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FORMER MAVERICK COUNTY COMMISSIONER, FORMER COUNTY EMPLOYEE AND THREE CONTRACTORS SENTENCED TO FEDERAL PRISON IN CONNECTION WITH A BRIBERY, KICKBACK AND BID-RIGGING SCHEME
In Del Rio today, a former Maverick County commissioner, a former Maverick County employee and three contractors were sentenced for their roles in a bribery, kickback and bid-rigging scheme that caused the County to lose more than $1.3 million announced Acting United States Attorney Richard L. Durbin, Jr., and FBI Special Agent in Charge Christopher Combs, San Antonio Division.
“The corruption in the cases sentenced this week works like a cancer on the body politic, eating away public confidence in local government. We will make every effort to counter its effects and hold accountable those who abuse the public trust for their personal gain,” stated Acting United States Attorney Richard L. Durbin, Jr.
“These defendants created a culture of corruption that spread throughout Maverick County, enabling theft and waste to thrive while taxpayers and honest businesses suffered,” stated FBI SAC Christopher Combs, San Antonio Division.
United States District Judge Alia Moses sentenced:
Former Maverick County Precinct 2 Commissioner Rodolfo Bainet Heredia, age 56, to ten years in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release and ordered him to perform 1,200 hours of community service after completing his prison term. Heredia was also ordered to pay a maximum $567,003.88 in restitution to Maverick County. On June 4, 2013, Heredia pleaded guilty to one count of receiving a bribe by an agent of an organization receiving federal funds. By pleading guilty, Heredia admitted that in 2010 and 2011, he manipulated the bidding process to guarantee that contractors he chose would be awarded Maverick County construction contracts. Furthermore, Heredia admitted that he instructed the private contractors to submit inflated bids to Maverick County in order to ensure the availability of sufficient funds to perform the construction work, make a profit, and also to pay him bribes;
Alejandra Garcia, a 28-year old former Maverick County employee whose duty was to issue Maverick County checks to private contractors, to 109 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release and ordered her to perform 800 hours of community service after completing her prison term. Garcia was also ordered to pay a maximum $382,254.29 in restitution to Maverick County and to report to federal authorities no later than June 8, 2015, to begin serving her prison term. In January 2013, Garcia pleaded guilty to receiving numerous cash payments of $200 to $500 in bribes from contractors and commissioners in return for her issuing thousands of dollars in Maverick County checks to contractors before the funds were approved for issuance by the Maverick County auditor’s office;
Maverick County sentencings release
February 23, 2015
Marcelo Alvarez, a 56-year-old surveyor and consultant from Eagle Pass, to 112 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release and ordered to pay a maximum $1,022,303.94 restitution to Maverick County. In April 2014, 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 projeccts. Ultimately, Maverick County paid in excess of $800,000 to Amistad Consulting, a company to which Alvarez was connected, 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;
Salvador Castillon, 53-year-old owner of South Texas Concrete based in Eagle Pass, to 87 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release. Castillon was also ordered to pay a maximum $175,804.71 in restitution to Maverick County and perform 800 hours of community service after completing his prison term. Judge Moses also ordered that Castillon report to federal authorities by June 8, 2015, to begin serving his sentence. In December 2013, Castillon pleaded guilty to one count of paying a bribe to an agent of an organization receiving federal funds. According to court records, Castillon was awarded Maverick County construction contracts totaling $416,800 in 2010 and $148,000 in 2011. Castillon admitted that during that time period, he paid then Maverick County Precinct 2 commissioner Rodolfo Bainet Heredia approximately $57,000 in return for being awarded the construction contracts; and,
Saul Lombrana, 65-year-old owner and operator of Fiesta Contractors based in Eagle Pass, to 33 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release. Lombrana was also ordered to pay a maximum $14,500.00 in restitution to Maverick County and perform 300 hours of community service after completing his prison term. Judge Moses also ordered that Lombrana report to federal authorities by June 8, 2015, to begin serving his sentence. In February 2014, Lombrana pleaded guilty to one count of paying a bribe to an agent of an organization receiving federal funds. By pleading guilty, Lombrana admitted that in March 2011, he submitted a $14,500 bid to construct 155 linear feet of concrete drain swell on Rafael Street in Precinct 1. After being awarded the contract, Lombrana never constructed the concrete drain swell, but requested and received full payment for the project. Of the $14,500 he received, Lombrana admittedly only kept $5,000 while giving the rest to a Maverick County employee Jaime Flores as a bribe.
