August 7, 2002
Fugitive crackdown lands more than 100 in San Diego
Copley News Service
Washington --The brother of the slain wife of actor Robert Blake and two alleged drug traffickers sought for more than a decade were among 100 people arrested in San Diego during a nationwide crackdown on separate fugitive cases the past six months, according to government documents.
The crackdown - launched by the little-known Organized Crime Drug Task Force - targeted more than 2,000 fugitives along the Southwest border between this month and last March, U.S. Marshals Service officials said.
The task force includes several federal agencies and has maintained a large presence in San Diego because of its proximity to the border, according to Justice Department officials. Attorney General John Ashcroft said he wants to reorganize the task force to launch more nationwide prosecutions against drug-trafficking organizations.
Nearly one-third of the drug-trafficking organizations on the State
Department's list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations also are named on the Justice Department's list of targeted drug suppliers, Ashcroft said.
Justice officials declined to identify its list of illicit narco-traffickers.
"The growing combination of drug trafficking and terrorism serves to call us even more urgently to action," Ashcroft said.
Ashcroft said the multi-agency task force has "drifted from its original mission" but he wants to refocus its work on drug traffickers. He singled out the arrests in San Diego and elsewhere.
Most fugitives arrested in San Diego the past six months were involved in drug trafficking, officials said.
Among them was Consuelo Corrales, 51, sought by authorities for 13 years on weapons and drug-smuggling charges. She allegedly was employed by the Contreras-Subias drug organization, which authorities described as the forerunner to the notorious Tijuana cartel. U.S. Marshals arrested Corrales at the San Ysidro border crossing on May 3, according to deputy marshal Jim Schield.
Others arrested include:
- Joseph Bakley, brother-in-law of actor and accused murderer Robert Blake. Blake is accused of killing his wife Bonnie Lee Bakley - Joseph Bakley's sister. Bakley was arrested on May 1 while he went to check his mail outside his house in San Diego. He had been sought by Florida authorities since 1993 for violating parole after being convicted on cocaine possession charges.
- Cristina Castelo, 39, sought since August 1990 for money laundering and cocaine distribution, officials said. She was arrested in May. Her husband, Manuel Hector Anguilo, is still being sought.
- Brynessa Tailor, 23, on money-laundering charges. She was arrested on July 15th in Oceanside while she was hauling items onto a moving truck. "She was ready to leave," an official said.
Reflecting what authorities termed a cooperative arrangement with Mexico, 64 fugitives sought in the United States were nabbed in Mexico.
Among them was Emilio Calatayud, a former Drug Enforcement Administration agent convicted of bribery and tax fraud charges in Los Angeles in January 2001. Mexican authorities detained him in Guadalajara last month.
U.S. officials detained 22 fugitives sought by Mexican authorities.