BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — A two-vehicle convoy made its way north on Oak Street, a U-Haul carrying hundreds of pounds of marijuana followed by a blue sedan.
They were approaching Palm Street when a car pulled in front of the U-Haul and stopped at an angle, blocking the roadway. A pickup stopped alongside the sedan and two men jumped out and opened fire, at least one armed with an AK-47.
Bojorquez and his associates, and those investigated in his killing, are Sureno gang members, belonging to gangs operating as subsidiaries of the Mexican Mafia, according to police reports filed in Superior Court detailing the shooting and the department’s investigation.
Only one man — Mario Romo, 30 — has been charged, but investigators believe he and others were involved in a marijuana trafficking organization from which Bojorquez and associates tried to steal, the documents say. The names of everyone except Romo are redacted from the reports.
The alleged theft “resulted in a highly coordinated retaliation from the drug trafficking organization,” an investigator wrote.
Romo has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder and shooting at an occupied motor vehicle. Held without bail, he’s due back in court Friday.
Police found the U-Haul shortly after the July 9 shooting and took the driver into custody. They searched the back and found 815 pounds of marijuana and 4 pounds of butane honey oil, the documents say.
The driver told police he had twice driven the U-Haul to a home where it was loaded with packaged marijuana. On that day, he said, he was cut off by a white car and the driver got out with what looked like a gun.
As the pickup pulled up to Bojorquez’s car and started shooting, the U-Haul driver said he hit the gas and managed to drive around the white car and flee, the documents say.
Further investigation brought up Romo’s name and others, and records searches revealed some had prior arrests indicating gang involvement and drug trafficking, according to the reports. One man police looked into is believed to be one of the highest ranking Sureno gang members in the county.
Romo was brought in for questioning but denied involvement. He said he hadn’t driven the pickup July 9, the reports say. He was released.
Police reviewed surveillance footage showing a man who looked remarkably similar to Romo driving the pickup about an hour before the shooting. The man had Romo’s build and wore a hat identical to one Romo wore earlier.
Additionally, footage showed the other suspect vehicle, a white Toyota Camry, arrive at his home July 9, according to the documents. Both the pickup and Camry were at his home that afternoon.
Police obtained a warrant for Romo’s arrest and interviewed him again. Romo recanted his earlier statement. He admitted he was the man in the truck while continuing to deny involvement in Bojorquez’s death, the reports say.