This afternoon, Judge Moses remanded Maverick County Precinct 4 Commissioner Cesar Flores into federal custody while postponing his sentencing. A new sentencing date has yet to be scheduled. On September 5, 2013, Flores pleaded guilty to one count of receiving a bribe. By pleading guilty, Flores admitted that he agreed to be influenced and rewarded for using his position to ensure that certain contractors were awarded construction contracts in Maverick County Precinct 4 in 2010 and in 2011.
To date, eight individuals have been sentenced in connection with this investigation. Hipolito Amaya, Jose Aguilar and David Gelacio have previously received sentences of 41 months incarceration, 14 months incarceration and 12 months incarceration, respectively. Nine more defendants are scheduled for sentencing tomorrow in Del Rio before Judge Moses.
Maverick County sentencings release
February 23, 2015
This case is part of an ongoing investigation being conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation with assistance from Customs and Border Protection Office of Internal Affairs, Texas Department of Public Safety Criminal Investigative Division, Texas Rangers, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Eagle Pass ISD Police Department. 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 Attornneys Bryan N. Reeves, Michael Galdo and Katie Griffin prosecuted this case on behalf of the Government.
Sentencing alone won't undo damage in Maverick by Jason Buch, San Antonio Express
FEDERAL GRAND JURY INDICTS MAVERICK COUNTY COMMISSIONER JOSE ROSALES
In Eagle Pass, TX, this afternoon, FBI agents arrested 35-year-old Maverick County Precinct 3 Commissioner and Eagle Pass ISD teacher Jose Luis Rosales after a federal grand jury in Del Rio charged him earlier this week in connection with an alleged bribery, kickback and bid-rigging scheme announced Acting United States Attorney Richard Durbin, Jr., and FBI Special Agent in Charge Christopher Combs, San Antonio Division.
A federal grand jury indictment, returned on Wednesday and unsealed today, charges Rosales with four counts of receiving bribes. The indictment alleges that in 2011 and 2012, Rosales manipulated the bidding process to guarantee that individuals he chose would be awarded Maverick County construction contracts. Those contractors deposited the checks issued to them by Maverick County and then made cash payments to Rosales. According to the indictment, the private contractors submitted inflated bids to Maverick County in order for there to be sufficient funds to perform the construction work, make a profit, and pay the bribe to Rosales.
Upon conviction, Rosales faces up to ten years in federal prison for each bribery charge.
This ongoing investigation is being conducted by the FBI and the Texas Department of Public Safety Criminal Investigative Division together with the Customs and Border Protection Office of Internal Affairs and the Eagle Pass Independent School District Police Department. 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 Attorney Katherine Griffin and Bryan Reeves are prosecuting this case on behalf of the Government.
An indictment is merely a charge and should not be considered as evidence.
FORMER MAVERICK COUNTY JUSTICE OF THE PEACE CESAR IRACHETA INDICTED BY FEDERAL GRAND JURY FOR “PAY-TO-PLAY” BRIBERY SCHEME INVOLVING COUNTY CONTRACTS
This morning, FBI agents arrested 56-year-old former Maverick County Justice of the Peace and Eagle Pass businessman Cesar Iracheta on federal bribery charges in a “pay-to-play” scheme involving County construction contracts announced Acting United States Attorney Richard Durbin, Jr., and FBI Special Agent in Charge Christopher Combs, San Antonio Division.
A federal grand jury indictment, returned on Wednesday and unsealed today, charges Iracheta with two counts of paying bribes. The indictment alleges that in 2010, Iracheta, doing business as C&A Construction, paid a bribe to a Maverick County commissioner in order to secure two Precinct 2 County construction contracts worth approximately $49,000. The indictment also alleges that in 2011, Iracheta paid a bribe to another Maverick County commissioner in order to secure a Precinct One County construction contract worth $22,500.
According to the indictment, Iracheta submitted inflated bids to Maverick County in order for there to be sufficient funds to perform the construction work, make a profit, and pay bribes to the County commissioners.
Upon conviction, Iracheta faces up to ten years in federal prison for each bribery charge.
