Colored Rock Map of Texas at I-20 in Pecos, Click for Travel Guide

Pecos Enterprise


Archive 62
Archive 74
Pecos Country History
Archive 87
1987 Tornado Photos
Rodeo Photos 88
Archive 95
Archive 96
Archive 97
News Photos 1997
Rodeo Photos 97
Archive 98
News Photos 1998
Rodeo Photos 98
Parade Photos 98
Archive 99
Photos 99

Area Newspapers


Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Top Stories

Friday, March 26, 1999

Council tries to limit truck parking

Staff Writer

PECOS, March 26, 1999 - Trucks over 25 feet long are not allowed to park on city streets, and the Pecos City Council on Thursday agreed to press for stringent enforcement of the ordinance.

Terry Burkholder said that trucks parking on private property are also a problem, and he proposed that Pecos adopt an ordinance similar to one that Midland has to prohibit such parking.

"I have had a lot of complaints on this," said Councilman Randy Graham. "This goes in line with tearing down all the old buildings and cleaning up the streets to make it more attractive."

Armando Gil said that 18-wheel trucks are not allowed to park inside the city limits, either on private property or on city rights of way.

Utilities Director Octavio Garcia said that trucks are not allowed on city streets, which are not designed for heavy traffic. Designated truck routes are the four state-maintained highways that run through town (U.S. 285, Business I-20, State Highway 17 and FM 761), because they have thicker paving.

Steve McCormick said that when the council earlier considered an ordinance prohibiting trucks shorter than 25 feet to park, Weldon Brookshire objected because he would not be allowed to park his B&B wrecker at his residence.

City Attorney Scott Johnson said that cowboys also objected because it would affect their livestock trailers, so the ordinance did not pass.

He said the city ordinance prohibiting longer trucks to park affects only streets, alleys or other public ways.

"I think the problem is that most of these people are parking on vacant lots that don't belong to them," Burkholder said. "There's a lot of vacant lots around town."

One of the offenders is operating a furniture store out of a residence at 1701 Adams St., he said, and they park two gooseneck trailers in the neighborhood.

"They are breaking an ordinance having a business there, and they are parking goosenecks on a vacant lot of absentee owners, who don't know there is a problem," he said.

The vehicles are an eyesore and dangerous, and they degrade property values, Burkholder said. "It has been kind of getting under my skin."

Burkholder said the Midland ordinance prohibits big trailers from being parked in residential areas, "on private property or otherwise."

Some drivers for Winkles Trucks Inc. are also violating the rules, and Winkles is getting 20-30 more trucks, Burkholder said.

"I talked to (Ken) Winkles," said Randy Graham. "He is in agreement and was going to send memos out to his drivers not to park in town."

Johnson said he would prepare an ordinance to be considered by the council on April 8.

Gil said that his department will coordinate with the police department to provide enforcement of the present ordinance day and night.

Sewer lines near target completion

Staff Writer

PECOS, March 26, 1999 - Hollomon Construction Co. has completed 65 percent of the Third Street sewer replacement project, Abidur Khan reported to the Pecos City Council Thursday.

Khan is an engineer for Frank X. Spencer & Associates, who designed and is overseeing the 11-block project.

Several factors delayed the work, which is scheduled to be completed April 3, Khan said.

"They started two to three weeks late, and during construction several problems came up," Khan said.

The first manhole installed failed tests because the new line was not adhering to the manhole, allowing water to leak out, Khan said.

"They finally were able to make that repair and we passed it," Khan said.

Other problems included cavities beneath the highway, a shallow water table and abandoned utility lines that crossed underneath the street at alleyways.

"This is not a very easy job," Khan said. "It is on a state highway (Business I-20) where they have to deal with ongoing traffic and keep the existing line active so there is no sewer backup."

Mayor Dot Stafford laughed when Khan said that Holloman would be entitled to two or three days extra "because of the rain," and he expects them to complete the project on time.

"When?" asked Stafford of the rain dates.

Kahn said the line is complete from Ash to Cherry Street, and it stops at the alley between Oleander and Palm.

Once the line is complete, the crew will move to the north side of the street to hook up lateral lines entering from the north side of town.

