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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
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Friday, August 31, 2001

RCDC guards, inmates indicted on drug, bribe charges

Staff Writers

PECOS, Fri., Aug. 31, 2001 -- A federal grand jury on Thursday indicted two former guards at  the Reeves County Detention Center for allegedly accepting bribes  from inmates to smuggle drugs into the facility.

Four inmates were also indicted along with the guards on charges of offering bribes and attempting to smuggle cocaine and marijuana into the Pecos prison facility in early July.

RCDC guards Jerry Hernandez and Pearl Ramos were indicted on separate charges _ Hernandez for conspiring with inmate Raul Carrillo-Lozano to smuggle cocaine into the prison and Ramos for conspiring with inmates Frederico Echeverri-Gomez, Alejandro Rocha-Mendoza and Reinaldo Ramirez-Vangrieken to smuggle a pound of marijuana into the prison.

Warrants were issued for the arrests of all six and a bond hearing will be set for a later date before U.S. Magistrate Judge Stuart Platt.

"As far as I'm aware that takes care of all the individuals involved," said RCDC Associate Warden Antonio Perez, who said the indictments came as the result of separate incidents.

Ramos' indictment stated that she was working at the prison under the authority of Hernandez, and had previously accepted bribes totaling $1,600 to smuggle contraband into the prison. In the latest incident, the grand jury charged that Carrillo-Lozano, Echeverri-Gomez and Ramirez-Vangrieken solicited Ramos to smuggle the marijuana into the facility in exchange for a payment of $500.

Ramirez-Vangrieken and Ramos engaged in a conversation about the plan on or about June of this year, the indictment said, and the inmate provided Ramos with a drop location for the marijuana. Ramos then went to that location on July 2 to drop off the marijuana after it had been brought into the prison.

Ramos, 43, of 2417 S. Eddy St.; Echeverri-Gomez, 38, of Miami, Fla., Rocha-Mendoza, 29, of Mexico and Ramirez-Vangrieken, 30, of Mexico all are charged on Count One of the five-count indictment. The three inmates are charged in Count Two with offering Ramos the bribe and in Count Four with attempting to smuggle the marijuana into the facility, while Ramos is charged in Count Three with accepting the bribe and in Count Five with bringing the marijuana into the RCDC.

The grand jury also returned a five-count indictment against Hernandez and Carrillo-Lozano alleging that sometime in June and July of this year the inmate offered Hernandez $50 to smuggle cocaine into the prison. Count One of the indictment charges that the two had a conversation in the prison on or about June 30, after which Hernandez placed a call on July 2 to a person identified in the indictment only as "Manny" and that he spoke with that person on July 3 about obtaining the cocaine.

Carrillo-Lozano, 41, of Rio Bravo., Mex., was charged in Count Two of the indictment with offering the bribe to the RCDC officer, while Hernandez, 27, of 415 S. Oleander St., was charged in Counts Three and Four with agreeing to accept and accepting the $50 bribe. Count five charges both men with using a telephone to commit a felony of conspiracy to possess and distribute cocaine.

Perez said that allegations made against the suspects led to an investigation. "The allegations were investigated and it turned out that the allegations were true," said Perez.

Office of Inspection employee Ron Holland was in charge of the internal investigation that led to the dismissal of the two employees involved.

"As far as we know these were the only individuals involved and there will be no continuing investigation," said Perez.

The indictments come just eight days after two other RCDC guards had their charges of having sex with prison inmates dismissed by U.S. District Court Judge Royal Furgeson.

Furgeson's Aug. 22 ruling came following a motion made by the attorneys of Elsa Levario of 1517 Katherine Street and Helen Stephens of 1744 Washington Street to have their charges dismissed without prejudice because of a delay in bringing the case to trial. However, Furgeson said the U.S. Attorney's Office could re-file the charges against both women in the future. The two women were indicted by a federal grand jury in Pecos in early May.

Perez said that measures are already implemented that help "weed out" those employees involved in illegal activities. "That's why these individuals get caught, because we have measures to make sure these type of incidents don't happen."

Perez said that 99.9 percent of the employees at the facility are honest, hard-working, loyal individuals. "This is just something some people do, illegal activities, but eventually they get caught," he said.

Balmorhea adding events to annual holiday festival

Staff Writer

PECOS, Fri., Aug. 31, 2001 -- Balmorhea is definitely the place to be this weekend with plenty  of activities planned for the 26th  Annual Oasis of West Texas Labor Day Weekend Festival.

Festivities are set to begin early Saturday morning when organizers hand out the meat to competitors of the Frijole Bean and Fajita Cook-off. Prizes will be awarded to the top finishers in both divisions.

"We'll hand out the meat early about 9 a.m. and announce the winners in the evening about 5:30 or 6 p.m.," said festival organizer Pat Brijalba, who added that new things have been added to the yearly event.

"This year we'll have the ranch rodeo on Saturday and team roping on Sunday," he said.

Food booths and arts and crafts booths will feature a variety of items.

"We'll have plenty of food booths and different booths selling items to festival goers," he said.

D.J. Bully Matta will be playing music throughout the day and the "1 st Friday" Trade Days will have an early start in September due to the festival, and will be held on Saturday, only at the ole' Country Store, corner store on Main Street.

"We've been having the 1st Friday Trade Days for several months now, but this time it will be this weekend to coincide with the festival," said Brijalba. "It's usually held the first Friday of the month."

The first annual Ranch Rodeo will start at 10 a.m., Saturday, at the Hoffman Arena.

There will be a 12 team limit and events will include Remuda Roping, Team Sporting, Team Tying, Calf Branding and Cow Milking.

A free street dance will be held Saturday, from 9 p.m. until 1 a.m., featuring Cruces Band from Las Cruces, N.M.