This ongoing investigation is being conducted by the FBI and the Texas Department of Public Safety Criminal Investigative Division together with the Customs and Border Protection Office of Internal Affairs. 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 Attorney Katherine Griffin and Bryan Reeves are prosecuting this case on behalf of the Government.
An indictment is merely a charge and should not be considered as evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
More Maverick County Officials arrested by FBI in Bribery Investigation
Maverick County network of corruption
CBS news correspondent dies in violent crash
New York - 60 Minutes Correspondent Bob Simon died as a result of injuries suffered in a Wednesday night car crash in New York City.
According to news reports from New York Simon was riding in a taxicab around 6 PM on Wednesday when another vehicle rear-ended the car he was in. This forced his car into some structure barriers which were responsible for most of the damages. It is reported that Simon was unconscious after the crash and suffered severe injuries to his head and body.
Following the accident he was transported to St. Luke's Hospital where he later passed away. The cab driver was also taken to another hospital with injuries to his legs and arms. It's reported that Simon was not wearing a seatbelt since they are not required in city cabs in New York.
Simon did extensive reporting as a war correspondent. He spent a period in Vietnam in 1970 through 1972. His writing covered much of the 1972 spring offensive in Vietnam.
Simon is survived by his wife and a daughter.
Lucy Liu shines on "Elementary"
Lucy Liu has become a popular actress as one of the main protagonist in the Thursday episode of "Elementary". Her popularity continues to grow and today she announced on the View that she will be directing this Thursday's episode.
Luci Liu started many years ago in Los Angeles and has been featured primarily in television shows. She lives and works in New York where she has also become known for her paintings.
Her audience has grown throughout the season which many attribute to the growing popularity of the show "Elementary". Elementary can be seen on Thursday nights on CBS.
French President Francois Hollande, second from left, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, right, join other dignitaries,heads of government and heads of state as they march during a rally in Paris. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)
White House: We should have sent a higher-profile official to Paris march
By Katie Zezima and Sean Sullivan January 12 at 1:45 PM
The White House said Monday that it should have sent a higher-profile official to a Paris rally where 1.5 million people marched in a show of unity against terrorism.
"I think it's fair to say that we should have sent someone with a higher profile" to the event, White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Monday. The United States was represented by Ambassador to France Jane Hartley.
The absence of President Obama and other top administration officials drew intense scrutiny on both sides of the Atlantic on Monday, with Republicans sharply criticizing the president at home and both domestic and foreign media raising questions about the dearth of U.S. presence at the event.
"We agree that we should have sent someone with a higher profile," Earnest said, "in addition to the ambassador to France."
The White House cited security concerns and the fact that the rally came together quickly, in about 36 hours. Earnest said presidential or vice presidential security for events such as the march are "onerous" and have a "significant impact" on those who attend.
Had the circumstances been different, "I think the president himself would have liked to have had the opportunity to be there," Earnest said.
A Secret Service official said the agency was not asked or notified about a potential trip to Paris. More
Water use to be restored today
CARRIZO SPRINGS - Carrizo Springs, Texas is currently under emergency status as a result of yesterday's water main break near the intersection of farm to market 1556 and Highway 85.
The break, according to City officials may have occurred due to the water main's normal aging process. A Carrizo city official reported that the water line break will be repaired and back in service by 2 to 5pm today.
The incident unfortunately, left Carrizo Springs and surrounding area residents without any water which posed a critical problem for the health facilities in the city. The school district also ordered the closing of all schools.
The break occurred at approximately 5 AM on Monday. A city official indicated that the pipeline break affected approximately 10,000 people.
MAVERICKS fall two yards short to MEDINA VALLEY PANTHERS 14 to 7
Defense holds Panthers to under 100 yds. rushing
By: Conrado Perez, Jr. – Eagle Pass Sports Central
“Your best and only source for local sports news in Eagle Pass”
The Pride of Southern Maverick County the mighty C.C. Winn Mavericks’ varsity football squad resumed their 2014 District 29-5A football gridiron battles on Friday, October 3, 2014 venturing down Hwy. 90 East to the City of Castroville, Texas to tangle with the Medina Valley Panthers in a 7:30 PM District 29-5A football contest at Panther Stadium with both the visiting Mavericks and home standing Panthers seeking their first district victory of the season.