In their regular meeting Thursday, the council agreed to send a letter of intent to close the alley in Block 15 of original Pecos, as requested by a developer who proposes to build the new Post Office in that location;

Instructed City Attorney Scott Johnson to draw up an interlocal agreement with the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD and Reeves County to resurface the school track, providing in-kind services to remove the old surface;

Dedicated an alley behind on the east side of Texas Street between Stafford and the I-20 Service Road, as requested by Dr. David Lovett. The council had earlier approved installation of a gas line, but Dr. Lovett wanted a 20-foot easement for dumpster service;

Approved a request from the Reeves County Sheriff's Office Explorer Post for an Easter egg hunt at Maxey Park from 10 a.m. to noon April 3. Pecos Police Chief Clay McKinney said the block where the gazebo is located can be blocked off to protect children from traffic.

Heard from Carlos Colina-Vargas that grant money for 1999-2000 is available to fund public facilities, housing rehab, capital improvements, neighborhood revitalization projects and project planning through the Community Development Project Fund;

For water and/or sewer from the Colonia Fund;

For emergency or disaster conditions;

To Expand economic opportunities through the Texas Capital Fund;

and Comprehensive planning through the Planning/Capacity Building Fund.

Coke sales charged by grand jury

Staff Writer

PECOS, March 26, 1999 - Reeves County grand jurors on Thursday indicted four suspects; three of them on drug charges stemming from an undercover operation last year.

Edmundo Lujan Saenz is charged with delivery of cocaine on Oct. 22, 1998. His bail is $15,000.

Israel Gochicoa Natividad, 36, is charged with delivery of cocaine on Aug. 14, 1998. His bail is $15,000.

Aracely Armendariz, 19, is charged with possession of cocaine on Jan. 17. Her bail is $10,000.

Melvin Garcia Orona, 37, is charged with hindering secured creditors on Jan. 5. His bail is $25,000.

Orona allegedly sold a 1991 Chevrolet Baretta that was mortgaged. The value is between $1,500 and $20,000, according to the indictment.

Phony death certificates nail bondsman

Staff Writer

PECOS, March 26, 1999 - Two nearly identical Mexican death certificates with only the name and date of death changed tipped Tennessee officials to a possible bail bond fraud that led to the arrest of Joey Herrera Jr. on March 15, Nashville police said.

Herrera is charged with providing false and fictitious death certificates for three men charged with drug trafficking in Davidson County (Nashville) Tennessee and with conspiracy to launder money.

He waived extradition and is to appear in Davidson County Criminal Court Monday for arraignment.

In an affidavit filed with Reeves County Court-at-law Judge Lee Green to support a search warrant for Herrera's office and home in Pecos, Nashville Police officer Jesse Burchwell detailed the alleged transactions between Herrera and Paul's Bonding Co. of Nashville.

Burchwell said that Herrera obtained death certificates from Mexico for Luis Saul O. Rodriguez, and it was presented to the court on July 1, 1998, two weeks before Rodriguez's $53,000 bond was to be forfeited for failure to appear on drug charges.

In June 1998, George T. Wiebe was arrested in Nashville for possession of 300 pounds of marijuana, and his bond set at $500,000. On June 30, a confidential informant reported to police that a man known as "Gilbert" from Canada was in Nashville attempting to bond Wiebe out of jail, Burchwell said.

The affidavit states that Gilbert, who claimed to be Wiebe's son, "made it well understood" that Wiebe would not appear for court, and he was willing to pay a large sum of money and provide a death certificate.

Paul's Bonding Co. posted bail for Wiebe on July 1.

In September 1998, Wiebe failed to appear for arraignment, and Paul's Bonding Co. again presented a death certificate from Mexico, Burchwell said.

Suspicious because the control number on both certificates were only three digits off - indicating that in one year's time only two other people would have died in Durango, a state in Mexico - officials with the Davidson County District Attorney's office contacted officials with the American Consulate in Monterey, Mex.

They were advised the certificates were forgeries. The consulate also was unable to find Rodriguez's death certificate on file and noted irregularities in the seal and signature of the official purportedly signing the death certificate. Neither could the consul locate a traffic accident report where Rodriguez had died, Burchwell said.

Subsequent investigation revealed that Herrera had arranged with James Ferrell, an agent for Paul's Bonding, to post Wiebe's bail but to retain custody of him until Herrera obtained cash to pay for his release from inside Mexico.

