2 NorCal Cops Arrested in Tijuana with Guns, Ammo

Greg Gross, Union-Tribune (San Diego), August 6, 2008

A pair of Northern California police officers could face up to 20 years in a Mexican prison after having been caught in Tijuana with firearms and about 6,000 rounds of ammunition.

The two officers, identified as Hermonegenes Llanos and Jorge Luis Matos, were arrested last Friday afternoon by Mexican authorities. Both are from the Monterey area.

Llanos is a patrol officer with the Soledad Police Department in Monterey County and an eight-year veteran of that department. His arrest was confirmed Wednesday by Soledad Police Chief Richard Cox, who said that an internal affairs investigation is already under way.

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Matos was identified as a civilian police sergeant at the Presidio of Monterey, a U.S. Army installation that houses an Army garrison and the Defense Department’s language institute.

U.S. consular officials in Tijuana, speaking on condition they not be identified due the sensitivity of the case, said the two officers could face a variety of charges, most of them involving the possession of weapons and equipment restricted under Mexican law to military use.

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Lauren Mack, a spokeswoman for U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, said Llanos and Matos were in custody at the La Mesa Penitentiary in Tijuana.

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