After forcing the C.C. Winn Mavericks to punt on the Mavericks first offensive series of this game, the home standing Panthers who were celebrating Homecoming Week took possession at their own 32 yard line. The Medina Valley Panthers with their hurry up offensive game plan orchestrated a five play 68 yard scoring drive capped off with a two yard keeper by quarterback Bradley Griggs with 7:06 showing in the first quarter clock. Ethan Hassinger tacked on the point after to give the Panthers the early 7 to 0 lead over the Mavericks, MORE
Eagle Pass South Border Patrol Agents Arrest Convicted Sex Offender
U.S. Customs and Border Protection
Release Date: July 3, 2014.
DEL RIO, Texas – U.S. Border Patrol agents assigned to the Eagle Pass South Station apprehended a convicted sex offender on June 30.
Agents patrolling near the Eagle Pass Port of Entry encountered Oscar Martinez-Rodrigues, 41, an undocumented immigrant from Honduras. During processing, agents discovered that Martinez-Rodrigues was deported from the United States in 2009 and was a convicted sex offender. Criminal records checks revealed Martinez-Rodrigues had a 2004 conviction out of Carver County, Minnesota for Criminal Sex Conduct – Nonconsensual Sexual Contact.
Martinez-Rodrigues faces a charge of illegal entry - 8 USC 1326 - and his prior order of removal will be reinstated.
For Fiscal Year 2014, which started on Oct. 1, 2013, Del Rio Sector agents have apprehended a total of 24 convicted sex offenders. The Del Rio Border Patrol Sector is part of the South Texas Campaign, which leverages federal, state and local resources to combat transnational criminal organizations.
Trapped riders rescued after Six Flags roller coaster in Calif. hits tree branch, derails
(CNN) -- A tree branch that fell on the tracks derailed a roller coaster car at a Six Flags amusement park Monday evening, leaving it dangling precariously.
Four people were injured on the Ninja ride at Six Flags Magic Mountain, the Los Angeles County Fire Department said. Two of the four were taken to a hospital as a precautionary measure.
The front part of the roller coaster detached from the track and hanged at about a 45-degree angle, pointing to the ground.
The car was about 20 feet in the air, Los Angeles Fire Department supervisor Ed Pittmann told CNN affiliate KTLA.
Rescue workers climbed atop the track and used a thick rope to tie the front of the car to the track above.
By late Monday night, all 22 passengers had been rescued.
The derailment happened after a tree branch fell on the track, obstructing the train, Six Flags Magic Mountain spokeswoman Sue Carpenter said.
Six Flags describes the Ninja ride as a "stealth assassin" on its website.
"The black belt of roller coasters whips you into submission," the site says.
Passengers ride the swinging coaster suspended from the track instead of riding on top of the track.
The derailment is the latest in a series of high-profile roller coaster accidents in recent years.
Last July, Six Flags Over Texas in Arlington shut down its Texas Giant roller coaster after a woman was thrown from her seat and plunged to her death.
Between 1990 and 2010, more than 92,000 children were injured in amusement ride-related incidents, according to a study by the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Ohio. That's an average of more than 4,000 injuries per year.
CNN's Artemis Moshtaghian and Greg Morrison contributed to this report.
EAGLE PASS LADY EAGLES SOFTBALL DIAMOND NEWS
Krystal De La Cruz #7
NFCA National Player of the Week
By: Conardo Perez, Jr. – Eagle Pass Sports Central
“Your best and only source for local sports news in Eagle Pass”
Eagle Pass Sports Central is pleased to announce that Eagle Pass Lady Eagles standout junior left-handed pitcher Krystal De La Cruz has been selected as the Max Preps/National Fast Pitch Coaches Association National Player of the Week for the week of March 17-23, 2014 where the highly talented young Krystal De La Cruz posted a 2-0 pitching record during that week defeating the C.C. Winn Lady Mavericks 5 to 3 and the Laredo Alexander Lady Bulldogs by the score of 11 to 0 on a one hitter. For the week Krystal De La Cruz had a sensational E.R.A. of 0.64 with a stout batting average of .667 going 4 for 6 at the plate. MORE.
