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Three arrested after neighbors, fearing attack, call Calexico police

June 05, 2001|By AARON CLAVERIE, Staff Writer

CALEXICO — At 11:30 p.m. Saturday, three men walked toward a house on Milpitas Drive.

Neighbors called the Calexico Police Department, fearing the men were armed and planning to attack a neighbor who has been the apparent target of two drive-by shootings recently.

The three men reached the house.

A police cruiser sped down the cul-de-sac and rolled up on the three men. Officers bolted out and took the men into custody.

Calexico police Sgt. Jim Neujahr said officers found a gun, a knife and around a half gram of methamphetamine on the men.

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"This could have been a walk-by," Neujahr said.

Earlier that night, about 8:30 p.m., the three men allegedly threatened residents of the cul-de-sac near the border fence in the southeast corner of Calexico.

Neujahr said the suspects allegedly smashed windows and lights of three cars and told residents to keep quiet about a previous drive-by in which a cousin of one of the suspects was arrested.

"They said they were going to kill them if they talked," Neujahr said.

The three men, Aldo Lemus, 24, of Calexico, Manuel Preciado, 25, of Mexicali and Martin Lopez, 19, of Spring Valley, were arrested for suspicion of possession of a handgun, possession of a controlled substance, terroristic threats and intimidation of witnesses.

Lemus' cousin had been arrested in connection with the second drive-by at the Milpitas Drive house.

Neujahr said he was glad residents on Milpitas Drive foiled what could have been the third attack on the house.

"People are keeping an eye out and we were able to prevent shots," Neujahr said.

Staff Writer Aaron Claverie can be reached at 337-3419.

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