Eagle Pass Daily | News for Eagle Pass TX |
Border Patrol agents nab AK-47s
Written by Staff   
Monday, 21 April 2014 15:23

000_0037EAGLE PASS, Texas – For the second time in two weeks, federal authorities at the Eagle Pass Port of Entry intercepted a load of assault rifles bound for Mexico, Friday.

“The Eagle Pass POE Enforcement Team is comprised of U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers from the Port of Entry and U.S. Border Patrol agents,” said Cynthia O. Rodriguez, CBP Port Director, Eagle Pass. “Preventing weapons like these from being smuggled across our borders deprives transnational criminal organizations of the tools of their trade.”

Late Friday night, the POE Enforcement team was conducting outbound inspections at Eagle Pass International Bridge I when a 2003 Ford Expedition arrived, bound for Mexico. Using non-intrusive imaging equipment to inspect the vehicle, Enforcement Team members discovered a cache of weapons hidden inside. Team members seized a total of 12 AK-47 assault rifles, along with 12 magazines, and 22 rounds of 7.63-caliber ammunition.

Working together, the Office of Field Operations and U.S. Border Patrol are integral to the South Texas Campaign, which leverages federal, state and local resources to combat transnational criminal organizations.

“Taking weapons like these out of the hands of criminals helps ensure the safety and security of communities on both sides of the border,” STC Commander Robert L. Harris said.  “These types of seizures highlight the vigilance of our officers and agents, as we and our partner agencies continue disrupting TCO operations in the South Texas Corridor.”

The Office of Field Operations is the primary organization within U.S. Customs and Border Protection tasked with an anti-terrorism mission at our nation’s ports. CBP officers screen all people, vehicles and goods entering the United States while facilitating the flow of legitimate trade and travel. Their mission also includes carrying out border-related duties, including narcotics interdiction, enforcing immigration and trade laws, and protecting the nation's food supply and agriculture industry from pests and diseases.

SSA office in Del Rio to close
Written by Staff   
Monday, 21 April 2014 12:38

DEL RIO, TX (press release) - On Monday, Social Security announced that beginning Monday, May 12, 2014, people will be able to conduct Social Security business via video conference at the Val Verde County Community Center located at 1690 Ciénegas Road, Del Rio, TX 78440. The Community Center video conference hours are 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Monday through Friday but will close daily from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. Limited face-to-face service will also be available at the Community Center Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

As of Friday, May 2, 2014, the agency will cease operations at the office located at 2207 Bedell Avenue, but is pleased to maintain a presence in the community.

“Due to shrinking resources and workforce, and rising workloads, we must build upon the success of our online tools and new technologies to continue to deliver quality service to residents of Val Verde County and Del Rio,” said Angelica V. Lopez, District Manager for the agency’s Laredo office.

Eagle Pass woman sentenced to federal prison for fake kidnapping
Written by Staff   
Thursday, 17 April 2014 16:04

EAGLE PASS, Texas - A 25-year-old woman who admitted faking a kidnapping to extort her friend will spend 11 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release.

Julia Esmeralda Garza, of Eagle Pass, was sentenced Thursday in the U.S. District Court of Del Rio for wire fraud.

According to court records, on May of last year Garza used her cellphone to make phone calls and send text messages to a friend in an attempt to obtain approximately $700 in ransom money.

The unidentified friend notified police who quickly determined the whole scenario was a hoax and arrested Garza.

Garza plead guilty to one count of wire fraud late last year.

Eagle Pass Police Department wishes the community a safe and happy Easter holiday
Written by Staff   
Thursday, 17 April 2014 11:12

Eagle Pass, Texas (Press Release) - Eagle Pass Police Chief Alberto Guajardo and the Eagle Pass Police Department would like to wish the citzens of Eagle Pass and Maverick County a safe and happy Easter holiday.

The Eagle Pass Police Department will remain vigilant as always as the safety of our community and citizens are of the utmost importance. Patrols will be increased to assure the safety and well-being of our citizens. All laws will be strictly enforced.

