Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Police report finding handgun connected to drive-by shooting
Pecos Police said a gun allegedly used in a March 8 drive-by shooting has been recovered, and that charges are pending in the incident.
Investigator Olga Lopez said a gun recovered in Ward County on March 13 has been linked to the shooting five days earlier that occurred in the 1100 block of South Ash Street in Pecos. Police were dispatched to the home at 10:46 p.m. that night following a report that a vehicle had driven by the home of Jorge Navarrete and fired two shots inside.
Police Capt. Kelly Davis said on March 14 that a second person, identified as Sarah Mendoza, were inside at the time, but no one was injured in the incident.
“We did recover two bullets,” Davis said at the time. He added that there were no witnesses to the shooting, but “We do have some suspects we’re checking on.”
Information into the shooting was also being sought by Pecos Valley Crimestoppers.
“Please help us make our community safer by putting these criminals behind bars,” said Mike Balog, the community relations officer for the Pecos PD.
If anyone has any information about this drive by shooting or any other crimes call Crime Stoppers at 445-9898 or leave a Secure Web-Tip on the crimestoppers website HYPERLINK "http://www.crimestoppersweb.com/pecos" www.crimestoppersweb.com/pecos.
“As always you will remain anonymous and your tips could be worth a cash reward,” said Balog.
There is no caller I.D. on this line and the community and the police thank you for your help.
Two killed, two others injured in I-10 rollover
Two persons were killed and two others injured around sunrise on Monday, following a one-vehicle accident on Interstate 10 in southwestern Reeves County.
The names of the two persons killed were not available at press time, but the accident reportedly occurred shortly at 7:34 a.m. on I-10 near the 194-mile marker, between Balmorhea and the I-20 junction. Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper Roy Lyttle, who investigated the accident, said the accident involved in 2002 Cadillac SUV, which left the highway and rolled over while eastbound on I-10.
Lyttle identified the driver as Pablo Elias of Wilmington, Calif. “The driver stated that he fell asleep and the vehicle drifted into the median and rolled over, and during the rollover two persons were killed,” he said.
The two persons were pronounced dead at the scene by Reeves County Precinct 3 Justice of the Peace Rosendo Carrasco. Lyttle added that all four persons were wearing seat belts at the time of the accident.
EMS crews from both Pecos and Balmorhea were called to the site, where two persons were pronounced dead at the scene. Balmorhea Fire Department crews along with Reeves County sheriff’s deputies and Texas Department of Transportation crews were also called to the scene to help out in directing traffic around the accident site.
Elias was transported by Pecos EMS directly to Pecos Municipal Airport, where an air ambulance from Southwest Life Flight transported the victim to Medical Center Hospital in Odessa. The other injured person, who Lyttle said was a male child, was taken by Balmorhea EMS to Reeves County Hospital and was to be transferred to Odessa Monday afternoon.
Preliminary reported said visibility conditions in that section of I-10 were extremely poor when emergency crews were called to the scene, and the morning fog prevented the CareStar helicopter crew from flying to the scene of the crash to transport one of the injured victims to Odessa. However, Lyttle said there were no reports of bad weather conditions in the area at the time the crash occurred.
NWS weather spotting class set for Tuesday
The National Weather Service in Midland will offer a severe weather spotter training session In Corporation with the Reeves County Emergency Management Office on Tuesday night at the Reeves County Civic Center.
The training session will be from 7-9 p.m., Tuesday at the Civic Center, and will include such topics as: tornado and downburst production; classification, structure and behavior of a single cell, multi-cell and super-cell thunderstorm; airflow in and near tornadic thunderstorms; and additional examples of severe thunderstorms, tornadoes, wall clouds, and downbursts.
NWS and local officials are asking area residents and business operators to give serious consideration at attending the training session and/or designating members of your staff to attend, and people are encouraged to invite others who have an interest in severe weather spotting for the National Weather Service.
The two-hour session is designed for the purpose of training spotters. The presentation represents an opportunity to receive training that could be of great value to the community, business, schools, and home.
For further information please call the Reeves County Emergency Management Office at (432) 447-3542.
County seeks city’s aid with lead abatement effort
Reeves County Commissioners discussed the removal of lead bullet remnants from the area near the Reeves County Golf Course, while a grant involving the course was one of several grants discussed during the regular Commissioners Court meeting, held Monday morning at the Reeves County Courthouse.
Commissioners approved an interlocal agreement with the Town of Pecos City for the authorization to test for possible lead contamination at the abandoned shooting range.
“The city owns 111 acres, which is the old, abandoned shooting range, and this is for the expansion of the golf course,” said Reeves County Judge Sam Contreras.
