Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Thursday, August 5, 1999
Traffic stop nets task force marijuana bust
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, Aug. 5, 1999 -- A "Highway Interdiction Exercise" conducted by
the Trans Pecos Drug Task Force on Wednesday landed a father and son in
Reeves County Jail facing drug charges.
Officers with the Trans Pecos Drug Task Force, Reeves County Sheriff's
Department and the Jeff Davis County Sheriff's Department, conducted a
highway interdiction exercise in the Balmorhea area on Wednesday, according
to Task Force Commander Gary Richards, during which they discovered over
a pound of marijuana in a pickup.
Felix Rivera, Sr., 67, and Felix Rivera, Jr., 42, were arrested when
found in possession of marijuana after being stopped on a traffic stop
east of Balmorhea on Highway 17.
A brick of marijuana was found in a concealed area in the Riveras' vehicle,
according to Reeves County Sheriff Andy Gomez. "They also had over $1,000
in cash believed to be used in drug trafficking," in the hidden area, he
"We did a routine traffic stop, they looked suspicious and officers
requested to search the vehicle," said Richards. "During their search they
located the drugs and money."
The vehicle was traveling through Reeves County on the way to Fort Davis.
Both were charged with possession of marijuana, with intent to distribute
and transferred to Reeves County Jail. Bond was set at $10,000 for each
by Justice of the Peace Rosendo Carrasco. Felix Rivera, Sr. lists his address
as Fort Davis, while his son lists his address in Odessa.
"We plan to do more of these exercises in the future, this was the first
of many to come," Richards said. "This is part of our normal operations
and it proved successful."
"This was team work and we're very proud of the efforts displayed by
the officers," said Gomez.
The Trans Pecos Drug Task Force is a newly formed Drug Task Force covering
eight West Texas counties, under the direction of Gomez.
Air Force deal won't halt bomber flights
From Staff and Wire Reports
An agreement by the U.S. Air Force to withdraw a proposal for low-level
training flights out of New Mexico over a large swath of West Texas swill
not affect the Air Force's plans to run low level flights out of Dyess
Air Force in Abilene and Barksdale AFB in Louisiana that would travel across
much of the same area as low as 100 yards off the ground.
The Air Force, as part of a settlement with a group of ranchers, pulled
an application pending before the Federal Aviation Administration that
would have allowed fighters based at Holloman Air Force Base, N.M., to
fly daily sorties over West Texas.
U.S. and German air force pilots would have been allowed to fly as low
as 100 feet.
U.S. District Judge Lucius D. Bunton of Pecos approved the settlement
on July 27.
"For the time being, the wolf knocking at the door was shooed away,"
plaintiffs' attorney Murray Feldman said Wednesday.
But the settlement does not affect the planned bomber flights coming
from the east which would loop through the area and includes three electronic
scoring sites, two of those in Reeves County near Toyah Lake south of Pecos
and in the Alamo area between Pecos and Balmorhea.
Rancher Kaare Remme said he has mixed feelings about the settlement,
since the Air Force continues to move forward with their proposal to fly
B-1s and B-52s as low as 300 feet in simulated bombing exercises.
Still, Remme, one of the plaintiffs and co-owner of McCoy Land and Cattle
Co., considers the settlement a victory.
"This is a very significant battle in a war," he said.
The landowners sued in 1998, contending that noisy, low-altitude flights
by combat jets would decrease property values, affect hunting and tourism
and endanger horses and cattle. The Air Force has said there is no data
to substantiate the ranchers' concerns.
Under the settlement, the Air Force said it would conduct a new environmental
analysis and consider at least one alternative route if it decides to pursue
a similar proposal in the future.
Air Force Col. Lynn Wheeless, who helped negotiate the deal, said no
decisions have been made.
"We'll sit down with the people who need the training and determine
what the requirements are and where they can be met, and potentially there
could be another proposal resulting from that," he said by telephone from
Langley Air Force Base in Virginia.
Low-level training flights help pilots learn to avoid radar-guided and
heat-seeking air defense systems, military officials say.
German air force pilots train at Holloman because of a 1990 agreement
between President Bush and German Chancellor Helmut Kohl that later was
extended by the Clinton administration.
Trustees vote to buy out coach's contract
PECOS, Aug. 5, 1999 -- Pecos-Barstow-Toyah school board members have tentatively
accepted an offer to buy out an employment contract at a special school
board meeting held on July 27.
Board member Steve Armstrong made the motion, which was seconded by
Brent Shaw. Personnel was discussed behind closed doors. In open session,
Armstrong said, "I make a motion that the Board of Trustees accept the
offer to buy out the employment contract of Mr. Mike Sadler under the terms
discussed in closed session. I further move that the board president be
authorized to execute the necessary agreements."
Sadler, Pecos High School's varsity boys basketball coach. was suspended
by the school board in July, following his arrest in late June by Pecos
police for possession of cocaine. The case is still pending at this time.