DISTRICT 29-5A SOFTBALL DIAMOND NEWS
LADY EAGLES squeak past LADY MAVERICKS 5 to 3
By: Conrado Perez, Jr. –
Eagle Pass Sports Central
“Your best and only source for local sports news in Eagle Pass”
The highly anticipated first of two scheduled meetings this season between the current district leading Eagle Pass Lady Eagles and the C.C. Winn Lady Mavericks varsity softball squads took center stage on Tuesday, March 18, 2014 when these two friendly cross town rivals were pitted in a 7:30 PM first round district ending matchup at the Eagle Pass ISD Student Activity Center softball field. The C.C. Winn Lady Mavericks ventured into this contest as the designated visiting team coming in with a 2-3 district record while the Eagle Pass Lady Eagles entered sporting an unblemished district mark of 5-0. This game marked the 17th ever matchup in this friendly rivalry series. As usual records are thrown out the window in this matchup as these two proud local high school softball squads once again battled each other with plenty of pride, heart and determination and under the good sportsmanship rules of play giving their respective loyal supporters the loyal Mavericks Nation as well as the faithful Lady Eagles followers plenty of thrilling softball diamond action with the league leading Lady Eagles escaping with the 5 to 2 victory over the valiant Lady Mavericks. MORE
Comal ISD agrees to $5.9 million to settle alleged overbilling
San Antonio Express News
By Zeke MacCormack : February 28, 2014 : Updated: February 28, 2014 2:02pm
The Comal Independent School District is slated receive a $5.9 million refund from its former contractor, Baird/Williams Construction, under a settlement trustees unanimously approved Thursday.
Trustees also evaluated superintendent Andrew Kim's performance in closed session and later voted 7-0 to extend his contract until 2019, district spokesman Steve Stanford said.
Baird/Williams did about $130 million in work as part of the district's $205 million bond package passed in 2008 and had overbilled the district by about $7 million, Stanford said.
He said no other firms hired for the bond projects were found to have overbilled the district in audit results reported Thursday night. MORE
Alamo Area Council of Governments places head staff on leave
San Antonio Express News
By Eva Ruth Moravec : February 26, 2014 :
Updated: February 26, 2014 2:14pm
SAN ANTONIO — The Alamo Area Council of Governments placed its two head staff members on paid administrative leave Wednesday after questions arose among the 30-member board about the organization's relationship with a tenant.
With two “no” votes, the body opted to immediately place Executive Director Dean Danos and deputy executive director Mike Quinn on leave.
Several minutes before, AACOG members voted unanimously to engage a third party to “initiate a fact-finding review of all of our relationships with the TriHM Foundation,” read a motion made by Medina County Judge James Barden.
The agency also unanimously voted to begin legal proceedings to “evict the tenant and take other appropriate legal action regarding the TriHM Foundation or its predecessor, and to attempt to recover any unpaid costs.” MORE
Hear no evil, See no evil, Speak no evil
Name Witheld Upon Request
The current manner of dealing with the County's problems reminds one of the monkeys who Hear no evil, See no evil, Speak no evil.
The monumental money problem of the court seems to all having been relegated to one finite argument with the auditor -the auditor has not answered the question. Is the 2012 audit complete? In the interim no county official bothered to do their job as no one heard nothing,saw nothing,and spoke nothing about the abuse and theft going on under their noses. Would anyone in their right mind believe them?
The feeling that can be perceived is an administration that is in desperation. And in so doing want the audit completed by any means.
Forget that the books do not balance. Just give us an audit so we can get money because we are drowning in debt and we just want to keep afloat. Is the problem the auditor or the officials? If a new auditor was to be hired could or would the new auditor meet their expectations? Or would the figures have to be doctored to make the figures balance. Is this what our county officials want?
One can only draw this conclusion from their questions and arguments of our officials. No wonder they seem to be having a bad dream and think that once they wake up in the morning the dream will be over and all will be well and everyone will be happy.
No! It will not be well and that is why in the next week that remains of early voting the people's voice and vote must be heard. There has been much talk about the need for residents to go out and vote and the citizens apathy. Please show that you do care and that only each and every voter can make a differences.
Thanks to the FBI corrupt officials have been round-up and are being held accountable for their actions. But the FBI cannot do it alone.
