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Friday, April 18, 1997

Drug indictments, trials keeps federal court busy

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Staff Writer
Two area residents have been arrested on sealed federal indictments for
alleged importation of heroin.

Brenda Ingo Rodriguez, 38, and Roberto Jimenez Dominguez, 48, both of
Odessa, were arraigned before U.S. Magistrate Stuart Platt and released
on bail.

They allegedly imported five grams of heroin from Mexico Nov. 4, 1995.
Both had an Alpine address, Village Apt. #12, at the time of the alleged
violation. They gave separate Odessa addresses when arraigned.

Those indictments were among many returned recently by the federal grand
jury, and judges' dockets have been crowded.

Judge Bunton accepted guilty pleas in four criminal cases this week, and
sentenced a local resident to prison.

Oscar Muro-Valdez, 36, 1900 Rhodes St., pleaded guilty to illegal entry
after being deported, which violated terms of his supervised release on
a previous conviction.

Muro asked for leniency because "My family don't have enough to eat
here, and My wife is not working. She only works three or four times a
year. I have four children going to school and a little girl two years
old. So I came to see if I could help them to have a better life."

"Is that the reason you got drunk here in Pecos?" asked Judge Bunton.

"We went with my wife to celebrate a party for a 15-year-old," Muro
said. "I would like for you to forgive me and I do accept

Monty Kimball, Muro's attorney, said his client has lived in Pecos since
1977 and has five daughters.

"He works in agriculture and came back to help his family," he said.
"While it was against the law, at that party a guy ran over him. Under
these circumstances, we would ask the court to be lenient."

Judge Bunton was lenient, giving Muro the minimum of 18 months in
prison, but made the sentence consecutive with the illegal entry prison

Felix Joseph Bretz entered a new plea of guilty to bank robbery. He had
earlier pleaded guilty to "larceny of a bank."

Bretz said he is taking Thorzin to help him "keep my thoughts in order."
He was tested by psychiatrists at the Springfield federal hospital and
found to be competent to stand trial, Judge Bunton said.

"I believe when Felix Bretz robbed that bank, he really wasn't playing
with a full house," said public defender John Calhoun. "He was, in his
own way, seeking out help...he sat on the curb to wait for the cops and
told the policemen he did rob the bank."

Judge Bunton sentenced Bretz to 48 months in prison, with three years
supervised release.

"I did take into consideration one thing you did in the halfway house
that did concern me," Judge Bunton said. "You smoked marijuana. This
behavior can't be tolerated."

Martin Cesar Ojeda-Ontiveros pleaded "true" to charges he violated terms
of his supervised release by unlawfully re-entering the United States
after being deported, possession of a controlled substance, and failure
to report to his probation officer.

"I guess I was just trying to stay here," Ojeda said. "I just can't
change what I did, but I am sorry for it."

"I can understand the failure to report, but this possession of a
controlled substance is real serious," Judge Bunton said. "You knew if
you were caught you would be in trouble?"

"Yes," said Ojeda, who has previously been convicted of possession of
marijuana. But he asked for leniency. "I hope you would find it in your
heart to give me less time as you could to give me time to be with my

"Up to now you haven't done a real good job," Bunton said, and
re-sentenced Ojeda to 18 months in prison.

Arthur Joseph Preston, 26, of Farris, and Paul Theodore Preston Jr., 42,
of Mesquite, pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute more
than 1,000 kilograms of marijuana. Their attorney is Mike Barclay of

Their co-defendant, Alex Monty Dawson III, 20, of Bowie, asked for a new
lawyer and a jury trial on charges of importation and possession of more
than 1,000 kilograms of marijuana. His trial is set for April 28, with
public defender John Calhoun to represent him.

Judge Bunton also presided for selection of a grand jury to serve the
next 18 months.

"You are the body between the person accused and the government," Judge
Bunton told the 23 jurors selected.

"You are independent; you are not there to get anybody or to see that
anybody is gotten," he said.

