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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Top Stories

February 2, 1999

Bunton rejects Levario appeal to cut jail time

Staff Writer
PECOS, Feb. 2, 1999 - A Mexican citizen who has been in trouble with the law in both the United States and Mexico over the past decade lost his bid for a shortened federal prison sentence Monday.

Senior Judge Lucius Bunton sentenced Pascual Levario-Quiroz, 32, to 66 months in prison for illegally importing a firearm in to the United States and for illegal entry.

That's the same sentence Levario received last year, but he appealed because in setting the guideline range, Judge Bunton took into consideration the fact that the firearm had been used by the defendant in another crime.

Levario fled to the United States in a hail of bullets from Mexican officials after he shot and killed a man in Ojinaga, Mex., Nov. 5, 1996. As Mexican officers pursued Levario, he fired at them with a semiautomatic rifle. Levario was wounded and later captured at his mother's house in Redford.

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals vacated Levario's original sentence and remanded the case to Judge Bunton for re-sentencing.

"Although, in the ordinary sense of words, Levario's offenses in Mexico occurred in the `same course of conduct' as his illegal entry and importation of the firearm into the United States, they did not under the definition of that term according to the sentencing guidelines," the appeals court ruled.

They did, however, describe a scenario that would allow Judge Bunton to depart upward from the sentencing guidelines.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jim Blankinship filed a motion for upward departure based on the court's opinion that the unusual circumstances of the case would have justified departing upward by applying a provision of the guidelines by analogy rather than by direct imposition of the guideline.

So, after a lengthy argument by defense attorney Adrian Chavez, Judge Bunton repeated the original sentence, but this time explained why.

Judge Bunton noted that Levario was sentenced by a Mexican court to six years in prison for the crime of murder, and that would have been taken into consideration if the crime had been committed in the United States.

In other matters Monday, Judge Bunton sentenced Larry Michael Jones to 18 months in prison for marijuana possession and revoked the probation of Sara Delgado of Fort Worth.

Delgado admitted violating terms of supervised release on a previous conviction by being convicted of another crime in the Abilene Division; left the judicial district without permission; and associated with persons engaged in criminal activity.

Her explanation that she committed another crime because she needed the money didn't impress Judge Bunton, who sentenced her to 10 months in prison, to sun consecutively with a previous sentence.

"And please, next time when you get out and you need money, just don't transport illegals and don't associate with people that do," he said. "Just live at the foot of the cross. There's other ways to get money. Just don't let me see you again."

Jesus Cervando Zubiate-Legarreta, 36, of Odessa, pleaded guilty to possession of 464 pounds of marijuana with intent to distribute on Nov. 11, 1998, and will be sentenced April 5.

Alberto Rodriguez-Solis, 26, of Los Angeles, Calif., pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute 15.86 pounds of marijuana on Oct. 19, 1998.

Groups vying for majority of SSB stock

Staff Writer
PECOS, Feb. 2, 1999 - Negotiations for purchase of a majority of shares in Security State Bank continued today, with two local groups vying for control.

Bank President Dudley Montgomery, who offered his nearly 8,000 shares for sale with intentions of taking a lesser role in day-to-day operations, said that nothing definite has been decided.

Ray Owen, senior vice-president and loan officer, is one of five bank directors who contracted with Montgomery to buy his shares. They seek to purchase up to 48,000 of the 75,000 shares held by a diverse group of 60 stockholders.

Owen, 34, has been with SSB for five years, moving here from Phoenix, Ariz. He is a graduate of Texas Tech University.

Michael A. "Mike" Harrison is a former Reeves County Judge and part-owner and operator of Anderson Ranches. After selling Pecos Funeral Home and closing Pecos Furniture, he moved his office to Midland and maintains residences in Pecos and Midland.

David Greg Johns owns Pecos Nursing Home and the adjacent retirement center. He lives with his family in El Paso.

