Deaton, told the newspaper Vazquez was initially pulled over for speeding and was cooperative when deputies asked to search his car.

Vazquez was booked into the Vista Detention Facility on felony counts of possession of a controlled substance for sale and transportation of a controlled substance, according to jail records.

Vazquez was placed on an immigration hold and a trial has been set for 8:15 a.m. Oct. 17 in San Diego Superior Court, according to jail records.

His friends think Vazquez was either tricked or forced to become the unknowing “blind mule” driver of the drug-laden vehicle, U-T San Diego reported.

Before his arrest, Vazquez told family members he was called on to give voice lessons near Oceanside but was unsure of the details, the newspaper reported.

Vazquez frequently crossed the border to teach classes or perform, Mario Montenegro, the director of Opera Ambulante, told U-T San Diego.

—City News Service

John Galt October 08, 2012 at 05:36 AM
"His friends think Vazquez was either tricked or forced to become the unknowing “blind mule” driver of the drug-laden vehicle" NO - Wanted the money. He needs to plead guilty, pay for the crime (jail), go back to Mexico and stay away from the United States. Then he can sing elsewhere. We do not need drugs here!
nicolas October 09, 2012 at 01:02 AM
stop using drugs here we end the war there who is the problem the legal drug dealers dont want competition the blind cant lead the blind stop and look around history is thousands of years of history many things happen over and over
no one important October 09, 2012 at 05:16 AM
@IB needs us: If the U.S. stops consuming drugs then mexico would not have to smuggle anything. this is a great person who was tricked into doing this, maybe you should stop and think before you open your mouth.

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