San Diego Sheriff’s Department. Photo by Chris Stone

Two motorists remained in custody Friday following a chase through Vista and San Marcos during which the suspects allegedly tossed drugs out of their car window.

Deputies from the Vista Gang Enforcement Team attempted to conduct a traffic stop of a blue Honda Civic for unsafe speeds at Civic Center Drive and Sierra Verde Drive in Vista at 7:45 p.m. Thursday, according to San Diego County Sheriff’s Sgt. Paul Park.

The vehicle, driven by Francisco Castro, 22, allegedly failed to yield, resulting in the pursuit.

During the chase, deputies spotted several objects thrown out of the Civic’s window, Park said, including illegal drugs and what appeared to be a handgun. The latter was recovered and upon further inspection found to be a paintball gun.

Castro allegedly led authorities on the pursuit for 30 minutes on state routes 76 and 78 and Interstate 15.  The Sheriff’s helicopter unit, ASTREA assisted deputies in tracking the Civic until the vehicle came to a stop on its own just north of the Lilac Bridge on southbound I-15.

At that point, deputies arrested Castro and a passenger, Maribel Mora, 33, without further incident.

The Honda also allegedly struck another vehicle’s side-view mirror, causing minor damage, but no injuries to any of the occupants.

Deputies took Castro into custody based on two outstanding felony warrants. He faces charges connected to the pursuit as well, including reckless evading, hit and run and possession of methamphetamine, and is being held on $150,000 bail.

Mora also was arrested due to an outstanding felony warrant. Both were booked into custody at the Vista Detention Facility, though Mora was transferred to Las Colinas Detention and Re-entry Facility in Santee, according to Sheriff’s booking records.

Her bail was set at $50,000.



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Ellen Bullock