The county wants to expand the golf course and add seven new holes to make the facility a full 18-hole golf course. The course was expanded four years ago from 11 to 14 holes, but two months ago, commissioners sold eight acres of land along Interstate 20 for commercial development, which will require the removal of and three holes from the north side of the course.
Some of the additional holes will be added in the area that was formerly used as a shooting range just south of the current course, and officials want to clean up that area and make sure it is safe before continuing with the project.
“With this agreement it permits us to test for the possibility of lead in that area,” said commissioner precinct 1 Roy Alvarado.
When the city agreed to the use of 111 acres by the county for the golf course, the original plan did not call for lead abatement from the rifle range site, which covers about 25 percent of the total 111-acre area.
“The idea was to only use 80 acres that are free of lead contamination,” said golf course employee Peter Mora. But he said that they are looking at doing a trail as well as putting in the new holes, and that this is the concern.
“We want to just test the area that we will be using and I think we can do that ourselves,” he said.
Alvarado said that this only authorizes the county to do it, but it is not a requirement.
“Well, the city will also have to put it on their agenda,” said Contreras. “We can proceed with the layout and modify it at a later date.”
In a related issue, commissioners approved a resolution designating the county judge as being responsible for acting for and on behalf of the county in dealing with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department for the purpose of participating in the Texas Recreation and Parks Account Program, which involves the area around the golf course.
Carlos Colinas-Vargas was on hand to discuss the grant that Reeves County will be applying for and the county judge will oversee.
“This resolution designates the county judge as the representative for the grant,” said Vargas.
He said that the grant doesn’t designate an amount, but is only an “umbrella” application, which means that the amount will be set by the grant providers.
“There’s a half a million grant that we are applying for isn’t it,” said Contreras.
“Yes, the funds go up to half a million and the minimum match is $500,000,” said Vargas.
Vargas said that they are in the process of scoping the land and that he wanted to thank commissioner Alvarado who has been working on the grant with him.
The resolution certifies that Reeves County is eligible to receive assistance under the TRPA program.
The Outdoor Recreation Grant application is authorized for submission to TPWD concerning the park site, which is the Reeves County Municipal Golf Course.
In other action, a resolution to authorize to submit a grant application to the Governor’s Division of Emergency Management for the local Border Security Program grant was approved by commissioners.
Reeves County Sheriff’s Deputy Gary Richards said that the department had been notified that there were funds available to help the deputies.
“We were contacted about some money that is available to the deputies, doing border operations on the border and the Gulf Coast,” said Richards.
Richards said that since several routes that are points of smuggling human cargo, drugs and weapons, were on the Interstate, Reeves County qualified for the funds.
“It actually went into effect in February and we will be competing with other jurisdictions, but we are at the top of the list,” said Richards.
Richards told the group that the grant is 100 percent with no matching funds needed.
The grant is to provide additional manpower by local law enforcement agencies for state surge operations for improved border security. Richards said the grant total would be based upon funds available upon awarding of the grant.
“The grant pays reimbursement of overtime expenses of Reeves County Sheriff’s personnel and its law enforcement fleet vehicles during operations specified under the grant,” said Richards
Richards said that this will allow eligible sheriff’s office personnel to claim overtime wages, based on a seven-day period beyond 40 hours of regular duty during the same period at a rate of one and one-half times the employee’s regular hourly rate of pay according to the rules promulgated by the grant, while engaged in operations relating to Federal or State Local Border Security grants in which reimbursement is paid to Reeves County through these grant programs.
Commissioners also listened to a presentation the airport capital improvement project.
The group told the commissioners that they are currently upgrading their runway and were asking for some assistance from the county and the city.
The group took no action on the item, since it was a presentation only at the time.
County Democrats set convention
A county convention for the Reeves County Democratic Party will be held at 10 a.m., Saturday, March 29, at the Reeves County Courthouse.
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.
Veronica Herrera Fuentes, 42, 1114 S. Orange St., Apt. B, was arrested by police on March 3 on a charge of failure to pay a $275 fine on a previous charge of public intoxication. Police said the arrest took place after Fuentes was stopped on a traffic violation in the 200 block of South Mulberry Street at 11 p.m., and a records check revealed the outstanding warrant. She was then transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.
Tony Rayos Martinez, 21, 113 E. Ninth St., was arrested by police on Feb. 28 on charge of public intoxication and theft by appropriation. Police said the arrest was made when Martinez was found intoxicated in the 200 block of South Plum Street at 1:44 a.m., and he was also found to be in possession of stolen property from 607 W. Third Street. He was then transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.
Oscar Hernandez, 23, 1109 S. Orange St., Apt. A, was arrested by police on March 12 on a charge of no driver’s license, a Class C misdemeanor. Police said the arrest occurred following a traffic stop at Fifth and Mulberry streets, and Hernandez was then transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.
