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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Friday, May 7, 2004

Speed violation earns brothers marijuana bust

Staff Writer

Two brothers traveling through Reeves County Thursday at noon learned a costly lesson about obeying construction zone speed limit signs.

Antonio Romero Cordero, 27 and Emmanuel Romero Cordero, 23, were stopped at 12:25 p.m., Thursday while traveling eastbound on Interstate 20 at mile marker 28.

“This was just a routine traffic stop,” said Trans Pecos Task Force Investigator Joe Gonzales, who stopped the duo for speeding in the construction zone at the Salt Draw bridge.

About two miles of road has speed limit restrictions there, while work is underway to replace the eastbound I-20 bridge collapsed by flooding last month.

Gonzales said after stopping the brothers, “I became suspicious because they were acting really nervous and their stories didn’t coincide.”

“The vehicle didn’t belong to them according to the two, it belonged to their boss,” said Gonzales.

He asked and received verbal consent to search the 1995 Ford Windstar Van the brothers were in, and during the search, Gonzales uncovered a load of marijuana hidden in false compartments underneath the van.

“The compartments were inside the van and spanned the length of the van on both sides,” said Gonzales.

Gonzales asked for backup and received help from Lt. Kevin Roberts and Sgt. Melissa Roberts.

“They said they were on their way to Dallas, but their final destination was actually Oklahoma,” said Gonzales.

The officers eventually uncovered 168 pounds of marijuana inside the false compartments. The illegal drugs were tightly wrapped in tape and soaked in axle grease, which prevented the officer’s drug dog from alerting to the compartments.

“They actually did a really good job with it,” said Gonzales.

The Corderos had been stopped at the Port of Entry and indicated for a secondary check. “The same thing happened at the checkpoint in Sierra Blanca and both times the dogs missed it,” said Gonzales.

Both brothers were transported to Reeves County Jail, where they were awaiting arraignment late this morning.

“They were resident aliens, they had permission to visit, so they might put a hold on them,” said Gonzales.

Gonzales said that he was on another traffic stop when the duo sped by. The marijuana has a street value of $84,000, according to Gonzales.

WTNB vice-president Hinojos taking top job at Kermit branch

Staff Writer

Pecos will be saying goodbye to one of its prominent residents soon, as West Texas National Bank vice president Paul Hinojos moves north to Kermit to take the reins of the bank’s branch located there.

According to WTNB President John Grant, his soon-to-be former boss, “Paul will be greatly missed. His community involvement and team player attitude have been a great asset to us here in Pecos, but I think this is a great opportunity for him and his family.” “In his time here, Paul has handled over 750 customers as the No. 2 loan officer here at the bank. He has been responsible for the majority of the real estate, or home loans, that have come through this office,” Grant said.

“We won’t miss his infrequent disappearing acts, but he will be greatly missed as a big part of this bank,” he added.

Hinojos will be going to Kermit to try his hand at revitalizing the branch down there. “The town has two local banks and a credit union. Kermit itself is a little smaller than Pecos, but I think that with the right direction, that WTNB branch can really move forward and establish itself as a quality home town bank,” Hinojos said.

He added that WTNB really has an advantage over other banks in the region, due to the fact that it has branches within about 100 miles from where ever a customer is in West Texas. “We can provide our customers with service at any of our banks, if we have a customer who typically banks in Lubbock and they walk into our branch here we can be ready to approve a loan or whatever they need within an hour.”

Born in Pecos, Hinojos did the majority of his growing up in Monahans before heading off to college at University of Texas of the Permian Basin and Texas Tech. After living in Houston and Midland, Hinojos returned to Pecos 12 years ago to take a position with WTNB.

During his time here, he has been involved with the Lions Club, West of the Pecos Rodeo Committee, T-ball, flag football, past president of the Chamber of Commerce, as well as many others, too numerous to be named.

He and his wife Cynthia have two children, Paul Anthony, 8, and Caileigh, 3, both of whom will be moving to Kermit some time in June, after the school year ends. Though he will be leaving Pecos, Hinojos said that he has found a home out here in West Texas and will probably never leave.

Hinojos said that of all the aspects of this town, he will miss the people of Pecos the most. “There is a real difference in the way people are around here. In some small towns the people welcome you with open arms, but never truly accept you as one of their own, however here in Pecos it is different. The people can be a little slow to welcome you in, but once you are, you are forever one of their own.”

Of the time that he has spent in community activities, Paul values the T-ball and flag football coaching time he has logged over the past few years. “There is nothing better, than when at the beginning of the season you have a child come in shy and crying at every practice, but with the right work, by the end of the season he is laughing and having fun with all the other kids. Bringing a kid out of his shell like that is one of the most rewarding experiences I have had.”

“When we came here, we really invested our time and money into this town. I really thought that this would be the last place I ever lived. Though I am a little disappointed that it will not be, this opportunity is very exciting. I think that it is a good chance for my family to grow, and hopefully one day come back. However, right now, leaving this town behind after having dedicated myself to it . . . it’s going to be hard to let go.”

State warrant database status on agenda

Reeves County Commissioners will meet Monday morning to discuss several items, including changes in access for local law enforcement to the state’s warrant database. Commissioners will meet at 10 a.m., in the third floor courtroom and the public is invited to attend.

The group will discuss and take action on the Texas Department of Public Safety’s discontinuation of warrant database along with a GED testing contract between Reeves County and Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD; LMD Architect request for payment invoice No. 322, No. 333 and No. 327; disbursement request to bond trustee for payment of RCDC III, start up costs; first amendment to contract between Reeves County and MCI WorldCom Communications and accept salary grievance committee for the Year 2004. Regular agenda items include: reports from various departments, budget amendments and line-item transfers, personnel and salary changes (RCDC, Road and Bridge, General Fund), minutes from previous meetings and semi-monthly bills.

Postal workers plan canned food drive

Stamp Out Hunger will be observed on Saturday by the National Association of Letter Carriers and in conjunction with the United States Postal Service.

The group will be collecting non-perishable food items, such as canned soup, juice, pasta, vegetables, cereal and rice on Saturday, May 8, to help families in the community. Everyone is asked to help by placing their food donation at their mailbox on Saturday before their letter carrier arrives.

The mail carrier will take it to the post office, and it will then be delivered to a local food bank or pantry.

People are asked to please not include glass or perishable items.


High Thursday 91. Low this morning 53. Forecast for tonight: Partly cloudy. Isolated thunderstorms in the evening. Lows in the mid 60s. Southeast winds 10 to 20 mph. Saturday: Partly cloudy. Isolated showers and thunderstorms late in the afternoon. Highs in the mid 90s. Southeast winds 10 to 15 mph. Saturday night: Partly cloudy. Isolated showers and thunderstorms in the evening. Lows near 60. Southeast winds 10 to 15 mph. Sunday: Partly cloudy. Isolated thunderstorms in the afternoon. Highs near 90. Southeast winds 10 to 20 mph. Sunday night: Partly cloudy with isolated thunderstorms. Lows near 60. Monday: Partly cloudy. Highs in the mid 90s. Monday night: Mostly clear. Lows near 60.

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Pecos Enterprise
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