Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Wednesday, June 28, 2000
Midland commishes vote to remain with task force
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, June 28, 2000 - Local law enforcement officials, along with elected
officials from Reeves County, traveled to Midland Monday to speak to the
Midland County Commissioners Court about continued support of the Trans
Pecos Drug Task Force.
Reeves County Sheriff Andy Gomez and Task Force Commander Gary Richards
were joined by County Judge Jimmy B. Galindo and commissioners David Castillo
and Herman Tarin in their efforts to educate the court on the local task
"They had a lot of misconceptions about the task force and we joined
together to go over and answer their questions," said task force commander
Midland commissioners voted 3-1 in favor to remain a part of the Trans
Pecos task force, and agreed to put up funds totaling just over $25,000
to be used if needed by the task force at the end of the current fiscal
"It was a good turnout, we got a really good response," said Reeves
County Sheriff Andy Gomez.
"I think it was a real good meeting," added Reeves County Judge Jimmy
B. Galindo. "What we tried to do is describe to them what we started with,
what we have done already and what we plan for the future.
"The sheriff answered some questions the commissioners had and stated
that there were certain points he would work towards," said Galindo.
He said Gomez told the Midland commissioners there were some items that
he would definitely work on, including that he would provide the best possible
training for the officers, keep all the commissioners courts updated, do
everything he could to make the local match self-sustaining and include
very county commissioner as representative in the advisory board to the
"We haven't all participated on the advisory board," said Galindo.
"We're excited that everything worked out with Midland County and that
they are still our partners," said Galindo. "I hope our visit helped to
explain how the task force works and the importance of it.".
Galindo said Reeves County is 100 percent behind the task force and
that the job they are doing is excellent. "We're very proud of our officers,
they are the ones out there putting their lives on the line for us, the
community," he said.
Gomez stated that the representation made by Reeves County helped to
make the relationship between the counties better and strengthen the bond,
in their effort to fight the war on drugs.
"We basically all want the same thing, to keep drugs off the streets
in our communities," said Gomez.
Other counties and cities which are members of the local drug task force
include the Town of Pecos City, Presidio County, Jeff Davis County, Andrews
County, City of Andrews, Loving County, Culberson County and Midland County.
"We also have working agreements with Winkler and Ward Counties," said
Gomez. "They're not in the task force, but they give us permission to wok
"They had some questions for us and we answered them honestly and thoroughly,"
said Richards. "I think they just had a lot of misconceptions and we cleared
"At this point everyone that is in the task force is very happy with
the work we are doing," said Gomez.
According to the Midland Reporter-Telegram, Commissioner Louisa Valencia,
who voted against a similar cooperative agreement last year, cast the dissenting
vote, and declined an offer by Galindo to serve on the Task Force's advisory
Valencia said that she "gracefully declined" for the "safety of myself
and for the safety of my family," explaining that she had been "set up"
by the former Permian Basin Drug Task Force as the intended victim of a
sting operation several years ago, the Reporter-Telegram said.
The Permian Basin Drug Task Force lost its state funding in 1998, after
questions were raised about its operations. Valencia wanted Midland County
to join the Odessa-based West Texas Narcotics Task Force, which was formed
along with the Trans-Pecos Druk Task Force in late 1998, and covers other
Permian Basin counties.
Hull gets award for interdiction efforts
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, June 28, 2000 - A Pecos officer with the Trans Pecos Drug Task
Force was honored recently with a statewide award.
Billy Hull was named as Texas Narcotics Control Program-West Region
Interdiction Officer of the Year for his outstanding performance of duty
and service to the Texas Narcotics Program.
"What they do is the committee for the Western District got together
and nominated the most productive officer and they voted, then sent the
name on to Austin, to TNCP headquarters and the directors up there vote
and then decide who gets it," said Hull.
There are five regions in Texas and the Western Region covers Reeves
and the surrounding counties and cities in the Trans-Pecos.
The task force went from being ranked 46th in the state in
drug seizures in 1998-99 to being ranked sixth this past year,
which is a great accomplishment, according to Reeves County Sheriff Andy
"We're really proud of Billy and the work he has been doing," said Gomez.
"Our main concern is the children in the community and keeping them safe,
which is the reason for the task force, to get all those drugs off the
"We did real good for this quarter," said Hull. "It's really nice to
get an award from your own peers."
Hull has been involved in many drug interdictions and traffic stops
which led to the arrests of drug dealers.
"We've done a lot of drug interdictions and arrests, but we did three
major ones," said Hull.