Brandon Michael Avila, 22, of Apt. 213, Country Club Apartments, 2600 Country Club Drive, was arrested by police on March 14 on a charge of assault under the Family Violence Act, a Class A misdemeanor. Police said the arrest took place at 1:36 a.m. following an incident at his apartment, and he was then transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.
Christopher James Mendoza, 25, 221 Brazos St., in Barstow was arrested by police on March 16 at Cash’s Sports Bar, 1330 E. Third St., on charges of public intoxication, a Class C misdemeanor, and possession of a controlled substance (cocaine), a third degree felony. Police said the arrest was made after they found Mendoza to be intoxicated, and a search revealed a substance believed to be cocaine in his possession. He was then transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.
Roberto Guadalupe Ramirez, 21, 718 S. Oak St., was arrested by police on March 14 at his home, on charges of simple assault under the Family Violence Act, resisting arrest, terroristic threat and assaulting a police officer. According to police, they were called to the home at 3:35 p.m. and attempted to arrest Ramirez after seeing him shove his mother. Officers said he then attempted to run out of the home, attempted to punch one officer as he was being handcuffed, and then struggled with both Ramirez and his girlfriend, who attempted to prevent his arrest. Police said the suspect then allegedly made a threat to kill officer Billy Jack Brookshire, before head-butting the officer. Ramirez was eventually handcuffed and transported by officers to the Criminal Justice Center.
Arturo Hernandez Rayos, 35, 115 S. Pecan St., was arrested by police on a charge of public intoxication, a Class C misdemeanor. Police said the arrest took place in the 1500 block of South Plum Street, and Rayos was then transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.
Gilbert Rayos Ortega, 37, 909 S. Ash St., was arrested by police on March 4 on a charge of simple assault, a Class C misdemeanor. Police said the arrest was made at 2106 Cactus St., after they were called about an assault incident involving an alleged shoplifter at Dollar General; 2028 S. Eddy St. Ortega was then transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.
Gregory F. Saylor, 56, of Las Cruces, N.M., was arrested by police on March 4 on a charge of public intoxication, a Class C misdemeanor. Police said the arrest was made at 10:32 p.m. at the Flying J. Truck Stop, 100 E. Pinehurst St., and Saylor was then transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.
Estevan Levario Morales, 63, 2205 Johnson St., was arrested by police on March 4 on a charge of public intoxication, a Class C misdemeanor. Police said the arrest was made after receiving a report at 6:40 p.m. of a possible drunk driver in the 800 block of South Pecan Street, when Levario was found parked in a truck in the 600 block of South Sycamore Street. He was then transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.
Robert Dwight McCartney, 18, 711 S. Elm St., was arrested by police on a warrant issued out of 143rd District Court on a motion to adjudicate guilt on an original charge of burglary of a habitation. Police said the arrest was made at 2400 W. ‘F’ St., and McCartney was then transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.
Fabien Mendoza, 38, 3020 Arlington St., was arrested by police on March 6 on charges of possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver, failure to signal a turn and an expired driver’s license. Police said the arrest was made following a traffic stop in the 3000 block of Arlington, when a substance believed to be cocaine was found in Mendoza’s possession. He was then transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.
Jose Angel Vasquez, 47, 815 S. Cedar St., was arrested by police on March 9 on a charge of assault under the Family Violence Act, a Class C misdemeanor. Police said the arrest was made at 5:37 p.m. in the 800 block of South Cedar Street following the incident, and Vasquez was then transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.
Jeffrey Lynn Davis, 52, of Fort Smith, Ark., was arrested by police on March 9 on a charge of public intoxication, a Class C misdemeanor. Police said the arrest took place at 5:37 p.m. in the 800 block of South Cedar Street, and Davis was then transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.
Frank Matta Rivera III, 36, 507 Ross Blvd., was arrested by police on March 9 on a charge of public intoxication, a Class C misdemeanor. Police said the arrest took place at 11:21 p.m. following a call about a disturbance in the 500 block of Ross Boulevard, and Rivera was then transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.
James Kevin Perkins, 44, no address available, was arrested by police on March 11 on a charge of public intoxication. Police said the arrest was made at the Flying J. Truck Stop, 100 E. Pinehurst St., after officers were called about a man yelling at customers. Perkins was then transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.
Tony Rayos Mendoza, 21, 113 E. Ninth St., was arrested by police on Feb. 25 on a warrant charging him with unauthorized use of a motor vehicle. Police said the warrant was served while Mendoza was in Reeves County Jail on a separate charge, and involved taking a 2005 Ford pick-up from a home at 716 S. Oak St., which police said was damaged during the event.
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 432-445-5475, FAX 432-445-4321
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