Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
Former County Attorney Carrasco ordered to halfway house
By ROSIE FLORES
After meeting with the judge and the district attorney for Reeves County, an agreement was reached for former Reeves County Attorney Luis U. Carrasco.
Carrasco was back in court on Friday, after he was arrested for violating terms of his probation two weeks ago.
Carrasco, 41, who served as Reeves County Attorney from 2001 through October of last year, was arrested following a traffic stop, which revealed that he had warrants charging him with violating terms of his probation.
Carrasco was ordered to a residential treatment facility (a halfway house).
“After deliberating for about an hour and a half, we came to this agreement,” said 143rd District Attorney Randy Reynolds. “This is pretty well standard procedure under these facts,” he said.
Reynolds said that this is pretty standard and what you could expect from any defendant in this type of situation.
The program is up to a 2-year program, according to Reynolds.
“It depends on how well he progresses,” said Reynolds.
On Friday, Carrasco paid some more restitution, which was part of his probation agreement.
“He also paid restitution at that time, but it wasn’t about the money, it was more about trying to resolve the problems in his life,” said Reynolds.
Carrasco received probation in August in 143rd District Court, after pleading guilty to three of five counts of theft and misappropriation of funds.
On Wednesday, Oct. 4, Carrasco was stopped on a traffic violation.
According to the police report, after the officer making contact, Carrasco received a written warning for the offense of speeding, but was then placed under arrest for active warrants.
The warrants included, a motion to adjudicate guilt and two motions to revoke. Court documents indicate that Carrasco failed to pay his probation fees and failed to report. He is scheduled to go before the judge next Friday. Bonds have been set at $25,000 each.
In August, Carrasco was given three probated sentences ranging from five to eight years, and was ordered to repay over $75,000 in connection with the thefts from accounts belonging to Reeves County and Carrasco’s private clients.
Carrasco was first indicted in February by a district court grand jury on nine counts, and five additional counts were filed against the attorney in June. According to 143rd District Court records, two of the five counts were dismissed as part of the plea deal.
The indictments followed an investigation, which led to his office being raided on Oct. 26, 2005, by Texas Rangers and Reeves County Sheriff’s Department officials, in which both private and county records were seized. The action led to his resignation as Reeves County Attorney five days later.
In the three plea deals, restitution in the first case was assessed at $28,785; in the second case, $33,718 and the third case, $4,591. Carrasco was also ordered to pay $10,009 to the Reeves County Attorney Pre-Trial Diversion Fund.
Fires keep firefighters busy over weekend
Firefighters were busy this weekend, responding to two separate house fires and a grass fire.
The group was on hand at a fire that occurred at 6:35 p.m., Saturday, at a home located in the 1100 block of Hickory.
“It was a storage building in the back of the residence,” said Pecos Volunteer Fire Chief Freddy Contreras.
Three fire trucks responded, along with numerous firefighters. “It took us about 20 minutes to put that fire out, but we stayed there for about 45 minutes more to get all the hot spots out,” said Contreras.
The fire created a large amount of smoke coming out from the storage building that could be seen blocks away.
“There was a swimming pool in the storage shed, which is what was causing all that smoke, because it was plastic,” said Contreras.
The storage shed sustained a large amount of damage, along with the items inside the building.
“Nobody was inside the house, there just a female standing outside the residence when we arrived,” said Contreras.
Contreras said that the cause of the fire is unknown at this time.
Firefighters responded to another fire at 6 a.m., Sunday, at 1108 S. Elm.
“There was nobody home at the time and the fire started in the bedroom,” said Town of Pecos City Fire Marshal Jack Brookshire.
Brookshire said that the fire began on top of the bed, in the west bedroom of the home.
All the fire trucks responded and it took about an hour and a half to extinguish.
“It had a lot of heat and smoke damage and the cause of the fire is still under investigation,” said Brookshire.
Brookshire said that all the fire damage was in the bedroom and that there was heat and smoke damage all throughout the house.
Brookshire said that the firefighters were also busy with a grass fire this weekend. “That one was put out quickly, but we still checked on it to make sure it didn’t re-ignite,” he said.
Pecos man gets 10-year deferment after flight with girl
A Pecos man who fled with a Pecos teen last year, pled guilty and received probation Friday in 143rd District Court.
Jose Herberto Garcia, 21, had been charged with aggravated sexual assault and his bond had been set at $25,000 earlier this year. He had also fled with the victim to Mexico and was apprehended at the Port of Entry in Presidio last November.
