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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Top Stories

Thursday, December 5, 2002

Task force pops 'steel-belt' tires full of marijuana

Staff Writer

PECOS, Thurs., Dec. 5, 2002 -- A traffic stop west of Pecos on Wednesday netted the Trans  Pecos Drug Task Force about 95 pounds of marijuana, and resulted in  the arrest of a Mexican man and confiscation of the vehicle he  was driving.

According to TransPecos Task Force Officer Kevin Roberts, at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday he stopped a 1993 Ford Explorer with Mexico license plates headed eastbound on Interstate 20 near the 35 mile marker, about five miles west of Pecos. He said during the stop, he received verbal consent from the driver, identified as Ricardo Alderete, 20, of Chihuahua, Mex., to search the vehicle.

He said during the search, the vehicles tires were found to be loaded with about 95 pounds of marijuana, which Roberts said had an estimated street value of $48,000.

Roberts was assisted by Reeves County Sheriff's deputy Fernando Valenzuela, who served as translator for Alderete. He told the officers he was en route from Mexico to the Fort Worth area when he was stopped.

"We had just finished one traffic stop when we got to this one," said Roberts.

Alderete was transported to Reeves County Jail, where he was charged with possession of marijuana over 50 pounds but under 2,000, a second-degree felony. He was waiting arraignment this morning, while the vehicle was impounded and placed in an area outside the Reeves County Jail.

"They had to get a welder to cut the metal off the rims," said Trans-Pecos Drug Task Force Commander Gary Richards. "Sheriff (Andy) Gomez had to call them out to take care of it. We got through about 11:30 last night."

"This makes Kevin's 10th load since June," Richards said, referring to the number of drug seizures since the current state grant period for the task force began on June 1. "He's gotten 510 pounds of marijuana and 10½ kilos of cocaine."

Richards said nine vehicles have been seized in those incidents, along with $55,000 in cash, while 13 people have been arrested by Roberts on drug charges during that time.

Valor says proposed layoffs to have minor effect in area

From Staff and Wire Reports
Valor Telecom has announced that it will lay off dozens of workers  during the next month because of a softening economy and industry trends.   However, while Southeastern New Mexico will be hit by the  cutbacks, company officials said the layoffs would have little effect on  Valor's Trans-Pecos service area.

The layoffs are part of a company-wide downturn that will affect 120 jobs in New Mexico, Texas and Oklahoma, David Duran, a Valor spokesman, said Wednesday.

Valor, based in Irving, Texas, has call centers and stores in all three states. The company provides long distance, high-speed Internet and data services.

About 34 workers in New Mexico will be laid off, including 23 at Valor's call center and store in Carlsbad, with the rest in Texas and Oklahoma, Duran said.

In Pecos and surrounding areas of West Texas that Valor serves, company spokesman Rufus Moshay said that the effect the layoffs is minimal.

The staff reductions are being blamed on industry trends and a slumping economy.

"We're trying to strengthen our business in an effort to be prepared for any recovery that might take place or grow our business," Duran said. "But right now, it's a downturn in the industry."

The layoffs will affect customer service representatives, sales associates, account and retail sales managers and customer relations specialists.

Through seniority, some employees will be able to change jobs and remain with the company, Duran said. Some severance pay will be provided based on tenure.

If the economy improves, Duran said employees might be brought back.

Moshay added that for those in the state who do lose their jobs, Valor would be working with the Texas Workforce Commission in helping employees fill out applications and resumes and that the lay offs would not have an effect on the customers.

Valor was formed three years ago, purchasing mostly rural and small city telephone exchanges from Verizon in Texas, New Mexico and Oklahoma. Verizon sold the exchanges only a few months after the company was formed by the merger of GTE and Bell Atlantic.

Citizens Academy schedules bake sale Friday

PECOS, Thurs., Dec. 5, 2002 -- The Citizens Police Academy will be hosting a bake sale Friday in the Security State Bank lobby.

The bake sale will be from 9 a.m. till noon.

The Citizens Police Academy will also sale raffle tickets for a chance to win a DVD play that will be given away on December 17.

Money from the bake sale and raffle tickets will go towards a scholarship fund that will be given to a 2003 Pecos High School graduate.

Anyone having a donation to make may bring it by the bank.


PECOS, Thurs., Dec. 5, 2002 -- High Wednesday 46. Low this morning 36. Forecast for tonight:  Clear and cold. Lows in the mid 20s. Light winds. Friday: Mostly sunny  and warmer. Highs in the upper 50s. South winds 5 to 15 mph. Friday  night: Mostly clear. Lows near 30. Saturday: Partly cloudy. Highs near 60.  Sunday: Mostly cloudy and colder with a chance of rain or snow. Lows near  30. Highs near 45.


Roy Peters and Estban de la Rosa

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Pecos Enterprise
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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