Once Herrera obtained the cash, Ferrell and a co-worker, Jason Doolittle, flew to the Midland airport to pick up their half of the $250,000 bonding fee. The maximum legal amount under Tennessee law that a bondsman may charge is 10 percent of the total bond, plus an administrative fee of $25, the affidavit claims.

Ferrell and Paul's Bonding vice president Peggy Coleman were arrested in December, 1998 and charged with money laundering, following a reverse sting investigation.

Coleman told officers that when Rodriguez became a fugitive, she called Herrera to determine where he was. Herrera wanted $6,000 to send someone to Mexico to locate Rodriguez, she said, and she wired that amount to his mother's bank account, the affidavit continues.

Herrera later called and said he believed that Rodriguez was dead, but it would cost an additional $6,000. After Herrera provided a death certificate for Rodriguez, Coleman sent him a check for the additional $6,000.

Coleman said that Herrera had called Ferrell about making the bond on George Wiebe and that his family was willing to pay $250,000 in cash to make his bond. Herrera was to keep half and she and Ferrell would get half, Burchwell said.

Burchwell said that Ferrell and Doolittle picked up $125,000 in Midland. Coleman said that $50,000 went to Paul's Bonding Co., $25,000 to Coleman, and that Ferrell deposited his money in $9,000 increments to avoid having to do a cash transaction report.

Unaware that Ferrell and Coleman had been arrested, Herrera called Paul's Bonding Co. on Feb. 3, 1999 about making bond for a defendant from Mexico who had just been arrested in Nashville, Burchwell said in the affidavit.

Working with investigators, Doolittle returned the call and also asked about another case where Paul's Bonding had made bond for Reyes Castro at Herrera's request. Castro failed to appear for court, and Paul's Bonding was liable for the $50,000 bail as a final forfeit in about four weeks, Burchwell said.

Herrera said they "could do what they had done in the past," and to have Ferrell call him to work out the details. On Feb. 11, 1999, Coleman called Herrera and was told the "paperwork" would cost $15,000, and he would pay half the cost. On Feb. 12, a check for $7,500 was sent to Herrera from Paul's Bonding Co., with funds supplied by the Metro Police Department, according to the affidavit.

On Feb. 16, Herrera called Coleman and told her he had all the "paperwork" for the Castro bond, but the price "had went up to $25,000." Paul's Bonding received a fax from Herrera of a Mexican death certificate for Reyes Castro. The date of death on the certificate preceded the date of Castro's last court appearance, Burchwell said.

Burchwell asked for and received a warrant to search Herrera's office and residence for documents reflecting travel to Mexico, to Midland/Odessa, financial records and proceeds from Paul's Bonding Co., telephone records, documents pertaining to the described events and acquisition of death certificates.

Officers were authorized to seize computer disks and other electronic media, computers, telephones and other electronic equipment needed to read them.

Pecos man is charged in pot bust

Staff Writer

PECOS, March 26, 1999 - Federal grand jurors on Thursday returned indictments against 36 defendants, including a Pecos man charged with marijuana possession.

Miguel Machuca-Barrera, 19, of 501 S. Alamo St., is charged with possession of 43.58 pounds of marijuana on March 21.

An Albuquerque, N.M. resident is charged with possession of 844 pounds of marijuana on his birthday.

Andrew Ruiz, 31, was arrested on March 10 and charged with possession with intent to distribute marijuana. He was born March 10, 1968, according to court records.

Nine defendants are charged with importing and possessing marijuana for distribution, while two of those are also charged with conspiracy.

Three persons are charged with conspiracy to possess marijuana for distribution, and 17 are charged with possession with intent to distribute marijuana.

Other charges are failure to appear, two; illegal entry after deportation, three; possession of a firearm by an illegal alien, four; and transporting illegal aliens, one.

District engineer dies after basketball workout

ODESSA, March 26, 1999 - Jose E. Morales, 44, the district engineer for the Texas Department of Transportation's Odessa District, died suddenly late Tuesday afternoon in Odessa following a recreational basketball workout with TxDOT co-workers.

