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Thursday, March 4, 1999

Bunton sentences trio in RCDC escape

Staff Writer

PECOS, March 4, 1999 - Three federal inmates who escaped from the Reeves County Detention Center Nov. 1, 1998 got their sentences extended Wednesday for one to two years.

Senior Judge Lucius Bunton gave Mariano Flores-Benavides, 25, of Edinburg, the longest sentence of 24 months on the escape conviction.

Milton Alarcon of Colombia, who celebrated his 40th birthday on Tuesday, was sentenced to 12 months in prison.

Luis Castillo-Rodriguez, 32, a black male from the Dominican Republic who has no legal address, was sentenced to 12 months for aiding and abetting escape.

They admitted escaping from the RCDC between 1 and 3 a.m. Nov. 1 by crawling under or through four fences. Warden Rudy Franco said lax security in a construction area made the escapes possible.

Alarcon is serving a 45-month federal prison sentence for possession with intent to distribute cocaine.

Castillo's sentence is 57 months for conspiracy to import marijuana; Flores is serving a 21-month sentence for re-entry after deportation.

Others sentenced by Judge Bunton on Tuesday for drug convictions are Juan Jose Padilla-Reyes, 27, of Chihuahua, Mex., eight months; Guadalupe Ibarra-Sandoval, 30, of Carlsbad, N.M., 30 months; Victor Solis-Torres, 40, of Murillo Ranch, Chih., Mex., 24 months; March Anthony Davis, 25, of Macon, Ga., 30 months;

Roberto Herrera Jr., 20, of Odessa, 24 months; Marco Octavio Ramirez, 21, of Odessa, 24 months; Mark John Dubray, 40, of Hollywood, Calif., 12 months plus one day and a $1,000 fine; Reyes Reyna Jr., 30, of Oklahoma City, Okla., 42 months; and Alvin Jay King, 33, no address given, 43 months.

Angel Ramon Arenivas-Saldana, 28, of Mexico City, was sentenced to 24 months for illegal entry after deportation.

Man arrested by officers after Tuesday drug raid

Staff Writer

PECOS, March 4, 1990 - Two raids on east side homes conducted Tuesday by local law enforcement officials resulted in the arrest of one man, and a continuing investigation into the second incident.

Officers from the Pecos Police Department and the Reeves County Sheriff's Department executed the first of two narcotics search warrants at 8:31 p.m. on Tuesday, at a residence located at the intersection of Fifth and Mulberry streets.

Upon securing the subjects inside officers proceeded to search the residence.

"Upon searching Frank Matta Rivera, a syringe was found inside his pants pockets," said Police Investigator Paul Deishler. "Inside the syringe was a substance believed to be heroin."

Officers completed their search of the premises and Rivera, 49, was placed under arrest on a charge of possession of drug paraphernalia.

Charges are pending on the substance located inside the syringe, according to Deishler.

The second search warrant was executed at 9:12 p.m. on Tuesday at the home of Teofilo Garcia and family, 1253 Martinez St.

Officers searched the residence and contraband was removed from inside the residence.

"The investigation into this incident is continuing and charges are pending," said Deishler.

Pot backpacking case ends in mistrial

Staff Writer

PECOS, March 4, 1999 - Federal court jurors were unable to reach a verdict Wednesday in the trial of four Mexican citizens charged with backpacking 745 pounds of marijuana across the Rio Grande into Texas.

Senior Judge Lucius Bunton released the jury after they reported they were hopelessly deadlocked, with 10 voting for acquittal and 2 voting "guilty."

He set re-trial for April 5, but advised the prosecutors to reconsider their case against Jose Arturo Chavez-Martinez, 30, of Porvenir; Jose Alfredo Soto Navarette, Valentin Debora-Ruiz and Eduardo Berumen-Gonzalez.

Border Patrol agents testified that they caught the four defendants in the Alamo Arroyo area near Fort Hancock, where they also found 15 duffel bags filled with marijuana.

In a second trial Wednesday afternoon, the jury found Cliff Rondale Ellis guilty of possessing 28 pounds of marijuana for distribution. He is to be sentenced May 10.

The third trial of the week began this morning against three defendants charged with possession of marijuana.

Border Patrol agents Andrew Graham and Neal Thames testified they found 119.34 pounds of marijuana in a green Thunderbird driven by Ambrocio Gomez as they conducted a search at the checkpoint south of Alpine on Texas 118.

Co-defendants Hermila Salazar-Benavidez and Jose Angel Mendoza were occupants of a brown Nissan that entered the checkpoint just ahead of the Thunderbird.

Agent Frank Lopez testified that his K-9 alerted to the trunk area of the Nissan, and he found a twig that he believed was marijuana. However, a field test was negative for marijuana, he said, and he discarded the twig. A thorough search of the vehicle turned up no hidden compartment where narcotics could be hidden.

However, documents in the Nissan tied the couple to the occupants of the Thunderbird. Agents believe it was traveling ahead of the Thunderbird to warn report whether the checkpoint was open or that agents were patrolling the area, said Graham.

Modesta Lourdes Martinez, a passenger in the Thunderbird, was also charged, but her trial was continued to a later date.

J. Miller is prosecuting for the government, and defense lawyers are Robert Leahy of Odessa, Scott Johnson of Pecos and Gerald Lopez of Odessa.


Nicholas Jurado

Services are incomplete for Nicholas "Nick" Jurado, 61, who died Wednesday, March 2, 1999, at his residence.

Pecos Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.


PECOS, March 4, 1999 - High Wednesday 76; low last night 35. Tonight, considerable high cloudiness. Low in the mid 40s. southwest wind 10-20 mph. Friday, partly cloudy. High in the mid 70s. West wind 10-20 mph becoming northeast late.

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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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