The arrests that led to the largest single drug interdiction in Reeves
County was for 205 pounds of marijuana. "The arrests in which we confiscated
the most money was for $232,000," said Hull.
"We're very proud of Billy, for his accomplishments and efforts, since
he's joined the task force and the seizures he has made have helped us
in the state of Texas," said Task Force Commander Gary Richards.
"The work he's done has helped us tremendously in Reeves and Ward County
in stopping the flow of drugs coming to this region," said Richards.
The Trans Pecos Drug Task Force was formed in 1998 and covers over a
half dozen counties in West Texas. It is headquartered in Pecos and is
under the direction Gomez and Richards.
"All the officers have been working really hard, which is what is making
this task force one of the best in the region," said Gomez. "We're proud
of all of them, especially when they bring home awards like this one."
Girls rewarded for turning in check found outside church
By LEIA HOLLAND
PECOS, June 28, 2000 - There is a $400 signed check with no name on
it lying in the street. Would you try to find the owner or keep it?
Adrianna Lujan and her friend Rhonda Landa, both 10 years old, had no
question in their mind.
Both girls were waiting for Adrianna's mother, Kathy Lujan, to come
pick them up from church last Wednesday across the street from North Temple
Baptist Church when they found the $400 check. Four hundred dollars was
written on the top and bottom line making it possible for anyone to cash
Rhonda asked not to be interviewed for this story, but Adrianna, whose
favorite color is blue and loves pizza and enchiladas, said she told her
friend they should give the check to her mother.
The girls picked up the check and held on to it. Once at home Adrianna
told her mother about it.
"She came to me and said Rhonda had something I needed to see," Lujan
They showed Lujan the check and she contacted the owner of the checking
account. Lujan found out that the check was intended for Sonny West from
Cattleman's Restraurant. West's mother had sent him the check the day before
Adrianna and her friend found it.
West was not aware that his mother had sent him the check and does not
know how the check found its way to the north side of Pecos.
"There's no telling how it got over there," West said.
Adrianna, with the help of her mother, was able to return the check
to West's wife that evening. The next morning West personally went to Adrianna's
house to thank her.
Lujan said her husband, Arturo, and she were very proud of Adrianna
for turning in the check.
"God was watching to make sure the right people picked up the check
that day," Lujan said. "I told them it was good that they found it and
not someone dishonest."
As an award, West gave the girls a $40 gift certificate to Cattlemen's.
West said that with all the bad things going on in this world he was very
proud of Adrianna.
"I just think she must be an outstanding little girl to do what she
did," West said.
Adrianna is a typical fifth grader who is very honest and loves her
family and pets, N'Sync (especially Lance) and The Olsen Twins.
Car's tile style attracts onlookers at store
By LEIA HOLLAND
PECOS, June 28, 2000 - Town & Country employees on Cedar Street
received a surprising visit yesterday from an unusual sight.
"Big Al" Bartell of Trinity, a town near Houston, drove into Pecos in
his "eye catching" 1971 Buick Centurion.
The employees of Town & Country called the Enterprise in complete
amazement over this car that had stopped to fuel up there.
They were amazed because this car is covered side-to-side and top-to-bottom
with broken tile and china that Bartell had collected from family members
and yard sales.
He has put over 300 hours work in a six-month time span gluing the fragments
with 100 percent silicone into many different pictures.
Bartell said he has added about 700 pounds to his car due to the tile.
He tries to collect something from each town he stops in to add to his
Enterprise employee Lorna Navarette donated a Pecos Enterprise weather
thermometer in remembrance of Bartell's stop in Pecos.
He said he is currently being featured in a commercial for La Quinta
Inns and is touring car shows nationwide this summer. He came to Texas
from a show in Seattle and will be going back north, to Breckenridge, Colo.
and Omaha, Neb., next.
Anyone can learn more about Bartell's car and others like it by logging
on to www.artcars.com, his sight is named VersaTile.
PECOS, June 28, 2000 - High Tuesday 96. Low this morning 72. Forecast for
tonight: Mostly cloudy. A 30 percent chance of showers or thunderstorms.
Low 65-70. East wind 10-20 mph. Thursday: Partly cloudy. A 30 percent chance
of showers or thunderstorms. High in the mid 90s. East wind 10-20 mph.
Thursday night: Partly cloudy with a slight chance of showers or thunderstorms.
Low around 65. Friday: Partly cloudy. Low 65-70. High near 100.
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
Division of Buckner News Alliance, Inc.
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321
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Copyright 2000 by Pecos Enterprise