Board members Kokie Apolinar and Freddy Lujan along with board president
Earl Bates voted yes to the agreement. Sadler's mother, board member Billie
Sadler, abstained from voting.
The item may once again be discussed during the regular school board
meeting scheduled for Aug. 12.
Schools set early signup
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, Aug. 5, 1999 -- Early registration is being held at six of Pecos-Barstow-Toyah
ISD schools next week, while Orientation for seniors and juniors at Pecos
High School was held Wednesday.
Sophomore and freshman orientation was held today, with the sophomores
meeting at 10 a.m. and freshmen at 1 p.m. Pecos High School principal Danny
Rodriguez and staff went over the handbook, handed out schedules and locker
Students who did not show up for orientation yesterday or today are
encouraged to go to the PHS counselor's office and pick up their schedules
as soon as possible, in order to avoid confusion once school begins.
Other schools have schedule their early registration periods for next
week, with the start of classes set for Aug. 16.
Pecos Elementary will be having early registration next Tuesday for
students who will be attending third grade. For students with their last
names beginning with an "A" through "M", early registration will be held
from 5-6 p.m. Students with last names beginning with a "N" through "Z"
will register from 6-7 p.m.
New students to the district need to bring their birth certificates,
social security cards and immunization records. Those already in the district
don't need to bring anything at this time.
Early registration for fourth and fifth graders who will be attending
Bessie Haynes Elementary School will be from 5-7 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 12.
New students in the district need to bring their birth certificates, social
security card, grades from previous school attended and immunization records.
Lamar Middle School students, sixth graders, will have orientation from
5-7 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 12, in the school cafeteria. Students are encouraged
to come and meet new principal Victor Tarin, while teachers will also be
on hand for parents to meet and visit with before the start of the new
New students to the district need to bring their social security cards,
birth certificate and current immunization records.
Zavala Middle School, for all seventh grade students, will be handing
out schedules on Thursday, Aug. 12. Students whose last names start with
an "A" through "D" will pick up their schedules at 9 a.m.; students whose
last names start with an "E" through "G" at 10 a.m.; "H" through "L" at
11 a.m.; "M" through "O" at 1 p.m.; "P" through "R" at 2 p.m. and students
whose last names begin with an "S" through "Z" can pick up their schedules
at 3 p.m. on that day.
First and second grade students who will be attending Austin Elementary
School can register early from 6-8 p.m., Friday, Aug. 13. Parents need
to bring their child, birth certificate, shot records and report card from
last school attended. "And a big smiley face," said principal Beau Jack
Crockett Middle School, all eighth grade students, can pick up their
schedules Friday, Aug. 13.
Water Camp earns district second award
By SMOKEY BRIGGS
PECOS, Aug. 5, 1999 -- The Upper Pecos Soil and Water Conservation District
has won the Texas Environmental Excellence Award for the second year in
Two such awards are given each year by the Texas Natural Resources Conservation
Commission, according to Barney Lee, conservationist with the Natural Resources
Conservation Service, assisting the District.
"Both awards (1998 and 1999) were for the district's water camp," Lee
The 4-H Water Camp is a special project of the district, in which up
to 32 high-school-age youngsters attend a week long camp concerned with
water quality and use, Lee said.
"Over the course of the week, the kids really get an education in water,"
Activities at the camp include field trips to industrial water consumers,
agricultural users and municipal users.
"By the time the week is over they've got a pretty good understanding
of how water gets used and the best ways we know of to conserve it," he
The kids also get to have some fun.
"One day we take them to the pool at Balmorhea and have a picnic," Lee
said. "We also have a water hog contest. Usually the boys compete against
the girls to see who can use the least amount of water."
Lee said that the boys usually win that contest.
Tuition for the camp is $250.
"Mostly, water conservation districts across the state sponsor kids
to come to the camp. Our district sponsors two children each year, but
we try to make sure that as many kids who want to go can. If more than
two kids from our district want to go, and there is room, we'll find a
way for them to attend."
Lee said that any boys or girls who would like to attend next year's
camp should contact their local county extension agent or their local soil
and water conservation district.
The UPSWCD and the Texas A&M Extension Service were the charter
founders of the camp, Lee said.
The camp is then put on with help from municipalities, industry, chemical
companies, and other state and local agencies supplying speakers, programs
and field trips, he said.
Jury hears more testimony about drug ring
By PEGGY McCRACKEN
PECOS, Aug. 5, 1999 -- Despite his claim of jailhouse threats against
his life, James Earl Luna, 28, of Grand Prairie and Odessa testified this
morning against his co-defendants in a drug smuggling ring.
Luna told a federal court jury that Oscar Javier Nino recruited him
in 1996 to transport marijuana from Texas to Atlanta, Ga.
Nino, 33, and his first wife, Lourdes Alarcon Nino, 35, are among 21
defendants named in an indictment charging conspiracy, marijuana smuggling
and money laundering.
