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One of county’s most wanted criminals arrested

SAN MARCOS — A man who was a face on San Diego’s 10 Most Wanted list for more than five years was arrested on Sept. 24 for conspiracy and the attempted murder of a San Marcos resident, and booked into the George Bailey Detention Facility, according to the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department.
Jose Antonio Lopez Tejada, 29, faces two charges of felony conspiracy to commit a crime, an attempted murder in the first degree charge and a kidnapping for ransom charge and is currently on an immigration hold and not eligible for bail, according to authorities.
His court date is set for Nov. 8 in the North County Vista Court.
Det. Benny Cruz, of the San Marcos Sheriff’s Department, has been working the case along with the FBI and U.S. Marshals Service since the Dec. 18, 2004, execution-style attempted murder of Noe Chavez Garcia.
Lopez and a partner, Gerardo Matadamas Gomez, allegedly lured Garcia from his home in San Marcos and took him to Mexico, east of the Tijuana Airport, where he was shot and left for dead.
Garcia survived the attempted murder and was able to provide details of the kidnapping and attempted murder to officials.
Cruz said that he and other officials went to the scene to develop leads and work with Mexico’s law enforcement officers.
“He was taken to ‘The End of the World,’” Cruz said about Garcia. “The area where it is almost like an old style village, with very little electricity.”
Cruz described the area as having very rugged roads and houses made out of adobe.
During the investigation, Cruz learned that Garcia’s wife, Magali Manilla Cabrera de Garcia, 29, was having an extramarital affair with Gomez.
Cabrera was arrested in February 2008 on suspicion of arranging the December 2004 execution-style shooting of her husband, according to sheriff’s officials.
She pleaded guilty to the attempted murder and kidnapping of her husband, and in August 2009 Cabrera was sentenced by San Diego Superior Court Judge Frederick Maguire to 10 years in state prison. Gomez is still at large, Cruz said.
Lopez Tejada was located last year by the U.S. Marshals Service in Sinaloa, a state located in the northwestern part of Mexico.
For nine months he was fighting extradition, Cruz said.
But the day finally came last month when the San Marcos Sheriff’s Department arrested Lopez Tejada.
“I’m happy for the family. They’re seeing justice,” Cruz said.