San Diego murder suspect arrested in Tijuana
On July 24, the freeway traffic throughout downtown San Diego was at a standstill, sweaty and tired commuters wiped the sweat from their brows, as they inched forward, virtually gridlocked. There was always a little bit of a struggle for those who worked Downtown, but this wasn't normal. Unknown to the frustrated drivers, the reason for the snarled traffic was a homicide, which took place in the afternoon hours on First and Fir. Officers responding to the shooting quickly closed the freeway entrance to Interstate 5 north, with one of the main exit points blocked, things backed up quickly.
The shooting took place at a a Residential, Transitional living facility, for homeless teens, in the Bankers Hill area, an upscale neighborhood, adjacent to Balboa Park. However, the lower areas of the neighborhood are more mixed, with sober livings and by the week motels, next to low income health facilities. If you know what you are looking for, one can see the recently released convicts on their exercise time in the lower areas of Park West, wearing older clothes, and using cd players, to listen to R&B.
The victim was 27 year old Luis Espinoza, of Chula Vista, shot several times at the scene, he died at the hospital the following day. Another 21 year old man was also shot, but is recovering, police declined to release the victims's name. Two of the suspects, based on information gathered at the scene by responding officers were detained in El Cajon City, hours after the shooting, after a traffic stop. They were Ruben and Rodney Acosta, a father and son, aged 40, and 18. The Acostas were said to have been visiting someone at the facility, and alleged to have gotten into an argument with the visitors of another resident. The argument was heard throughout the afternoon by witnesses.
At some point, shots were fired, and the Acostas fled in a Ford Expedition, which was described to police. Three men were said to have fled the scene, but after police tracked the vehicle to El Cajon, only two were arrested. The third man, likely the shooter, was dropped off. Ruben Acosta Jr, , another son, 21 years old was named as the third suspect. Weeks after the shooting, he was arrested yesterday in Tijuana, in Colonia Libertad. Acosta was arrested by Tijuana PEP, and U.S Marshals, using information gathered in the weeks after the killing. Acosta's tattoos were apparently used to positively ID him in the Tijuana neighborhood where he was hiding out.
According to the Marshals, and the Tijuana authorities, Acosta, is linked to a cell in the service of the Sinaloa Cartel, and is known to participate in a variety of crimes, on both sides of the border, at the command of the cell leader. Acosta is wanted for murder, assault, drug trafficking, and robbery, in San Diego. The Acosta's are being held in seperate country jails, South Bay, George Bailey, and Central, with no bail for the senior Acosta, and 1,000,000 for the youngest. The shooting is being described as gang related, but no motive has been presented, at this point. It is likely all three of the Acosta's are involved in gang, and possibly drug trafficking activities.
It is very common for street level enforcers, with dual citizenship to flee to Tijuana, and the United States to escape arrest and prosecution. This arrest comes much sooner then the last high profile San Diego murder case, with ties to Tijuana and transnational crime organizations. Earlier this year, after more then a year on the run, Armando Perez, 37, was arrested in Tijuana, on the tourist strip, Revolucion. Perez, linked to the cell of Arellano Felix, through Melvin Quiterrez, allegedly murdered his wife, brutalizing her, and leaving her body in the bathroom of the Community College she attended.
Sources, AFN Tijuana, 10news San Diego, UT San Diego.