Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Tuesday, April 1, 2003
Beer of Kings includes unnatural light powder
Task force officials jail couple after kilos of cocaine found in carton
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, Tues., April 1, 2003 -- A husband and wife are behind bars in the
Midland County Jail, following the completion of a two-year undercover investigation
conducted by the Trans Pecos Drug Task Force.
At 10:15 a.m., Monday, March 31, officers with the Trans Pecos Drug Task
Force, assisted by the Reeves County Sheriff's Department and the Midland
County Sheriff's Department concluded the two-year investigation that led
to the arrests of the couple. They were identified as Luis Gonzales King,
47 and Adelia Pedroza King, 49, of La Vollia, Tx..
The Kings were arrested for delivery of three kilos of cocaine, which
is 3,000 grams.
Street value for the illegal drugs was put at $180,000, according to
Lt. Larry Arredondo of the Trans Pecos Drug Task Force.
"This was a successful operation," said Arredondo. "Sometimes investigations
can go that long, for two to three years."
Arredondo said that he was glad that nobody got hurt. "Thank God no one
was hurt and things went smoothly."
The couple is in the Midland County Jail awaiting arraignment.
The cocaine was delivered in a Natural Light beer carton, which had been
sealed and had about 4-5 beers in there with the three bricks of cocaine,
according to Arredondo.
"We work really well together with the Midland County Sheriff's Office
and it's thanks to the cooperation of all the agencies that we can do our
job," said Arredondo.
West Texas reps push bill for Andrews N-dump site
From Staff and Wire Reports
West Texas lawmakers are pressing for legislation that would set up a low-level
radioactive waste dump to hold Department of Energy waste and environmentalists
are putting up a fight.
"Why do we feel the need to become the nation's dumping ground in order
to manage our own waste?" said Erin Rogers of the Sierra Club. "Every radioactive
waste dump in the country has leaked."
The most likely site for a waste dump in West Texas would be on land
in western Andrews County, near the New Mexico state line. Dallas-based
Waste Control Specialists has been awaiting approval of a bill in the Texas
Legislature in order to apply for a permit to house the radioactive waste
on part of its land near Eunice, N.M.
A House committee on Monday approved a bill by Sen. George "Buddy" West,
R-Odessa, that would allow the Texas Department of Health to issue a license
to a private company to handle the disposal of the waste. Sen. Teel Bivins,
R-Amarillo, has filed similar legislation in the Senate.
Low-level radioactive waste is a byproduct of medical, research and
industrial activities. It also is produced through the operation of nuclear
The bills would allow for two facilities to be set up. One would handle
the waste under a compact that requires the state to dispose of Texas and
Vermont waste. The compact is part of a nationwide plan to store low-level
radioactive waste regionally.
A separate but adjacent facility would take Department of Energy waste,
a provision that caused lawmakers some concern last legislative session.
Then, the bill died in the House.
The risk of exposure to low-level radioactive waste, "I am told by scientists,
is very low in terms of harming the human health and the environment," Bivins
While the bills do not say where the waste site could be set up, both
Bivins and West say Andrews County residents support setting up a facility
there. The bills state that the site cannot be located in a county where
average rainfall is more than 20 inches a year, a standard that Andrews
County meets, Bivins said.
West said he lives within 35 miles of the proposed site. "My entire
family lives there," he said. "I think it's safe for me. I wouldn't do anything
to jeopardize my family."
The waste is not "high-level stuff," said Tony Proffitt, a spokesman
for Waste Control Specialists, which already operates a hazardous waste
facility in Andrews County and has been identified by Bivins as an "economically
solvent perspective licensee."
"It's not plutonium. It's not fuel rods," Proffitt said. "If a bill is
passed, Waste Control Specialists will apply for a license, no question
about that," Profitt said. "The county feels we've got a good site with
low rainfall and deep clay. It's just ideal for this site proposal."
Tom "Smitty" Smith, director of Public Citizen's Texas office, said
West's bill has significant flaws and said the Legislature's job is to look
after the state, not just one county.
"The people of Andrews County will suffer the immediate impacts of a
leaking dump," Smith said. Profitt disputed that, saying that the waste
would be kept in concrete and would be buried in an area covering roughly
1,400 acres of WCS's 18,000 acre site on the Texas-New Mexico state line.
A new site has been sought since then-Gov. George W. Bush rejected plans
to build a state-run radioactive waste facility southeast of Sierra Blanca
in Hudspeth County in 1998. Fears about earthquake fault lines in the area
were cited by Bush as the reason for rejecting the site.
Following that action, WCS announced its plan to seek a permit to store
the waste at its hazardous materials storage site in Andrews County, but
a few months later, another company, Envirocare, announced it had purchased
land eight miles north of Barstow and would seek permits to store radioactive
waste there. Officials in Reeves and parts of Ward County opposed the plan,
though it did receive the backing of Ward County officials in Monahans,
30 miles to the east. However, in January of 2001, Envirocare's plan was
abandoned as part of the settlement of a lawsuit with Dallas-based Waste
Profitt said he knew of no other plans to seek permits for radioactive
waste storage facilities in the Permian Basin, and said a company would
have to meet both safety and financial requirements in order to receive
West also said the state needs to have one central facility to store
the waste generated in Texas, rather than have it spread out across the
"You hear a lot of talk about dirty bombs. A lot of this stuff could
actually be used, I guess, in the composition of a dirty bomb if someone
wanted to," West said.