Has the greed and corruption in the community made us so insensitive to the actions of a few that we just let big, things just slide? We are bigger than these guys hunger, for power and best thing these guys could do is a public apology to the citizens and admit they have been negligent in carrying out their responsibility's.
Eagle Pass High loses to San Antonio Holmes
NEW BRAUNFELS - Eagle Pass High Softball team traveled to New Braunfels for a 4pm softball game against San Antonio's Holmes High School. Holmes led with three runs during the early innings. Then Eagle Pass took the lead with a 6 to 3 score. Unfortuately, Holmes came alive and managed to surpass the Lady Eagles ending with a Holmes victory of 7 to 6. Game photos available for viewing on FLICKR.
A citizen's plea on the eve of Maverick County's most important election
Name withheld upon request
EAGLE PASS - There has been in the past few weeks an ensuing war of words and accusations leveled at the current County Auditor Fidencio Ortiz who was placed in the post by District Judge Amado Abascal after the long time County Auditor Carlos Perada was terminated from the post. At the core of the matter is the 2012 audit in which Judge appointee Commissioner Roberto Ruiz and Judge David Saucedo claim the Auditor has not provided the necessary information to complete the audit. In a recent interview by the weekly newspaper El LATINO, County Auditor Fidencio Ortiz defended himself by indicating that all of the paperwork to complete the 2012 audit has been provided by his office. In the interview he further adds that neither County Judge Saucedo nor Commissioner Ruiz know about finances and base themselves on Roberto Rodriguez, a financial advisor, to the Court and Milo Martinez, a member of an auditing firm.
The questions that remains in the minds of the citizens is how did the past County Judge Jose Arranda and the present Judge David Saucedo let the County residents and tax payers down by not knowing of the thousands if not millions of dollars missing from the county coffers and paid for fraudulent services,materials and kickbacks to the indicted commissioners. Also how can the current members of the court keep making incongruous decisions and be piling additional debt on the back of its citizens and to a county budget that is already on life support. MORE
20th Annual Eagle Pass Eagles Alumni Baseball Game
1:00 pm Saturday, February 15, 2014
By: Conrado Perez, Jr. – Eagle Pass Sports Central
“Your best and only source for local sports in Eagle Pass”
The tradition rich Eagle Pass Eagles varsity baseball program will be hosting their 20th Annual Alumni Baseball Game at 1:00 PM this coming Saturday, February 15, 2014 at the Eagle Pass ISD Student Activity Center baseball field. The Eagle Pass Eagles varsity baseball program, that has been widely known as one of the premier high school baseball programs in the entire State of Texas, will be welcoming back numerous former players including some of the real true legends in Eagle Pass High School Eagles varsity baseball history. These legends of the past have brought many a memorable and history making thrill playing the grand old game of baseball at the then known Ft, Duncan Baseball Field filling the grandstands to an overflow capacity for one more chance to don their uniforms, gloves, caps, and cleats to attempt to showcase their skills that perhaps might have slowed down a bit throughout the years but certainly not their competitive spirit. Baseball caps will be available to the Alumni at a cost of $25.00 apiece. MORE
See photos being displayed on EPalumni.Com Facebook.
Eagles Baseball team travel to San Antonio
By Robert Castillo
Feb 3, 2014
SAN ANTONIO - The Eagle Pass Eagles Varsity baseball team traveled to San Antonio to compete in a scrimmage game against Burbank High at the SAISD Sports Complex in blistering cold weather.
The meeting of these two teams at the start of the baseball season has become a tradition for both Eagles' Coach Reynol Mendoza and Burbank's Coach Romeo Barrera.
Eagle Pass players took the field with the confidence gained from a successful last season and opened a batting rally from the second ending on. Photos available on FLICKR.
27th Annual Asian Festival
By Robert Castillo
Feb 1, 2014
SAN ANTONIO - The 27th Annual Asian Festival was held on the grounds of the Institue of Texan Cultures in San Antonio, Texas.
The Asian Festival has had many years of great success and has become one event that attracts growing numbers who enjoy the diversity of Asian dances, customs and food.
Their growing success is supported by the record-breaking attendance experienced year after year.
San Antonio City Councilman Ron Nirenberg, representing the City of San Antonio, expressed the sentiments of thousands who attended.
