“Sol Prendido” for Borderland Beat
Ricardo Verber Campos ‘El Richie’, identified by Baja California security authorities as an operator for the Arellano Felix Cartel, was murdered today in Plaza Galerias, in one of the city’s most sought-after areas.
The man was shot dead in the subway parking lot of the place, where the assassins managed to escape in a pickup truck and without the mall staff being able to immediately provide the authorities with characteristics and details of the assailants.
The events took place minutes before 4:00 in the afternoon of Monday, January 30 at the shopping center located on Agua Caliente Boulevard, in the Hipódromo neighborhood, next to the Xoloitzcuintles de Tijuana soccer stadium.
According to the authorities’ records, the first report was made by a citizen, who requested anonymity, indicating that an injured person was lying on the ground in the parking lot of the plaza.
The Municipal Police arrived at the scene and found a man unconscious in front of the payment machines on the second level of the parking lot, located next to the elevator, so they requested the presence of the Red Cross, whose paramedics finally declared him lifeless.
At first glance, the victim had been injured by gunshot wounds to the head area.
According to witnesses, the perpetrators fled in a green Ford Explorer.
Investigating officers have requested access to security cameras to obtain more information about the murderers, as security personnel did not provide detailed characteristics of the vehicle or the suspects at first.
In 2018, Ricardo Verber was detained by the State Preventive Police in Tijuana while driving a recent model white Chevrolet Colorado pickup, with California plates.
His arrest occurred after, according to the version of the agents, a .40 caliber handgun with 12 rounds and meth was found on Paseo de los Heroes Avenue in the 20 de Noviembre neighborhood.
On that occasion, Ricardo’s sister was also arrested, accused by the police of having arrived at the place of arrest to offer them money in exchange for not arresting him. According to the police version, after failing to achieve her objective, the woman rammed one of the agents, injuring his leg.
That year, the State Public Security Secretariat reported the arrest of Ricardo Verber and identified him as an operator of the Arellano Felix Cartel.
However, he was released and his arrest was limited to possession of a firearm and drugs, both federal crimes.
Currently, at the age of 45, “El Richie” Verber was the owner of a private security company, dedicated to the installation of alarms and cameras.
Ricardo was the brother of Rogelio and Eduardo Verber Campos, both of whom disappeared at the end of the 1990s as members of the narco junior’s, a group of young men affiliated with the Arellano Felix Cartel.
The Verber Campos brothers were reported missing in Rosarito on January 5, 1997.
According to the international organization Human Rights Watch, based on interviews given by the father of the Verber Campos brothers, the family received an anonymous phone call indicating that Rogelio and Eduardo had been detained by a group of uniformed persons in a Suburban with tinted windows.
According to the father, in a second call, they were informed that his sons had been taken to a military base, but there was no information to corroborate such detention by any public force.
A year before their disappearance, the Verber’s house was searched by federal agents with the help of the military in search of drugs and weapons related to the CAF.