An obstructed license plate led to the arrest over the weekend of a man wanted in connection with a drug-related home-invasion homicide in Hilmar reported last year.
Hugo Hernandez, 23, of Modesto was booked at the jail Saturday in San Mateo County after police stopped him for the routine traffic violation, according to Nicole Acker, spokeswoman for the Menlo Park Police Department.
“After running his name, (officers) learned of the warrant out of Merced County,” Acker said Tuesday.
Hernandez was wanted in connection with the Aug. 1, 2014, shooting death of 21-year-old Orlando Yepez, who was killed at a home in the 7800 block of Kates Court in Hilmar, the Merced County Sheriff’s Department confirmed.
Hernandez was driving a white 1993 Honda Accord when he was stopped by police at 6:39 p.m. Saturday around the intersection of Willow Road and Newbridge Street in Menlo Park. He was taken into custody without incident, Acker said.
Yepez was also known to use the names “Orlando Yedez” and “Orlando Valencia,” investigators have said previously.
Sgt. Delray Shelton confirmed the arrest Tuesday but could not disclose many details of the homicide, saying the case remains under investigation.
Deputies in August said the incident was possibly related to “the drug distribution trade.” Detectives have declined to elaborate on specific motives or certain details of the attack, saying commenting further could harm the investigation.
Deputies said it was still too early to know whether there may be ties to any higher-level trafficking organizations or cartel involvement.
Anyone with information about the case is asked to contact the Merced County Sheriff’s Department’s Major Crimes Unit at (209) 385-7472. Tips are confidential and callers may remain anonymous.