Teammates said that Morales was sitting on the back bumper of a pickup truck at the close of the workout when he slumped forward and fell to the ground. He was rushed by EMT ambulance to Odessa Medical Center Hospital where attempts to revive him were unsuccessful. He was pronounced dead shortly after 6:30 p,.m. An autopsy was performed Wednesday morning to determine the cause of death.

Morales, an 18-year veteran of TxDOT, oversaw all construction and maintenance activities for the 18,000 square mile, 12-county district which includes Reeves county.

He was born on March 4, 1955 and attended elementary school in Brownsville. He graduated from Memorial High School in San Antonio in 1973 and earned a degree in civil engineering from Texas A&I University at Kingsville in 1981.

Morales joined the Texas Department of Transportation as an engineering assistant in Del Rio and went on to serve as area engineer in San Angelo from 1991 to 1995. On October 1, 1995, he was named Odessa District Engineer. An acknowledged leader in the industry, he helped pioneer the use of new materials and techniques in highway construction, such as the utilization of high performance concrete.

He was active in the greater Midland-Odessa community as a youth basketball coach; a popular instructor for Junior Achievement, for which he created "Road to Success" blueprints to help his students focus on career goals; and as a frequent motivational speaker for junior high school classes.

He is survived by his wife, Marivel Janie Roman Morales of Midland, one son, Jose Eliseo, age 5; his father and mother, Jose Flores Morales and Rafaela Martinez Morales of San Antonio; two brothers, Rolando and Jesus of San Antonio; two sisters, Maria Elena Morales of Laredo and Minerva Vasquez of San Antonio.

Funeral services will be held in Del Rio, with Don's Funeral Home, 305-307 Plaza Avenue, handling arrangements.

Visitation is scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. Friday, with a rosary to be held at 7 p.m., followed by a prayer service with Jose Rivera presiding.

The funeral Mass will be held at 11 a.m., Saturday, March 27, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church. Burial will follow at Del Rio Memorial Park (formerly Oaklawn Cemetery) in Del Rio.

A memorial service is planned for the Midland-Odessa community next week.

Easter egg hunt at Maxey Park

Children ages eight and under will be in for a treat this Easter in Pecos.

A Kiddie Easter Egg Hunt has been scheduled beginning at 10 a.m., Saturday, April 3, at the Maxey Park.

All children ages eight and under are invited to participate and must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

In addition, they will have an opportunity to have their picture taken with the Easter Bunny.

The event is being sponsored by the Reeves County Sheriff's Explorer Post #600.

Band auction offers goodies

Baked goodies, barbecue plates and items donated by local merchants will be up for grabs during the 21st Annual Pecos Eagle Band Auction.

The auction will begin at 10 a.m., at the Saragosa Hall, corner of 6th and Peach streets and will be televised on Channel 6 and broadcast on 98.3 FM.

Local merchants have donated a variety of items that will be auctioned off. In conjunction barbecue plates with all the trimmings will be for sale.

A bake sale, with an assortment of goodies will also be for sale, and some will be auctioned also.

The Pecos Eagle Band Boosters welcome everyone to come and look at the items and to help support the local band.

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.

PECOS, March 26, 1999 -
Pablo Hidalgo, 63, and Martina Hidalgo, 74, were arrested at 1:21 p.m., on March 18, at Wal-Mart, for criminal trespass. They were transported to Reeves County Jail.


A male juvenile was arrested at 2:41 p.m., on March 18, in the 1300 block of South Cedar Street, for a probation violation. He was taken to the Juvenile Detention Center.


Arturo O. Gallegos, 27, was arrested at 11:27 p.m., on March 18, at Reeves County Sheriff's Office, on a Capias Pro Fine warrant for having a defective tail light on his vehicle. He was taken to Reeves County Jail.


Rojelio Garcia, 32, was arrested at 11:09 p.m., on March 19, in the 400 block of Oleander Street, for assault under the Family Violence Act. He was taken to Reeves County Jail.


Queston Barton, 22, and Questasha Barton, 20, were arrested at 2:43 a.m., on March 20, in the 400 block of Mulberry Street—Queston on a warrant (a motion to revoke-robbery) and evading arrest, resisting arrest; Quastasha for hindering apprehension, a third-degree felony. They were taken to Reeves County Jail.