Indictments had dropped off in the 10-county Pecos Division, but have
picked up this year, "because we have some diligent, hard-working
prosecutors," Judge Bunton said, crediting Jim Blankinship of Alpine.

Blankinship will soon have a part-time assistant in Alpine, and the
Marfa sector of the Border Patrol now has a full-time attorney to
prosecute immigration cases, Bunton said.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Kelly Loving of Austin was helping out during
hearings this week, and Judge Bunton said that he is one of those being
considered for a permanent position in Pecos as AUSA. That position has
been vacant since Linda Zeman resigned several years ago to move to

Feds prepare for fire, blast anniversaries

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From Staff and Wire Reports
At Social Security Administration offices across the country the word
went out: ``Anniversaries can unfortunately be a focus for additional

The warning is for the April 19 anniversaries of the Waco and Oklahoma
City tragedies - this Saturday. And Social Security, as well as other
federal agencies are getting nervous and quietly taking precautions.

At the Justice Department, the word was passed that Venetian blinds be
drawn behind windows that face the street to lessen injury in case of
flying glass. And the FBI sent a reminder to agencies about the April 19
date and its history.

Billy Johnson, deputy marshal for the Pecos Division, said today that
tight security is maintained in the Lucius D. Bunton III Federal
Courthouse at all times, "in today's environment."

Threats were made last year by Republic of Texas ambassador Richard
McLaren, who was jailed for over a month by Judge Bunton - for whom the
courthouse is named - for refusing to appear in federal court in Pecos
on charges for filing false liens.

McLaren was later released, but warrants for his arrest have again
been issued in both federal court in Pecos and district court in Fort
Davis. He has remained at his Davis Mountains property since late December,
and has threatened violence if officials come to serve the warrant.

McLaren was impeached last month by other members of the Republic of
Texas, citing statements and claims made by the group's ambassador.
Republic members are currently involved in a dispute with Texas Attorney
General Dan Morales over illegal liens filed by members, and the group
is currently stressing on its Internet site that it is a non-violent

In 1993, the compound of the Branch Davidian religious cult burned to
the ground near Waco, Texas, ending a 51-day standoff with the FBI and
other law enforcement authorities. Cult leader David Koresh and 80 of
his followers died by fire or gunshots six hours after the FBI started
filling the compound with tear gas through holes punched by a tank.

The tragedy enraged many, including militant conservative groups that
blamed an intrusive government. On April 19, 1995, a bomb exploded
outside a federal building in Oklahoma City, killing 168. On the fourth
anniversary, in 1997, Timothy McVeigh, a young man charged with causing
the deaths, is standing trial in Denver.

``If you are putting in security procedures, you don't want to tell the
world about it,'' says Ricky Dodd of the Postal Inspection Service. He
could be speaking for federal agencies around the country.

``It's just common sense that when you have a tragedy like Oklahoma
City, advice has been given to each and every Marshals Service
employee,'' said Bill Dempsey of the U.S. Marshals Service.

The service, he said, ``is indeed very much aware of this and other
anniversaries coming up. Necessary and appropriate steps are being

Memories of the 15 Social Security employees who died in Oklahoma City,
along with 24 customers in their office, prompted a note to take
``special precautions to prevent someone from trying to capitalize
negatively on this occasion.''

The message to employees pointed out that there has been no indication
of threats, but it urged them to review security procedures and
encourage everyone to report suspicious events and abandoned packages.

A Pecos native, Adele Maddox Higgenbottom, was one of the 168 killed in
the Oklahoma City blast, and librarian Nancy Bentley began a memorial
garden on the lawn of Reeves County Library shortly after the bombing.
However, that was put on hold by county judge Jimmy Galindo, and Bentley
said she has dropped the subject.

The federal courthouse where McVeigh is on trial has been turned into a
modern-day fortress.

``We are at the top security for civilian buildings, we are above top
security,'' said Polly Baca, regional administrator for the General
Services Administration.

In Washington, Bill Bearden, spokesman for the GSA - the government's
landlord - said precautions began years ago in all federal buildings and
have not slacked.