He said the site would have adequate security but after the committee
meeting, he said he did not know the level of security his bill provided.
Rep. Lon Burnam, D-Fort Worth, has proposed amendments to West's bill
that would increase the financial security a company must put up as well
as increase the physical security around the facility.
Smith said West's bill now does not provide enough financial security
to "ensure that when the dump leaks, as almost all of them do, that Texans
won't be stuck with a huge tax increase to clean up the mess left behind."
"There are about 1,700 licensed nuclear waste users, and this waste
is beginning to stack up in garages and parking lots," Profitt said, while
agreeing with West that those sites are not as secure as the company's Andrews
County facility in case of some type of terrorist attack.
One other problem that - though unlikely to affect the WCS' proposed
site, could cause some interesting reactions - is a lawsuit approved in
March by the New Mexico legislature seeking the transfer of 603,485 acres
of land along the state border from Texas to New Mexico. The proposal, filed
by Sen. Shannon Robinson, D-Albuquerque, is based on what New Mexico officials
said was an improper survey of the state boundary done in 1859.
If changed, the new state line would be three miles east of the current
border, and would take in WCS's Andrews County waste dump, along with several
small towns on the Texas side of the state line.
Profitt had no official comment on the possibility of WCS's complex ending
up in the state of New Mexico.
The House and Senate low-level radioactive waste dump bills are HB
1567 and SB 824.
Registration ends on Friday to vote in May 3 election
PECOS, Tues., April 1, 2003 -- Friday is the final day a person may register
to vote in the May 3 area elections, the last day to receive applications
for early voting ballots to be voted by mail is April 25.
Applications to vote by mail are currently being accepted in the area's
contested races. Early voting by personal appearance for Pecos voters will
be held at the Pecos Community Center, 508 S. Oak St., from April 16-29,
while Balmorhea ISD voters can cast ballots early at the Balmorhea ISD officer
during that same period.
Only three area elections will be held this May, because the other races
did not have any contested seats. The elections are for the Balmorhea and
Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD boards, and for the Town of Pecos City Council.
PECOS, Tues., April 1, 2003 -- High Monday 82. Low this morning 39. Forecast
for tonight: Mostly clear. Lows near 50. Southwest winds 10 to 20 mph.
Wednesday: Partly cloudy and breezy. Highs in the lower 90s. Southwest winds
5 to 15 mph increasing to 15 to 25 mph in the afternoon. Wednesday night:
Windy. Partly cloudy with isolated showers or thunderstorms. Lows in the
lower 50s. Thursday: Windy. Mostly sunny. Highs in the mid 80s. Friday:
Mostly clear. Windy. Lows in the lower 50s. Highs in the mid 80s.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Information contained in the Police Report
is obtained from reports filed by the Pecos Police Department, Reeves County
Sheriff's Office, or other officers of those agencies. The serving of warrants
by an officer for outstanding fines of either traffic citations, animal
control violations or other court costs are considered arrests and will
be printed as such unless indicated that the fines were paid. In such instances
we will indicate payment and release.
A male juvenile was arrested at 9:35 p.m., on March 31, in the 2200
block of Cactus for running away from home.
Joe Arthur Salas, 25, was arrested at 8:32 a.m., on March 29, in the
1900 block of Alamo Street on a Reeves County Warrant for motion to revoke
- driving while intoxicated.
Daniel Ortega Campos, 34, was arrested at 6:57 a.m., on March 29, at
the Town & Country, 1219 S. Cedar St., on a Reeves County warrant for
failure to appear before the court on a driving while intoxicated charge.
Oscar Archuleta, 20, was arrested at 4:04 p.m., on March 29, in the
400 block of West Third Street on a capias warrant for prohibited fire and
on a warrant for speeding, which he paid and was then released.
Kevin Hodges, 21, was arrested at 2:50 a.m., on March 29, in the 200
block of East Third Sstreet on a capias warrant service for default payment
of minor in possession of alcohol.
Simon Jaquez, 36,was arrested at 10:45 p.m., on March 27, at the Kwik
Stop at Third and Eddy streets on a warrant for parole violation.
Jose Smith, 36, was arrested at 11:46 p.m., on March 27, in the 400
block of Alberta Street on a warrant service for violation failure to appear
on possession of marijuana issued out of Hidalgo County.
Antonio Martinez, 23, was arrested at 8:50 a.m., on March 26, at Flying
J for theft over $50 under $500 - class B
Alfonso Reyes Gabaldon, 31, was arrested at 1:48 a.m., on March 27,
in the 900 block of Cedar Street for public intoxication.
Eugenio C. Arenivaz
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 2003 by Pecos Enterprise