James B. Kenney owns the "D" Ranch in the Guadalupe Mountains and maintains a residence in Pecos.

William H. Oglesby is a Pecos native and senior vice president of SSB.

After receiving their offer to purchase their shares, Richard C. "Dick" Slack and his son, Clay, wrote a letter to shareholders stating that they believe the shares are worth more than the group is offering.

The Slacks are major stockholders in Marfa Bancshares Inc., which operates banks in Marfa and Presidio. They have offered to negotiate with SSB's board of directors to purchase the shares "at a significantly higher price."

Dick Slack said this morning that he is concerned that SSB customers may think he represents a larger chain bank.

"I should like to make it clear that we are not fronting for nor associated in any way with one of the larger chain banks and I know of no such interest by any of them," Slack said.

"Since I was born here, as was my father, we are about as local as one can get and have been doing business with and watching the progress of Security State Bank for many years. We are impressed with the courtesy and competence of the entire staff. If successful, we plan to make no changes in personnel and would hope that all the officers and employees would remain with the bank. We are mindful of that old adage: `If it's not broken, don't fix it,'" he said.

Pecos man out on bond in coke case

Staff Writer
PECOS, Feb. 2, 1999 - U.S. Magistrate Judge Stuart Platt this morning released Ruben Garcia Jr. on bail to await trial on a cocaine possession charge.

Garcia, 21, of 238 W. "C" St., was arrested Jan. 26 as he neared Pecos on I-20. Acting on a tip that Garcia was carrying narcotics, police stopped him for a traffic violation and found five pounds of cocaine wrapped around his mid-section in an Ace bandage.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeff Parras filed charges in federal court along with a motion to detain Garcia without bail. Judge Platt held a detention hearing this morning before setting bail at $25,000.

Garcia must post 10 percent, or $2,500, and have his father-in-law, Carmen Gonzales, sign a surety for the bail, Judge Platt said. He also ordered that Garcia live with Gonzales rather than with his brother as in the past.

He will be allowed to travel to work, to Midland to see his parents and to Odessa to see his attorney. Pre-trial supervision includes a 11 p.m.-5 a.m. curfew and electronic monitoring by a "watch patrol." Judge Platt explained that Garcia will wear an electronic bracelet that will send a signal over the telephone to his pre-trial officer to confirm his location.

Jurors return two-year sentence for DWI

Staff Writer
PECOS, Feb. 2, 1999 - District Court jurors on Monday found Justan Gerald Smoot, 42, guilty of driving while intoxicated and sentenced him to two years in prison.

The jury found that Smoot is eligible for probation but did not recommend he be placed on probation.

Windel M. "Hoot" Gibson of Monahans represented Smoot, and District Attorney Randy Reynolds prosecuted for the state.

District Judge Bob Parks is presided for the trial and also accepted a plea of guilty in an unrelated case.

Benjamin Anchondo pleaded guilty to criminal mischief and was sentenced to three years in prison, adjudication deferred, and a $1,500 fine, plus $416.27 court costs and $2,791.72 restitution to the Texas General Agency of San Antonio.

Reynolds filed a motion for adjudication of Skyler Avery Bechtel's sentence for marijuana possession and delivering cocaine to an undercover officer.

Bechtel pleaded guilty April 17, 1998 and was placed on 10-years community supervision and ordered to pay $1,500 each in fines and restitution. He was to be on intensive supervision for three to 12 months.

In his motion, Reynolds alleges that Bechtel violated eight terms of his probation, including being arrested Jan. 3 for minor in possession of alcoholic beverages. He had not completed any of the 20-hours per month community service ordered by Judge Parks at the time of sentencing.

Reynolds also filed an information charging Jay Harold Oates with driving while intoxicated on Feb. 1, 1998.

Vandals again damage front entrance at library

PECOS, Feb. 2, 1999 - Reeves County Librarian Sally Perry arrived early to work this morning, only to find that vandals had been at it again.

