Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Monday, December 7, 1998
`Chance' encounter nets PHS drug bust
By ROSIE FLORES
"Chance" is proving to be an asset to law enforcement after
finding marijuana in a school locker Friday afternoon.
Chance is the new drug dog acquired by the Reeves County
Sheriff's Office. "We just bought this new dog and this is
his first time out," said Reeves County Sheriff Andy Gomez.
Chance was at the Pecos High School Friday doing a random
"locker search" when she discovered the illegal drugs.
"This dog is a Labrador retriever, a girl, who's been
trained to find weapons and drugs," said Reeves County
Sheriff's officer Michael Dominguez.
During the random locker search, Chance alerted Dominguez to
four empty lockers. "This happened towards the end, when we
had gone through most of the lockers," said Dominguez.
In one of the lockers, officer Dominguez found a substance
believed to be marijuana. The marijuana was tested and
results were positive.
"Chance alerted our officer to four of the lockers, some of
the empty lockers were being used at one time or another to
store the illegal substance," said Gomez. "But this time,
only one of them contained something."
The juvenile in which the marijuana was found was questioned
and will be sent to the AEP school. "This is a school
offense in which is mandated that the juvenile be removed to
the Carver school for the remainder of the year," said PHS
Principal Danny Rodriguez.
"This is a very unfortunate situation, but we have to do
what we have to do," said vice-principal Victor Tarin. "The
illegal substance was found in the juvenile's jacket inside
Tarin stated that in order to make PHS a drug-free school
this is something that has to be done. "The dog is brought
in randomly, nobody knows when he'll be here, but we're just
trying to clean up our school," he said.
"We want to make it safe for everyone and move in that
direction," Tarin added.
Anytime something like this is found on school property, an
investigation is launched and involves the juvenile officer
at the school.
The latest incident came just a week after another juvenile
was found with an illegal substance. On Nov. 30, the teen
was found with what was believed to be cocaine. "He
voluntarily gave it to our officer at the school," said
The juvenile was charged with possession of a controlled
substance. "It was less than a gram and has a street value
of $60-$70," said Gomez.
"Apparently the teacher saw him with something, brought in
him here to us and we did the investigation," said Tarin.
The substance was found inside the juvenile's pants and he
cooperated with them, according to Tarin.
Also in this case the juvenile will be sent to the AEP
school for the remainder of the school year.
"This is what the school policy is and of course, they will
face whatever charges law enforcement will bring against
them," said Tarin.
Both incidents are still under investigation and has been
turned over to narcotics officer Ernest Lazcano.
Ex-cult leader again escapes state hospital
WACO (AP) -- Former Branch Davidian leader George Roden is
on the loose again.
Authorities said Roden, predecessor to David Koresh as sect
leader, escaped Saturday from the Big Spring State Mental
It's believed Roden may be heading to New York or another
city with a major airport so he can leave the country.
It is his third successful escape from state mental
hospitals since 1993.
``We like to call it unauthorized departure,'' Ed Moughon,
chief executive officer of Big Spring State Hospital told
The Waco Tribune-Herald.
Authorities believe Roden probably had help escaping. The
60-year-old, 5-foot-10-inch man reportedly weighs almost 300
``It's not a secure campus, but he would have had to climb a
6-foot field fence. It would have been a challenge for
George,'' Moughon said. ``We are pretty sure he didn't do
that. We believe he had a friend who arranged to come by and
pick him up.''
Moughon said police are reviewing a list of the patient's
recent visitors. Roden was reported missing from the
facility about 8:45 p.m. Saturday. He had grounds privileges
that allowed him to move around the hospital campus.
Though Roden has never harmed anyone during his escapes, his
behavior can become erratic if he doesn't take his medicine,
Three days after walking away from the Big Spring State
Hospital in September 1995, Roden -- who has said he is
Jewish -- was apprehended outside the Israeli consulate in
New York City where he had tried to obtain a visa to Israel.
Roden has been institutionalized since 1989 when he was
found innocent by reason of insanity in the slaying of his
Odessa roommate. Roden relocated to Odessa after losing
control of the Branch Davidians after a1987 gun battle with
rival David Koresh.
Six years later, Koresh and about 80 of his followers died
during an April 19, 1993, fire at their Mount Carmel
compound, ending a 51-day standoff with federal authorities.
W. Texas tries to avoid past oil bust woes
By KATIE FAIRBANK
AP Business Writer
DALLAS -- To mix Texas metaphors, the oil patch is pulling
in its horns.
As crude oil prices plunge to new lows, independent
producers in West Texas are wondering how long their
businesses can survive.
``It's costing as much to get oil out of the ground right
now as we're selling it for,'' said Morris Burns of the
Permian Basin Petroleum Association. ``Nobody is going to go
out and drill for $8 oil.''
Since the spring, oil prices have lingered at 25 percent to
45 percent below typical levels, while crude oil prices set
a 12-year low last week at $11.13.
``The horrendous deterioration of the price of oil has had a
huge impact on the small and independent producers,'' said
Mike McCammon of Merzon, about 105 miles southwest of
McCammon, who has been a part of family-owned McCammon Oil &
Gas for 25 years, said the length of the decline has made
the problem worse.
``When you drop your gross income by 40 percent, that drops
your net income by 80 percent. I've laid off some people and
those that we did not lay off, we had to reduce their pay,''
said McCammon, who added he's reduced his own salary.
West Texas' smaller producers are following a national trend
in the oil industry of reducing spending during this oil
Large oil companies have cut back their expenditures, while
several have announced mergers in part to pare down annual
``This here drop is having a crippling effect on everyone,''
Mike Varnadore, president of Silver Oil & Gas of San Angelo,
told The San Angelo Standard-Times. ``Those people out in
the field are losing money, producers are losing money, even
landowners are losing money on royalties they would receive
The plummeting oil prices have been just the latest blow to
the Western half of the Lone Star State.
This year, Levi Strauss & Co. announced it would close
plants in El Paso and Amarillo, while idling workers in
McAllen and Wichita Falls.
Meanwhile, a searing drought punished the area. Decades-old
high-temperature records fell and President Clinton declared
the area a disaster.
Cotton, hay and grasslands shriveled, causing farmers to
sell their herds of cattle, already bringing in lackluster
``A whole lot of people are involved in oil and cattle
and/or farming,'' said Burns. ``All of these have taken a
hit. Usually when one of them is bad the others can make up
Regardless of the hard times, no one expects the stormy
times of the mid-1980s oil bust.
``Now, the (small producers) are down to the bare bones of
just having to meet their current productions. That means it
won't be a disaster,'' said Howard Bonham of Howard Bonham
Research in Houston, which publishes an Oil and Gas Stock
McCammon said his company isn't heavily leveraged and he
believes he can hold on.
``I don't know for how long. We can hang on for a while. Oil
would have to get down pretty low for us to close our
doors,'' he said.
Burns said producers learned exacting lessons about debt
during the turbulent '80s.
``We've seen these roller coaster prices for years. The
family-owned businesses that survived '86, they'll survive
this,'' he said. ``It's not much fun, but they'll survive.
These people put money back for a rainy day and this is
certainly a rainy day.''
High Friday 78, Saturday 81, Sunday 62; lows 45, 47 and 33.
Freeze warning for tonight, Tonight, partly cloudy and cold.
Low in the mid 20s. Light north wind. Tuesday, mostly sunny.
High in the mid 50s. Light wind.
Ned Cantwell, 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 1998 by Pecos Enterprise