A military officer at the Pentagon said he was unaware of any specific
warning going out to bases worldwide.

``We've put our people on alert around the country to be aware this is
an anniversary date,'' said the Postal Inspection Service's Dodd.
``Hopefully, that'll be enough.''

Border Patrol arrests down, drugs up

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U.S. Border Patrol officers apprehended fewer illegal aliens in the
month of March this year than for March of last year but narcotic
seizures were up, according to a report from the U.S. Border Patrol
Sector Headquarters in

A total of 1,358 illegal aliens were located and processed for removal
in March, the report said.

Nearly 5,000 pounds of marijuana were seized, in 34 separate cases, with
a street value of $3,409,731.

Border Patrol officers at Sierra Blanca Station conducted an enhanced
check point operation called "Gearjammer" during the month. The patrol
increased the number of personnel at the station and conducted thorough
inspections of vehicles, especially 18 wheeler tractor/trailer
combinations, eastbound on Interstate 10.

From March 17 until the 23rd, 66 agents with 22 canine inspection teams
operated 24-hours-a-day at the station.

The operation netted five narcotics smuggling cases involving about a
ton of marijuana valued at $1,408,459.

Twelve U.S. citizens were arrested during the operation and eight
vehicles were seized, valued at $174,300.

A total of 114 illegal aliens from Mexico, Australia, El Salvador,
Guatemala and Honduras were arrested during the operation including a
Mexican National arrested for auto-theft and transporting 28 other
nationals in the stolen van.

Juvenile Court Report

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Twenty juveniles were detained in by the county in March, 10 from Reeves
County and 10 from outside the county, according to the monthly juvenile
report on the detention facility from the Probation Department of the
Reeves County Juvenile Court.

In March, four detention hearings were held, one hearing to modify the
disposition of a case was waived. There were no revocation, adjudication
or disposition hearings. An additional motion to modify the disposition
of a case was filed.

Twenty juveniles are currently on official probation with the county,
one is on courtesy supervision and seven have informal conference
adjustments to probation.

No juveniles were committed to the Texas Youth Commission in March and
only one has been committed so far this year.

Two juveniles had their cases dismissed in March, one was placed outside
the home and eight juveniles paid money for restitution.

Twelve juveniles were referred to the court, seven by the Pecos Police
Department, one by the school district and four by other sources.

Of the 12 referrals, 10 were male and two were female. Of these 10 were
Hispanic and two were Caucasian.

Two were referred to the court for violation of a court order, one for
failure to attend school, five for possession of under two ounces of
marijuana, on for possession of a controlled substance (Cocaine), one
for indecent exposure, one for evading arrest and one for the
unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.

PHS holding skywatching on Tuesdays

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The Pecos High School Science Department will be hosting Astronomy
Observation for two more weeks, with this Tuesday and Tuesday, April 29,
beginning at 8 p.m.

The club has been holding the event each Tuesday during the month of
April. The public and all students are invited to attend.

Astronomy Observation will be held at the Crockett Middle School
practice field. A 10 inch telescope will be set for the public to use.

Bill won't affect city's tax break plan

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From Staff and Wire Reports
A bill approved earlier this week by the Texas Senate, which will bar
school districts from giving businesses tax breaks, will not affect
Pecos' newly-created tax abatement plan.

A bill introduced by Sen. David Sibley, R-Waco, and approved by the
Senate on Monday would prohibit school districts from giving businesses
tax breaks, Sibley said schools lose millions of dollars though this

The bill, now before the House, would prevent school districts from
giving new property tax exemptions or taking part in new tax increment
financing plans after Sept. 1.

Under a tax increment financing plan, which can be initiated by a city,
a portion of taxes paid by a property owner is put into a fund used for
improvements benefiting the property. For example, property taxes may be
used to pay for a mall parking lot.

School districts would be able to honor agreements approved before Sept.
1, but they could not increase their level of financial participation in
the deals after the law takes effect.