On Friday, Garcia pled guilty in an agreement with the court, and received a 10-year deferment.
“What this means is that if he violates his probation, he is risking life in prison,” said 143rd District Attorney Randy Reynolds.
The defendant was also ordered to stay away from the victim, according to Reynolds.
“After interviewing quite a few people on both sides of the situation, the recommendation and results of our interviews indicated that probation would most likely be the outcome of a trail,” said Reynolds. “We came back with a resolution that still puts a strong encouragement for him to complete his terms of the agreement,” he said.
Reynolds said that one of the main factors was that they had a bond form between the families, they joined together in hoping to make the best of the situation.
Garcia had been sought by authorities after the parents of a 13-year-old girl requested that they look for the couple.
Garcia and the 13-year-old girl disappeared from her parents’ home on Sept. 7. The whereabouts of the couple were unknown until Oct. 27, when Garcia contacted Mexican law enforcement authorities and told them he and the juvenile were in Durango, which is located about 250 miles southwest of Monterey, Mex.
Garcia turned himself into law enforcement officials in Durango, but was released pending a determination on whether he was a U.S. citizen or a Mexican national.
The investigation revealed that Garcia was a U.S. Citizen and the Pecos Police Department started extradition procedures with the U.S. Marshal’s Service.
The juvenile was reunited with her mother in Juarez on Oct. 29, the day after police received the report she had been found in Durango. She was turned over to her family by Mexican child service agency officials, and then brought back to Pecos.
Range workshop set for Coyanosa
The Texas Cooperative Extension Service has scheduled to Far West Texas Range Workshops for next week, with the first set for Wednesday in Coyanosa.
The workshop will run for seven hours, starting at 9 a.m. and running through 4 p.m. The events are being sponsored by the Pecos and Reeves County extension services, and are also open to residents in Crane, Ward, Terrell, Upton and Crockett counties.
Alyson McDonald will conduct a session on stocking rates versus carrying capacity from 9 to 9:30 a.m., and on range and forage monitoring from 10:15 to 11 a.m. From 9:30 to 11 a.m., Dr. Bob Lyons will discuss grazing behavior and effective stocking rates, and the importance of riparian areas in the Trans-Pecos from 9:30 to 10:115, while Dr. Bruce Carpenter will lead a discussion on range nutrition in the final session before lunch, from 11 to 11:45 a.m.
The afternoon session will include one with Dr. Carpenter and USDA-NRCS native plane expert Steve Nelle on toxic plans and plant ID practices, from 12:30 to 1:15 p.m., and from 1:15 to 2:15 extension economists Stan Beavers and Joe Pena will discuss pasture, rangeland and forage risk management insurance programs. Hands-on fieldwork is scheduled from 2:15 to 4 p.m.
For further information, contact Reeves County Extension Agent Tommy Dominguez at 447-9041 or Pecos County Extension Agent Jed Elrod at (432) 336-2541.
Unemployment down as county loses jobs and workers
The resumption of school and the continued strength of the oil and gas industry in the area caused a drop of nearly one point in Reeves County’s unemployment rate in September, according to the Texas Workforce Commission, though the TWC reported the total number of workers and jobs in the county continues to decline.
Unemployment figures for last month showed the county had 267 people unemployed out of a labor force of 4,159 workers, for a jobless rate of 6.4 percent. That’s down from 7.5 percent in August, when the TWC said there were 317 people unemployed out of a total of 4,228 workers.
That also represents a loss of 19 jobs in the county from August to September, while compared with a year ago, when September unemployment stood at 7.2 percent, the county has 104 fewer people in the workforce and 63 fewer jobs. The job and workforce totals continue to be in contrast with the sales tax collection numbers over the past year in the county, which are up over 10 percent from 2005’s figures.
Across the area, jobless numbers were down slightly overall from August.
Midland County’s unemployment rate was down half a percent, to 3.3 percent in September, as the city added 661 jobs and 356 people to its workforce. Ector County’s unemployment rate fell from 4.4 to 3.9 percent, with an increase of 598 jobs and 252 workers.
Andrews County’s rate fell from 4.4 to 3.9 percent in September, as the number of workers was up 20 while the county added 52 jobs. Brewster County’s rate fell from 3.6 to 3.2 percent, as the county added 38 workers and 58 jobs. Crane County’s rate dropped from 5.4 to 4.8 percent. The county lost 41 workers and 30 jobs. Culberson County’s rate was down from 4.1 to 3.5 percent, with an loss of 20 workers and 10 jobs from August.
