CALEXICO — An El Centro man could face prosecution for allegedly leasing a weapon to a young woman suspected of trying to gun down a man here in March, an official said Thursday.
An extensive investigation involving the El Centro Police Department led authorities to arrest 22-year-old Joseph Anthony Pinuelas on allegations that he rented out a firearm for a couple hundred dollars, said Calexico police Lt. Gonzalo Gerardo.
Diane Jean Perez, 19, and Manuel Orozco, 32, both from Calexico were arrested on suspicion of attempted murder following the shooting early March 25, where no one was injured, according to Gerardo’s press statement.
Perez is suspected of opening fire early that day on a man who owed her money, Gerardo said. The man ran for safety during a chase but birdshot from the weapon struck an unoccupied parked vehicle on Rainbow Avenue, Gerardo said.
Police had responded to a 5 a.m. call that morning in the 1200 block of Rainbow Avenue, Gerardo said.
Four days later a further probe by Calexico police and other agencies that involved the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives resulted in the arrest of Pinuelas in connection with the March 25 shooting.
Pinuelas has since posted bail. News about the arrest wasn’t release as the investigation was ongoing and officers’ lives were at risk, Gerardo said.
Gerardo’s statement read that a search of Pinuelas’ storage locker uncovered four assault-type rifles and other weapons.
Two shotguns were seized, Gerardo said, along with ammunition for the rifles and the shotguns. A total of 217.1 grams of suspected methamphetamine was also found, the statement reported.
A money counter, a digital scale used to weigh drugs and a trailer filled with stolen property were also seized, Gerardo’s press statement read.
Staff Writer Silvio J. Panta can be reached at 760-337-3442 or at email@example.com
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