In Pecos, a committee was formed last September to study a unified tax
abatement proposal which would then be approved by local taxing
entities. The guidelines and criteria for the plan were presented to the
Town of Pecos City Council, Reeves County Commissioners and Reeves
County Hospital District last month.

Although the Senate bill wouldn't take effect until Sept. 1, the
committee's plans were draw up with the idea that the
Pecos-Barstow-Toyah school district would not participate in any tax
abatement proposal, due to the law pending in the legislature.

James Crow of the Texas Association of School Boards has said tax
exemptions, known as abatements, are a lose-lose proposition for school
districts because they both lose the property from their tax base and
may qualify for less state funding, which is based on property value.

School districts that participate in tax increment financing plans do
not forfeit state aid. But Sibley said that means the rest of the state
is subsidizing their deal, because they otherwise would be collecting
more local taxes and getting less state aid.

Ontiveros approved by CCRC

for interim Head Start position

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Monahans News
MONAHANS - Community Council of Reeves County trustees Thursday night
approved a plan to provide for a Head Start administrator in the interim
between the resignation of director Mary Jane Ontiveros and the
appointment of a new director.

The action was taken at the regular meeting of the Community Council of
Reeves County, held this month at the Ward County Convention Center in

CCRC Executive Director Caprice Cox recommended, and the board
unanimously approved, hiring Ontiveros as the interim administrator, at
$42 a day. Ontiveros was hired by the CCRC in February, but resigned
earlier this week to return to her former job.

Her resignation was effective on Wednesday, Cox told the board.

Under the interim plan, Ontiveros will be hired as an independent
contractor. The agreement under which Ontiveros will work is to extend
through May 31. There is a possibility it can he extended if a new Head
Start administrator is not found.

"In the meantime, we have advertised in the Pecos newspaper and plan to
advertise in any other newspapers in the region," Cox told the board.
Board members told her she was referring to the Monahans News in
Monahans and the Winkler County News in Kermit.

Under the agreement, Ontiveros has the right to cancel the contract with
one week's notice.

She told the board that she has other employment and plans to work in
the afternoons and evenings to maintain the Head Start administrative

In other business:

- The board instructed Cox to begin preliminary / examination of the
feasibility of providing a battered spouse center in the region as an
alternative to the time and travel involved in transporting a battered
spouse and children to the center in Odessa.

- Cox was told by the Council she could purchase sponsor space on the
Pecos High School Athletic Calendar but similar space must also be
purchased on the athletic calendars of schools at Monahans, Kermit,
Balmorhea and Wink.

- Cox was instructed to ensure that in the future all Community Council
documents reflect the true name of the Council, That it does not was an
oversight, Cox told the board.

Classic adds pay channel, plans

more changes for fall

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Staff Writer
Pecos cable television viewers looking for Nickelodeon or Nick at Nite
had to search higher up on the dial as of Tuesday, after Classic Cable
added a fourth pay channel to the company's local lineup.

Cinemax took over Nickelodeon/Nick at Nite's former spot on Ch. 16,
while that channel was moved up to the highest spot on the system, Ch.

Classic Cable's regional manager Rowdy Whittington said the addition of
Cinemax and the Nickelodeon move was the only change the company planned
at this time, but others could take place during the summer and fall.

"We're probably looking at some more channel additions without moving
any other channels around," he said today from the company's Plainville,
Kan., office. "We're going to run a survey in June or July that people
can cut out and mail in or bring into the local office that will ask
them what channels they want to add."

Whittington said the channels would be chosen from a list of between six
and eight offered by the company. The company currently has about 10 to
12 unused channels on the Pecos system.

He also said Classic Cable is considering a digital pay-per-view service
that would replace the current system used for one-time events.

"People wanting the pay-per-view service will get converter boxes, while
those who don't want it won't need them," he said. "If you want to buy a
movie or a sporting event, all you'll have to do is call up the office,
and we'll program the converter box.

"If the movie comes on at 8 o'clock, you won't see anything on that
channel until then," he said.