Howard County’s unemployment rate fell from 6.0 to 5.3 percent last month. The county saw a drop of 124 workers and 31 jobs from August. Pecos County’s rate was down from 5.5 to 4.8 percent, as the county lost 112 jobs while its labor force fell by 57. In Ward County, unemployment dropped from 5.7 to 5.1 percent, with the number of jobs falling by 24 while the workforce dropped by 55 from August. Winkler County’s unemployment rate fell from 5.1 percent in August to 4.6 percent in September, with the county’s workforce down by 12 people while the number of jobs rose by five.
Presidio County’s jobless rate remained the highest in the area, but did drop from 12.5 to 12 percent last month. The county’s workforce down by 56 from August while there were 57 fewer jobs in September. Loving County, meanwhile, saw a 30 percent jump in both its work force and the number of jobs. For the nation’s least-populated county, that mean an increase in the workforce from 31 to 39 and a rise in the number of jobs from 27 to 35. The combination dropped the jobless rate from 12.9 to 10-3 percent .
Geboveva Mendoza Wright, 38, 501 S. Eddy St., was arrested by police on Oct. 13 on charges of public intoxication (enhanced) and evading arrest or detention, both Class B misdemeanors. Police said the arrest took place in the 100 block of East Fourth Street, after Wright reportedly ran a stop sign at Fourth and Eddy Streets, and then sped up while being chased by an officer while eastbound on Fourth Street. She was then transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.
SharonYvette Dominguez, 19, 2384 Madera Rd., was arrested by police on Oct. 10 on warrants charging her with minor in possession alcohol (two counts) and open containter of alcohol. Police said the arrest took place in the 300 block of South Eddy Street, after Dominguez was stopped for a traffic violation and the outstanding warrants were discovered. She was then transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.
Andrew Jay Thorn, 20, of Edinberg, was arrested by police on Oct. 10 on charges of minor in possession of alcoholc beverage (beer) and consumption of alcohol by a minor. Police said the arrest was made at the Swiss Clock Inn, after officers went there in regards to a separate incident and found one open Bud Light Beer along with 19 other beers in his motel room. He was then transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.
Richard Lee Shult, 33, of Grants, N.M., was arrested by police on Oct. 9 on a charge of public intoxication. Police said the arrest was made after they were called to the Kwik Stop at Third and Eddy streets, on a report that two intoxicated males were inside demanding the clerk sell them more beer. Shult left the store before officers arrived, but was located in the 500 block of South Hackberry Street. He was placed under arrest and was then transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.
Syliva Chavez Rubio, 42, 2106 Cactus St., was arrested by police on Oct. 15 on a warrant charging her with theft of service, a Class B misdemeanor. Police said the arrest took place in the 1600 block of Johnson Street, and Rubio was then transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.
Pedro Mendoza, Jr., 38, 416 S. Locust St., was arrested by police on Oct. 13 on warrants charging him with possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. Polie said the arrest was made after a traffic stop in the 200 block of South Cedar Street, when a records check revealed the outstanding warrants. Mendoza was then transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.
Amanda Loraye Lara, 20, 1322 Veterans Blvd., was arrested by police on Oct. 15 on charges of public intoxication and consumption of alcohol by a minor, both Class C misdemeanors, and a warrant out of Reeves County for DUI. Police said the arrest was made during a walk-through at the Suavacito Club, 900 S. Cedar St., at 1:06 a.m., when others at the bar told officers Lara was intoxicated and was a minor inside the bar. She was placed under arrest on the two charges, and a records check revealed the DUI warrant. She was then transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.
Peter Duane Harrison, 2125 S. Park St., was arrested by police on Oct. 13 on a warrant for failure to pay a fine on the original charge of allowing an animal to run at-large, which carried a fine of $174. The arrest was made following a traffic stop in the 1200 block of West Eighth Street, and Harrison was then transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.
Eduardo Contreras Fuentes, 40, 1902 Adams St., was arrested by police on Oct. 15 on a charge of public intoxication, a Class C misdemeanor. Police said the arrest was made after officers received a report at 6 p.m. that a man was operating a backhoe in the north alley of the 1200 block of East Fourth Street while intoxicated. Fuentes was located at the scene, placed under arrest and transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 432-445-5475, FAX 432-445-4321
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