Lourdes Nino and Oscar Rodriguez-Palma entered guilty pleas rather than
face trial. Remaining defendants are Martin A. Alarcon, Eberto Murrillo
Herrera, Rosa A. Rodriguez and Vicente Sanchez.
Luna said he transported five of six loads of marijuana per week from
June, 1996 until his arrest in Louisiana Feb. 19, 1998 and was paid $3,000
Martin Alarcon helped transfer the marijuana from one vehicle to another
for transportation, and his wife, Rosa A. Rodriguez, was present, Luna
said. Some of the loads were delivered to Herrera in Atlanta, Ga.
Reyes Enciso-Figueroa, 41, of Atlanta, Ga., was another buyer, Luna
said. Enciso's common-law wife, Guadalupe Belmares-Coronado, 20, preceded
Luna to the stand this morning.
Belmares said she also transported marijuana for the organization. Her
testimony that Enciso-Figueroa and Murrillo-Herrera bragged about being
big drug dealers caused a stir among defense attorneys.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Tom McHugh said that his long witness list may
force the trial to continue past Friday.
District Judge Royal Furgeson said that a visiting judge will hold several
trials here next week, and it may be necessary to hold court Saturday and
Judge delivers illegal entry, drug sentences
By PEGGY McCRACKEN
PECOS, Aug. 5, 1999 -- Sergio Najera-Flores, 35, of Juarez, Mexico,
will spend the next 10 years in jail, thanks to his conviction for importing
marijuana into the United States.
U.S. District Judge Royal Furgeson sentenced Najera this week, along
with numerous others involved in drug smuggling and immigration violations.
Kenneth Arreola Ramos, 22, of Presidio, was sentenced to 18 months in
prison for possession with intent to distribute marijuana.
Molly Irene Callahan, 18, of Odessa, will serve eight months for marijuana
Luis Javier Juarez, 18, of Liberal, Kan., was sentenced to 15 months
on each count of conspiracy to possess and possession of marijuana, to
be served concurrently.
Patricia Anzures, 25, of Odessa, received 33 months for possession of
more than 50 kilograms of marijuana for distribution.
Mikko Shauni Brooks, 23, of Long Beach, Calif., was sentenced to 57
months for possession of marijuana.
Cesar Garcia Urrutia, 22, will serve six months for making a false claim
Ricardo Gonzalez, 51, of Colorado City, was sentenced to 12 months plus
one day for importing marijuana.
Daniel Morales Flores, 20, of Fort Stockton, was sentenced to 46 months
for possession of marijuana.
Alfonso Bueno Urias, 31, of Ojinaga, Mex., received 27 months, concurrent,
for conspiracy to possess and possession with intent to distribute marijuana.
Gracie Galindo Ramirez, 32, of Odessa will serve 12 months plus one
day for importing marijuana.
Josephine Ortega Soto, 21, of Odessa, received 21 months for importing
Sabina Hernandez de Pando pleaded guilty to misprison of a felony (failure
to report a violation).
Stockton owners sell Coke franchise
The area's longtime Coca-Cola and Dr Pepper distributor has sold out to
the nation's largest soft drink distributor, it was announced Wednesday.
Big Bend Coca-Cola Bottling Co. of Fort Stockton has signed a letter
of intent for the franchise to be purchased by Coca-Cola Enterprises, Inc.,
out of Atlanta, Ga. Owners Rob and Mike Dunagan said the letter was signed
on Tuesday, and the transition period will occur without interruption of
delivery or sales.
The Dunagan family had owned the area's Coca-Cola distributorship for
the past 78 years. Coca-Cola Enterprises already owns franchises in North
American serving 78 percent of the population and employs over 6,500 workers.
AUSTIN (AP) — No ticket correctly matched all six numbers drawn Wednesday
night for the twice-weekly Lotto Texas game, state lottery officials said.
The jackpot was worth an estimated $7 million. The numbers drawn Wednesday
night from a field of 50 were: 6, 22, 31, 35, 41 and 45. Saturday night's
drawing will be worth an estimated $10 million.
AUSTIN (AP) — The winning Pick 3 numbers drawn Wednesday by the Texas
Lottery, in order:
7-3-7 (seven, three, seven)
PECOS, Aug. 5, 1999 -- High Wednesday 95; low last night 70. Tonight, partly
cloudy. Low 65 70. Southeast wind 5-15 mph. Friday, partly cloudy with
a slight chance of thunderstorms. High in the lower 90s. South to southeast
wind 5-15 mph. Chance of rain less than 20 percent. Extended forecast,
Friday night, partly cloudy with a slight chance of thunderstorms. Low
around 70. Saturday through Monday, mostly sunny days and fair nights.
Lows in the lower 70s. Highs in the mid to upper 90s.
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 1999 by Pecos Enterprise