Whittington wasn't sure when this service would be added, but said Pecos
might be one of the test cities. "We had real good results from Saturday
(the Oscar De La Hoya-Pernell Whitaker fight). I was in town and we had
81 people sign-up," for the $39.95 event.


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The Fort Stockton Pioneer

FORT STOCKTON, Apr. 17, 1997 - While there have been delays that have
slowed the progress of the reverse-osmosis water treatment plant, the
progress has continued nonetheless, and treated, softer water should
begin flowing for Fort Stockton and limited portions of Pecos County
next week. The plant is a million-dollar cooperative effort between
Pecos County and the city of Fort Stockton.

Jeff Davis County Mountain Dispatch

FORT DAVIS, Apr. 17, 1997 - For the first time since 1992, water rates
are being increased to help offset hikes in expenses to the members of
the water supply corporation in Fort Dvis. Meeting last week, the Fort
Davis Water Supply Corporation boartd of directors agreed to rearrange
the rate structure for the first gallons of water used by customers and
to increase the cost of joining the corporation and hooking up meters.

The Big Bend Sentinel
MARFA, Apr. 17, 1997 - Big Bend National Park has been selected to
participate in Phase II of the congressionally authorized Recreation Fee
Demonstration Program which allows federal land-management agencies to
increase and retain entrance and user fees, said Supt. Jose A. Cisneros.
The purpose of the three-year program is to demonstrate the feasibility
of using increased fees for the opertion and maintenance of parks.
Beginning May 1, fees will be $10 per private passenger vehicle and its
occupants for seven days, up from the current $5 fee.

The Alpine Avalanche
ALPINE, Apr. 17, 1997 - A fire at the Alpine Housing on East Nations
street took the life of one man and destroyed two units April 13. David
Sotelo Dominguez Sr., 71, of Alpine died as a result of the fire. Cause
of the fire is undetermined.

The International, Presidio Paper
PRESIDIO, Apr. 17, 1997 - State Rep. Pete Gallego of Alpine said the Big
Bend region may soon be home to part of a new trade corridor with
Mexico. Late last week, the Texas House of Representatives passed a bill
designating some West Texas highways as the future route of "La Entrada
al Pacifico Corridor." The route would stretch from Lamesa, Texas to
Topolobampo, a deep water port on the Pacific Coast of Mexico. It would
travel from Lamesa to Midland-Odessa, then wind down Highway 349 to Fort
Stockton, then on U.S. 67 to Presidio.

The Sul Ross Skyline
ALPINE, Apr. 17, 1997 - Sul Ross State University named seniors Brian
Charles Kelley and Roxanna Simone Huff Barnes man and woman of the year
Monday during the annual Honors Convocation in the Marshall Auditorium.
President R. Vic Morgan presented the awards at the end of the
ceremonies, recognizing the top students at the university.

The Sanderson Times
SANDERSON, Apr. 17, 1997 - A full day of festivities is planned for the
local observance of Cinco de Mayo on May 3. Festivities, food and
various other booths will be set up at the Legion Hall on Friday, and a
street dance will begin at 9 p.m., with a brisket cookoff to begin at
midnight. The chili-ribs/menudo cookoff will begin Sturday morning, and
a parade begins at 10 a.m. Saturday with a talent show to follow.

The Monahans News
MONAHANS, Apr. 17, 1997 - Monahans businessman John Paul Jones calls for
better cooperation between city and county government officials,
consolidation of several public services, more positive coverage from
the local media and a more aggressive effort for eocnomic development.
Jones' comments were made to Ward County Commissioners in their Monday


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PECOS, Apr. 18, 1997 - High Thursday 75, low last night 53. Rainfall .36
inch. April rainfall .38 inch. Year-to-date 1.93 inches. Tonight, a 30
percent chance of showers or thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy early,
becoming partly cloudy after midnight. Low 50-55. southeast wind 5-15
mph, becoming light and variable around midnight. Saturday, partly
cloudy. High 80-85. West to southwest wind 5-10 mph.
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Copyright 1997 by Pecos Enterprise
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324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321
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