The community is asked that if drinking any alcoholic beverages to do so in moderation an always remember not to drink and drive as the result could take a life.

If an emergency should arise trained radio communications specialists are ready willing and able to assist citizens via the 911 Emergency phone system.

With this in mind again on behalf of Chief Alberto Guajardo and the Officers and staff of the Eagle Pass Police Department, have a blessed Easter holiday.

Del Rio sector Border Patrol surpasses last year's arrests of sex offenders
Written by Staff   
Thursday, 17 April 2014 11:03

SOUTH TEXAS - Del Rio Sector agents have apprehended 20 sex offenders since the beginning of Fiscal Year 2014 which commenced on Oct. 1, 2013. This total is greater than the 18 previously deported sex offenders arrested during all of FY13. The sector is seeing a notable increase in arrests of subjects who have extensive criminal histories involving felony convictions, including sexual offenses.

“We are averaging at least one significant arrest per week since the beginning of the year,” said Chief Rodolfo Karisch. “I am thankful that our agents are remaining vigilant and keeping our communities safe.”

The most recent apprehension occurred April 15, when agents assigned to the Brackettville Station apprehended a convicted sex offender while conducting line watch duties near Del Rio.  

Agents encountered a group of seven Mexican subjects who were taken into the station for processing. During processing agents discovered that Pedro Bernal-Clemente, 45, was an undocumented immigrant from Mexico. He had been previously deported from the United States and is a convicted sex offender. Bernal-Clemente was convicted in 2001 of “Criminal Sexual Conduct – 3rd Degree” by the Anoka County District Court in Minnesota and sentenced to time served plus 12 days in jail and 15 years of probation.

Bernal-Clemente will be charged with 8 USC 1326 – re-entry after deportation –­ and his prior order of removal will be reinstated. He will be deported to his native country again upon completion of all criminal proceedings.

Eagle Pass surveyor pleads guilty to bribery, kickback and bid-rigging scheme
Written by Staff   
Tuesday, 15 April 2014 16:38

DEL RIO, Texas - Marcelo Alvarez, a 55-year-old surveyor and consultant from Eagle Pass, faces up to ten years in federal prison and full restitution to Maverick County after pleading guilty to a bribery charge in connection with an alleged bribery, kickback and bid-rigging scheme announced United States Attorney Robert Pitman and Acting FBI Special Agent in Charge Aaron C. Rouse.

Appearing before United States District Judge Alia Moses this afternoon in Del Rio, Alvarez pleaded guilty to one count of paying a bribe to an agent of an organization receiving federal funds. According to court documents, between 2010 and 2012, Alvarez paid $100 to $200 on multiple occasions to Maverick County elected officials, including two county commissioners, for their support in securing county construction projects. Ultimately, Maverick County paid in excess of $800,000 to Amistad Consulting, a company which Alvarez was connected to, to perform engineering, project management and consulting services for the county. Alvarez, designated by Amistad Consulting as the Resident Project Representative, received payment for his services of approximately $300,000 between 2010 and 2012.

Alvarez remains on bond pending sentencing scheduled for October 1, 2014.

This ongoing investigation is being conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Texas Department of Public Safety. Individuals who have first-hand information about corruption, fraud, or bribery related to Maverick County are urged to contact the FBI at (210) 225-6741. Assistant United States Attorneys Michael Galdo and Bryan N. Reeves are prosecuting this case on behalf of the Government.

San Antonio man frustrated by Maverick County justice
Written by KSAT - Jesse Degollado   
Tuesday, 15 April 2014 13:34

EAGLE PASS, Texas - The son of a San Antonio woman killed in 2010 as she left the Kickapoo Lucky Eagle Casino said he is frustrated by Maverick County's handling of the case.

A head-on crash claimed the life of 73-year-old Adeline Hutson and severely injured her two daughters on the road leading to the casino.

Alan Martin said he expected Kickapoo tribal member Raul Rodriguez to get 20 years for intoxication manslaughter in his mother's death, until a sudden plea agreement in July.

"To drop it down to 8-15 years is just disgusting," Martin said.

