A raid in Willcox and Bowie Saturday resulted in numerous arrests and the seizure of nearly 200 pounds of marijuana.
Members of the Cochise County Sheriff's Office, Border Alliance Group, United States Border Patrol, Arizona Department of Public Safety Investigations Division, and Sierra Vista Police Department conducted a specialized detail on Feb. 21 in the Willcox and Bowie area, said Carol Capas, spokeswoman for the Cochise County Sheriff's Office.
This detail was conducted as a result of numerous leads that have been received and developed by the Sheriff's Office Detective Division related to the September 2008 disappearance of 22-year-old Adam Castillo of Willcox, she said.
Seven people were arrested on outstanding warrants, two were arrested while transporting marijuana, and one for possession of marijuana, and seven were arrested and turned over to U.S. Border Patrol due to their immigration status, Capas said.
A total of 197 pounds of marijuana was recovered from a vehicle during a traffic stop, she said.
Those arrested include Paul Jose Espinoza, 39, of Bowie, on a warrant for probation violation/contempt of court; along with five Willcox residents. They are: Juan Manuel DeLaTorre, 52, for possession of marijuana; Joshua Lee Feringa, 24, on a warrant for failure to comply with a court order; Jared Lohn, 29, for failure to pay fine; Rogelio Enrique Reyes, 53, for failure to appear; Oscar Antonio Dominguez, 24, for failure to appear; and Jacquelyn Beth Hinton, 45, for failure to comply with court order, Capas said.
Twenty-one-year-old Derek Scott Hunt of Benson was arrested on a warrant for failure to pay fine; as well as Orlando Leon, 24, and Rico Nuhuin Salinas, 18, both of Tucson, for transportation of marijuana for sale, she said.
Due to the nature of the missing person investigation, the sheriff's office will continue its investigation by making more community contacts and conducting more details in the coming weeks, Capas said.
Castillo was last seen at about 2 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 14, 2008, at a party in the desert near the Blue Sky Road, locally known as "the loop."
The party may have involved more than 25 people, his father, John, told the Range News at the time.
"Everybody made it home. Some had to be picked up, but everybody else made it home," he said.
When Grace Castillo was getting ready for church that Sunday morning, she realized that her son had not come home yet.
Castillo's parents had gotten conflicting reports from the partygoers they had spoken with.
One scenario was that some girls in a red Honda had picked him up, but his parents later heard that story was made up, John said.
Castillo's family reported him to the sheriff's office as a missing person on Monday afternoon, she said.
"This is not typical of him," John told the Range News.
"He always lets me know where he's at," Grace added. "Even if he changes his mind, he lets me know where he's going."
Castillo had gotten a ride from friends out to the party, and had left his wallet and his cell phone at home.
"We've covered that whole entire area with quads," his father said at the time.
"I don't think he's there."
Castillo was entered as a missing person as of Monday, Sept. 15, 2008, said Capas.
"All we can do is leave it in God's hands and have faith," Grace said Tuesday morning. "We have to have patience and leave it to the officials that are doing something about it. It seems to be really moving forward."
Grace is grateful to the support her family has received from her co-workers, the members of her church, and many others in Willcox.
"This is when you find out who's there for you and whose not," said Grace.
"I have received powerful words that keep me going from my brothers and sisters in Christ and even someone I don't know."
"Out of this darkness, light will come out," Grace told the Range News. "I thank God for that."
Anyone with information regarding Castillo should contact the sheriff's office at (520) 432-9500 or by calling 88-Crime. All information received will remain confidential.