San Diego County Deputy Dist. Atty. Enrique Camarena, whose father was a Drug Enforcement Administration agent who was tortured and murdered in 1985 by a Mexican drug cartel, was appointed Wednesday to the local Superior Court by Gov. Jerry Brown.
Camarena, 40, a Republican, was among four people appointed to open spots on the bench.
In all, the governor appointed two prosecutors and two public defenders.
Appointed along with Camarena were Matthew Braner, 55, a Democrat and supervisor in the primary public defender’s office; Selena Epley, 46, a Democrat and assistant supervising attorney for the central felony team of the primary public defender’s office; and Daniel Link, 38, a Democrat and deputy district attorney.
Link is the son of San Diego County Superior Court Judge Frederic Link.
Camarena received a bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth and a law degree from USC. He joined the district attorney’s office in 1999.
Camarena’s father, Enrique “Kiki” Camarena, 37, was a former Marine working as an undercover DEA agent in Guadalajara, Mexico, when he was kidnapped and murdered. Four people were later convicted.
In August 2013, one of the four, cartel kingpin Caro Quintero, was released from prison by Mexican authorities to the dismay of U.S. officials after serving 37 years in prison. He was ordered re-arrested but remains a fugitive.