Child endangerment bust on U.S. 395: 11-year-old girl locked in refrigerated truck

An 11-year-old Bishop girl on Friday was locked in the back of a refrigerated truck by her grandfather and transported up U.S. 395 as far as Benton Crossing Road before law enforcement officials stopped the truck and freed the girl.

California Highway Patrol officers arrested the girl's grandfather and a Bishop man. They were charged with suspicion of child endangerment and were taken in the Mono County Jail in Bridgeport. Officials said they released to her mother.

As for the arrest, a Mono County spokesperson said a caller told the CHP that two white males just placed a young female juvenile into the cargo area of a tractor trailer and proceeded northbound on U.S. 395.

Mono County deputies located the semi-truck on Highway 395 near Benton Crossing Road and conducted a traffic stop on it. The deputies searched the locked refrigerated cargo trailer and found the girl hiding amongst the loose cargo.

Police identified George Lewis Arciero, 52, as the perpetrator. Arciero. of Apple Valley, had taken his granddaughter to work with him for the day police said.

While in Bishop, Arciero picked up Jason Ray Jernigan, 33, of Bishop, at which time they placed the girl into the refrigerated cargo trailer and locked it prior to proceeding northbound out of the Bishop area.

Both Arciero and Jernigan were arrested without incident.

The case will be forwarded to the Mono County District Attorney’s office.