A Mariachi concert is scheduled from 6-10 p.m., Sunday, in Downtown Balmorhea.

"This is also something new, because we'll be having events on Sunday as well," said Brijalba. "We'd like to invite everyone from the surrounding communities to come join us."

Marfa Lights, Alpine flights among events this weekend

PECOS, Fri., Aug. 31, 2001 -- Area residents will have many events down in the mountains to choose from this weekend in celebration of Labor Day.

Along with Saturday's Oasis of West Texas Festival in Balmorhea, the 15 th Annual Marfa Lights Festival is set for kick off at 5 p.m., tonight in front of the newly renovated Presidio County Courthouse in Marfa.

More than 60 vendors will open booths at that time on the Courthouse lawn, which precedes the Marfa Lights Night Parade that starts at 8 p.m.

Anyone is welcome to join the parade as long as participants and floats are decorated with lights.

Participants in the parade are asked to gather by the elementary school half an hour before the parade begins.

Prizes will be awarded for the best parade entries.

The Friday night street dance will begin at 9 p.m. Admission to the dance and concert, which will feature a band called The Shades is set at $5.

The festivities will pick up again at 10 a.m., on Saturday when the vendor booths open.

The Marfa Lights Parade will start at 11 a.m., and like the night parade prizes will be given for the best entries and participants must line up by the elementary school by 10:30 a.m.

Festivity goers will be able to enjoy many entertainers all afternoon at the Courthouse stage.

The festival's main event is set to kick off at 7 p.m., when the concert at Vizcaino Park begins.

The concert will feature Bobby Pulido, Little Joe y La Familia and The Shades.

Admission is $15 in advance and $20 at the door, which is set to open at 6 p.m.

The festival will wrap up on Sunday with another round of performers on the Courthouse Stage starting at 1 p.m. and ending with the Finale Dance, featuring Trisha Martinez y Ritmo. Admission to the dance is $10.

If the Marfa festivities are not enough, area residents can also attend the Sixth Annual Big Bend Balloon Bash in Alpine.

Opening ceremonies for the Balloon Bash 2001 will begin at 7 a.m., on Saturday at the Ramada Inn with the balloon launching at 7:20 a.m.

Balloons will also be launched at 7:20 a.m., on both Sunday and Monday.

A fire glow concert will be held at sundown on Saturday at Jackson Field, with a $2 cover charge.

At the fire concert the balloon pilots will be lighting up the sky with their flares, along with a musical accompaniment.

Balloon observers will also have a chance to check out the various food and vendor booth throughout the festival.

Government, stores stay closed Monday to mark Labor Day

PECOS, Fri., Aug. 31, 2001 -- Many Pecos residents will have a three-day vacation this weekend with a few businesses closing in celebration of Labor Day on Monday.

The Lucius Bunton Federal Courthouse as well as the Reeves County Courthouse will be closed on Monday but will reopen on Tuesday.

Town of Pecos City Hall will be closed, but residents may still drop off utility payments in the night drop box on the side of the building.

The Post Office window will be closed and there will not be any street mail deliveries, but people who receive mail at the post office boxes will get mail on Monday.

Students, teachers and personnel of the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah Independent School District will get a day vacation. Every campus will be closed on Monday, but classes will resume on Tuesday.

The KPTX business office will be closed, but Hotline will run as normally scheduled.

The Pecos Enterprise will also be celebrating the holiday with a day off on Monday, and will resume regular publication on Tuesday.

"Rush Hour 2" trafficks in both action, comedy

Staff Writer

PECOS, Fri., Aug. 31, 2001 -- Whoever thought of placing a smart-mouthed comedian and  an international martial arts star in the same movie and allowing them  to play off each other must be a millionaire by now.  

That is just what has happened when some movie god paired up Jackie Chan (Rumble in the Bronx-1996) and Chris Tucker (Friday-1998) for Rush Hour 2.

Both Chan and Tucker appeared in the 1998 hit Rush Hour, which amused audiences all over the world with their comedic chemistry.

Now the chemistry is back with Rush Hour 2, which is just as funny and exciting as the first movie.

Who would have thought that these two completely different people would make such a good pair on screen?

The two men make overcoming cultural and language barriers humorous and delightful.

Audiences are sure to fall in love with both Chan and Tucker after watching their latest movie together.

Unlike the first Rush Hour, in which Tucker is not as skilled as a fighter as Chan is, the second one shows how much Tucker has learned from Chan, and their teamwork proves to be the destroyer of evil.

Tucker is the kind of man that you would want to know because he has the ability to make any situation humorous, which can be very charming.

One thing can be said for him though, he sure knows how to be the center of attention.

Chan is just fun to watch. It is a wonder how he is able to use everything around him in a fight that a normal person would never think of.

It is amazing that he does all of his own stunts with ease and can make climbing a building look effortless while Tucker, like most of us, can barely climb stairs without passing out.

Rush Hour 2 proves to be good entertainment for the whole family despite its rating.

Adults and children alike are bound to have a good time watching the movie that leaves you wanting another sequel.

And one of the best parts of the movie is when it ends, because you have a chance to see hilarious outakes from the making of the film.

Rush Hour 2 is rated PG-13.


PECOS, Fri., Aug. 31, 2001 -- High Thursday 98. Low this morning 68. Rainfall last 24  hours at KIUN radio .30 inch. Forecast for tonight: Partly cloudy with  a 20 percent chance of showers or thunderstorms. Low 65 to 70.  East wind 5 to 15 mph. Saturday: Partly cloudy. High near 90. East wind  5 to 15 mph. Saturday night: Partly cloudy. Low 65 to 70. Sunday  and Monday: Partly cloudy. Lows from the mid 60s to the lower  70s. Highs in the 90s.

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Pecos Enterprise
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