National pharmacy honor society inducts Eagle Pass student for academic excellence
Written by Staff   
Tuesday, 15 April 2014 13:04

040314_gonzalez_rhochiEagle Pass, Texas - Ruth Gonzalez, a second-year professional student pharmacist, was inducted into The Rho Chi Society, which gives professional recognition in the field of pharmacy to students for academic excellence.

The Texas A&M Health Science Center Irma Lerma Rangel College of Pharmacy invited 16 students and one faculty member to its Gamma Omega Chapter April 3 at the Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Center. Fifteen students were present for the initiation.

The Texas A&M Rangel College of Pharmacy chapter also presented Russell Melchert, Ph.D., R.Ph., professor and dean of the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Pharmacy, to the students and faculty who shared his experiences as a pharmacy leader in “The Best of Times.”

Candidates for induction must complete at least half of their didactic pharmacy doctorate degree program and place within the Top 20 percent of their class.

Runaway teen found, boyfriend arrested
Written by Staff   
Tuesday, 15 April 2014 10:41

EAGLE PASS, Texas - An Eagle Pass teenager who was recently reported as runaway to the Maverick County Sheriff's Office was located Friday night in company of her boyfriend.

The 16-year-old girl was located by Eagle Pass Police officers who responded to a report from an anonymous caller about underage drinking and possible possesion of narcotics taking place in a house on the 800 block of N. Bibb Ave., according to the police report.

Police arrested the girl's boyfriend, Jose Luis De Los Santos, 17, of Eagle Pass, after he turned aggresive when officers were taking custody of the missing teen.  The report said De Los Santos was visibly intoxicated.

The teenager was taken to the Police Department where she was later released to her family, and De Los Santos was taken to the Tom Bowles Detention Center where he was charged with interfering with duties of a public servant, resisting arrest, and public intoxication.  He was released on a $5,000 bond.

City of Eagle Pass raises bee safety awareness
Written by Staff   
Monday, 14 April 2014 19:58

Eagle Pass, Texas (press release) - The City of Eagle Pass has issued the following public awareness for those who live, work, or visiting our community.

Due to recent Bee activity we are asking our Community to please be aware and cautious of Bees in our area.

Attacks from these aggressive bees may result in serious injury or even death. The City of Eagle Pass offers these tips to help you stay safe:

• Check your property regularly for bee colonies. Honey bees nest in a wide variety of places, especially Africanized honey bees. Look for bees in work areas before using power equipment.

• Check animal burrows, water meter boxes, overturned flower pots, trees and shrubs.

• Keep pets and children indoors when using weed eaters, hedge clippers, lawn mowers, chain saws, etc. An attack frequently occurs when a person is mowing the lawn or pruning shrubs and inadvertently strikes a nest.

Eagle Pass man found dead at Kickapoo hotel
Written by Staff   
Monday, 14 April 2014 14:58

EAGLE PASS, Texas - An Eagle Pass man was found dead at the Kickapoo Lucky Eagle Hotel over the weekend.

Ranulfo Avalos, 57, who worked as the Director of the Maverick County Road and Bridge Auto Mechanic Department, was found unresponsive in one of the suites, according to initial reports.

Justice of the Peace Dora Madera pronounced Avalos dead at the scene and ordered an autopsy be done in Laredo, TX, to determine the cause of death.

The FBI and Texas Department of Public Safety are investigating the case.

Workforce Solutions launches employment youth program
Written by Staff   
Monday, 14 April 2014 13:08

EAGLE PASS, Texas (Press Release) - Workforce Solutions Middle Rio Grande is recruiting for out of school youth (ages 17-21) that have completed or dropped out of school who are interested in obtaining an opportunity to better their chance to succeed through the Workforce Investment Act Youth Programs.  The program will combine multiple resources including available child care, transportation assistance, occupational skills training scholarships and job readiness/placement services.