The front glass wall of the front of the library at Fifth and Park streets was broken either by a big rock or baseball bat, according to Perry.

This isn't the first time damage has been done to the library, according to Perry. "The last time, they broke the front door, which was replaced immediately, and now it was the glass portion in the front," she said.

Nothing was taken and Perry reported the incident to the Pecos Police Department.

"At the time the door was broken it was done with a pellet gun, when pellet guns were more widely used, but this time something different was used to break it," she said.

Rodriguez set to undergo angioplasty at hosptial

Staff Writer
PECOS, Feb. 2, 1999 - Pecos High School principal and Town of Pecos City Councilman Danny Rodriguez will undergo angioplasty today, and is doing really well at Medical Center Hospital in Odessa, according to Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD superintendent Don Love.

"He's receiving excellent care and our prayers are with him," said Love about Rodriguez, who was taken to Odessa Friday after suffering a "mild" heart attack.

"According to relatives who have called us to give us updates, he is doing really well and is undergoing testing," said Love.

One of the main things at the high school are discipline and attendance and assistant principal Victor Tarin is taking care of those duties, according to Love.

"As for the purchasing and other administrative duties, Gome Olibas and I are pitching in and helping out in that area," said Love.

"We want him back as soon as possible, because he's an excellent principal and many people respect and have faith in him, but we also want him to be well," said Love.

The superintendent said he doesn't know how long Rodriguez will be out, but that business will go on as usual. "We're selfish, we want him back soon, but we realize it might take some time and we do want him to be in good health before returning to us," he said.

Rodriguez was named PHS principal in 1997, after serving as Crockett Middle School principal before that. He is in his third full term on the Pecos City Council.


Benito Corrales

Benito Chavez Corrales, 85, died Saturday, Jan. 30, 1999, in an El Paso hospital.

Funeral services were held at 10 a.m., today, in Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church, with burial in Van Horn Cemetery.

He was born July 27, 1913 in Candelaria, had lived in Van Horn most of his life and was a Catholic.

Survivors include six sons, Manuel, Alvaro, Jose, Refugio, Domingo and Benito Jr. Corrales of Van Horn; five daughters, Julia Corrales Quintana, Soledad "Chole" Corrales, Maria Corrales Loya of Van Horn; Evangelina Corrales of Merced, Calif. and Rosalinda Corrales Arnold of El Paso; 39 grandsons and 34 great-grandsons.

Dorothy Fabricant

Dorothy Fabricant, 94, died Sunday, Jan. 31, 1999, in Reeves County Hospital, following a brief illness.

Memorial services will be at 3 p.m. Saturday in First Christian Church, with Rev. Clark Ford officiating.

Mrs. Fabricant was born Oct. 15, 1904 in Berlin, Germany.

Survivors include one daughter, Ingrid Armstrong of Pecos; three grandchildren, including Steve Armstrong of Pecos; six great-grandchildren and two great-great grandchildren.

The family requests that memorials be made to Reeves County Hospital in lieu of flowers.

Pecos Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Jullian Matt Tarin

Jullian Matt Tarin, 7, died Saturday, Jan. 30, 1999, in Midland Memorial Hospital.

Mass was held at 11 a.m. Monday in Santa Rosa Catholic Church, with Father Manuel Munoz officiating.

Graveside services will be held at 1 p.m., today, with burial in Fairview Cemetery in Midland.

He was born Nov. 12, 1991 in Odessa and was a Catholic.

Survivors include his parents, Jesse and Irene Tarin of Midland; grandparents, Ernesto and Eva Garcia of Pecos and Jesus and Marcella Tarin of Pecos; and one brother, Adrian Tarin of Midland.


PECOS, Feb. 2, 1999 - High Monday 75; low last night 34. Tonight, partly cloudy. Low near 30. South wind 5-10 mph. Wednesday, partly cloudy and warmer. High in the upper 60s. southwest wind 10-20 mph and gusty, becoming northwest late.

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Pecos Enterprise
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