A male juvenile was arrested at 6:18 p.m., on March 20, in the 1000 block of South Pecan Street, for abuse of abusible aerosol paint. His parents were contacted after he was taken to the police department.


Jose Alberto Adame, 18, was arrested at 10:18 p.m., on March 20, in the 1100 block of South Cypress Street, for assault under the Family Violence Act. He was advised not to return to the residence and taken to Reeves County Jail.


Paul Hernandez, 17, was arrested at 11:12 p.m., on March 20, at Reeves County Hospital, for possession of drug paraphernalia. He was taken to Reeves County Jail.


Gregorio Pena, 17, was arrested at 1:43 a.m., on March 21, in the 600 block of West Eighth Street, for unlawfully carrying a weapon/no insurance. He was taken to Reeves County Jail.


Joey Villanueva, 22, was arrested at 2:27 a.m., on March 21, in the 300 block of North Ash Street, for assault under the Family Violence Act. He was taken to Reeves County Jail.


Robert Hinojos Ramirez, 18, was arrested at 4:46 p.m., on March 21, at Maxey Park, on a warrant (motion to surrender a principal-deadly conduct). He was taken to Reeves County Jail.


Brian Brown, 19, was arrested at 11:20 a.m., on March 22, at Pecos Municipal Court, on a warrant for providing a false report to a peace officer. He was taken to Reeves County Jail.


Erek Brown, 18, was arrested at 12:07 p.m., on March 22, on a warrant out of Lubbock County Sheriff's Office for providing a false report to a peace officer. He was taken to Reeves County Jail.


Jesus Ortega, 20, was arrested at 1:47 p.m., on March 23, at Gibson's Hardware store, for theft over $50. He was taken to Reeves County Jail.


Damian Orona, 22, and Joe Daniel Wright, 20, were arrested at 12:06 a.m., on March 24, in the 200 block of East 13th Street—Orona for making alcohol available to a minor, Wright as a minor in possession. They were taken to Reeves County Jail.


Hal Pratt, 57, was arrested at 3:25 p.m., on March 24, in the 500 block of Cedar Street, on a warrant for theft (under $20,000 but over $1500, a state jail felony) and a warrant for terroristic threat, a Class A misdemeanor.


A female juvenile was arrested at 9:03 p.m., on March 24, in the 900 block of East Fourth Street, on a probation violation. She was taken to the Juvenile Detention Center.


Timothy J. Garcia, 22, was arrested at 5:59 p.m., on March 25, in the 2000 block of Highway 17, on a warrant for deadly conduct. He was taken to Reeves County Jail.


Manuel U. Rivera, 47, was arrested at 6:55 p.m., on March 25, at Montano's Body Shop, on a warrant for burglary of a building. He was taken to Reeves County Jail.


Jesse M. Abila, 30, was arrested at 11:45 p.m., on March 25, at Suavecito Club, on a warrant for criminal trespass. He was taken to Reeves County Jail.


Auden G. Soto, 27, was arrested at 1:22 a.m., on March 26, in the 2900 block of Highway 17, for a fourth DWI refusal offense. He was taken to Reeves County Jail.


Carol R. Benavides, 30, was arrested at 12:49 a.m., on March 26, at the Purple Sage, on Capias Pro Fine warrants. She was taken to Reeves County Jail.

Texas Lotto

AUSTIN (AP) — Results of the Cash 5 drawing Thursday night: Winning numbers drawn: 1-10-16-24-36. Number matching five of five: 1. Prize per winner: $90,418. Winning ticket sold in: Higgins. Matching four of five: 248. Prize: $547. Matching three of five: 7,874. Prize: $29. Next Cash 5 drawing: Friday night.


PECOS, March 26, 1999 - High Thursday 62; low last night 55. Tonight, cloudy with areas of drizzle and fog. A 20 percent chance of rain. Low mid 40s. Southeast wind 5-15 mph. Saturday, cloudy. A 30 percent chance of showers, possibly a thunderstorm. High 60 65. Southeast wind 10-20 mph.

Search Entire Site:

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

Associated Press text, photo, graphic, audio and/or video material shall not be published, broadcast, rewritten for broadcast or publication or redistributed directly or indirectly in any medium.

Copyright 1999 by Pecos Enterprise