Applications are currently being accepted for students who qualify under the income guidelines.  Youth ages 17 through 21 are encouraged to apply for the Workforce Investment Act Youth Programs.  To join the Workforce Solutions Programs that provide many opportunities for youth, applicants should visit the Workforce Solutions Middle Rio Grande Center at 1200 Ferry Street to find out more information. Youth that qualify may take advantage of an array of services including vocational training, work experience, limited internship, On-the-Job Training and others. When students complete their vocational training they will be assisted with job placement for the demand jobs in the community.

Workforce Solutions Middle Rio Grande is an equal opportunity employer/service provider and auxiliary aids and services may be made available upon request to individuals with disabilities. For information please contact our VOICE telephone number 830-876-3533 or our TDD telephone number 830-876-1260.

Dos Republicas kicks off mine project which will bring many benefits to the community
Written by Staff   
Monday, 14 April 2014 13:01

EAGLE PASS, Texas (Press Release) - Dos Republicas has already made the City of Eagle Pass its home and is anxious to see the many benefits to the Eagle Pass community materialize.  After a long process of demonstrating how their operations will effectively and safely operate by exceeding all State and Federal regulatory requirements, Dos Republicas stands ready to continue implementing their plans to create more jobs, add to the local tax base and become a vital component of the local economy.

In terms of process, it is well known that Texas regulatory agencies TCEQ and RCT reviewed many documents and heard testimony from numerous experts in an intense effort to gain facts and understanding of this project.  Opponents appealed the agencies ruling, an appeal was filed and the case facts and testimony was once again reviewed n in the 126th Civil District Court by Judge Darlene Byrne.  On March 27, 2014, Judge Byrne reinforced the decision made by the RCT and the project is proceeding as planned.

The North American Coal Corporation (NACC) through its subsidiary Camino Real Fuels L.L.C. will function as the operator of the coal mine as per the Texas Railroad Commission permit.  With over 100 years of mining experience, North American Coal is the largest lignite producer in the U.S. and is in the top 10 coal producers in the country. It is a corporation that is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE:NC). 

This project will create over 250 jobs totaling over $10 million in salaries annually.  The services and supplies to be purchased by local vendors will infuse $17.5 million into the local economy.  In addition, the project’s capital investment of over $150 million will bring in an estimated $2 million into local City and County government coffers

Giving back through community involvement is important to the management team of Dos Republicas. Dos Republicas has participated and supported the Eagle Pass Chamber of Commerce, the Maverick County Development Corporation, Maverick County Junior Livestock Show and others civic organizations. “We are proud to be a partner of the community and stimulate the economy by bring jobs and businesses to Eagle Pass” says Rudy Rodriguez, Dos Republicas spokesperson.

Tractor-trailer engulfed in flames after collision in Quemado
Written by Staff   
Saturday, 12 April 2014 15:56

1531822_844699928878717_1027944474743769801_nPHOTO RECAP: A fiery tractor-trailer crash was reported Saturday at around 4:00 p.m, on Highway 277 N., two miles from Quemado, TX. The Maverick County Sheriff's said no injuries were reported.

Eagle Pass Border Patrol agent rescues 5-year-old girl from drowning in the Rio Grande
Written by Staff   
Saturday, 12 April 2014 12:01

Eagle Pass, Texas – A Border Patrol agent rescued a five-year-old Honduran girl who was struggling to stay afloat in the Rio Grande River early Friday morning.

At approximately 2:30 a.m. Border Patrol agents assigned to the Eagle Pass Border Patrol Station observed a group of 11 subjects crossing the Rio Grande near the Eagle Pass International Railroad Bridge. One agent watched as a young woman – later identified as a 24-year-old Honduran national - struggled in the water, attempting to pull a child across the river. The woman let go of the child - later identified as her younger sister - who tried to swim on her own, but started to sink rapidly. Without hesitation, an agent jumped into the river and swam approximately 25 yards, to where he last saw the girl, as she disappeared underwater. He located the child, and pulled her to safety on the United States side of the river.

“I am so proud of our agents for their quick thinking and selfless sacrifice, and this situation is no exception,” said Del Rio Sector Chief Patrol Agent Rodolfo Karisch. “The majority of our agents are certified first responders and trained in CPR. They are able to determine if a person’s injuries require advanced medical attention.

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