" The 27th Annual Asian Festival was an experience for the eyes, ears and taste buds. For so long San Antonio has been a gateway to the Americas. Underneath the tower of the site of the world's fair of 1968, it is a reminder that our great city is now a gateway to the world," stated Nirenberg.
The crowd was entertained with traditional dances from participating countries. Thousands also enjoyed authentic Asian food from the many vendors, including the Japanese, Korean, Laotians, Philippines, Chinese and others. The event ended at 5 PM. View photos on FLICKR .
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TUESDAY, JANUARY 28, 2014
EAGLE PASS BROTHERS SENTENCED TO FEDERAL PRISON FOR AMMUNITION
In Del Rio this afternoon, United States District Judge Alia Moses sentenced 34-year-old Richard Hesles, Jr., and his brother, 24-year-old Damien Hesles to 120 months and 110 months in federal prison, respectively, in connection with a scheme to smuggle over 6,000 rounds of ammunition and hundreds of firearm magazines into the Republic of Mexico stated United States Attorney Robert Pitman, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Special Agent In Charge Janice Ayala and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Special Agent In Charge Robert Elder, Houston Division.
In addition to the prison term, Judge Moses ordered that Richard Hesles pay a $7,500 fine and be placed under supervised release for a period of three years after completing his prison term; Damien Hesles, a $5,000 fine and three years of supervised release following his prison term. Judge Moses also ordered that Richard Hesles, Jr., and Damien Hesles pay monetary judgments in the amount of $54,414 and $42,634, respectively. Those sums represent the value of property involved or used to facilitate the defendants’ scheme.
On October 25, 2013, the defendants pleaded guilty to one count of aiding and abetting the smuggling of goods from the United States. According to the factual basis in this case, while under surveillance at the Hesles Gun and Knife Store in Eagle Pass, TX, on February 17, 2012, Damien Hesles unloaded several boxes from his vehicle. Those boxes were subsequently loaded into another vehicle which began traveling towards the U.S.- Mexico border. When the driver of that vehicle noticed he was being followed, he stopped the vehicle and discarded the boxes inside a dumpster, then fled the area. Inside the boxes, surveillance agents discovered U.S. defense articles, namely 100 AR-15 assault rifle rear tactical sights and 100 AR-15 assault rifle front tactical sights.
Investigators were able to determine that Piedras Negras, Mexico residents Oliver Bres-Carranza and Erik Alan Garza had spoken to Richard Hesles, Jr., and placed the order for the AR-15 sights. Damien Hesles received payment from Bres-Carranza and Garza for the sights and then shared the money with his brother. Authorities estimate that the brothers aided and abetted the exportation or attempted exportation of over 6,000 rounds of ammunition designed for use in various firearms, including AK-47 and AR-15 assault rifles as well as .50 caliber sniper rifles; over 300 assault rifle magazines and more than 60 magazines for other types of firearms; and, firearm sights.
The factual basis, which the defendants admitted was accurate, stated that the brothers procured ammunition, firearm magazines and firearm sights for individuals in Mexico from 2010 until 2012 and that Richard Hesles, Jr., knew that the items were going to Los Zetas Cartel operatives in Mexico. The brothers, along with the store owner, have entered into an agreement with the Government to surrender their Federal Firearms License and to no longer support or fund, directly or indirectly, any business or venture which deals in any manner with the sale, trade or distribution of firearms, ammunition, magazines and/or components/accessories related to the firearms trade.
“Gun and drug trafficking fuels violence by criminal organizations domestically and abroad,” said Special Agent in Charge Janice Ayala, HSI San Antonio. “HSI special agents will continue working jointly with our law enforcement partners and utilize our expertise in export enforcement to keep our citizens safe and secure.” On January 15, 2014, Erik Alan Garza was sentenced to 44 months in federal prison and fined $3,000 for his role in the smuggling scheme. Bres-Carranza, who remains in custody, faces up to ten years in federal prison after pleading guilty in October 2013 to his role in the smuggling scheme. Bres-Carranza is scheduled to be sentenced at 9:00am on February 25, 2014, before Judge Moses. A 5th defendant in this case, Rolando Tamayo, was released on bond following his arrest in June 2012, but is now considered a fugitive.
The case was investigated by agents from Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) together with the assistance of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). Assistant United States Attorneys Michael Galdo prosecuted this case on behalf of the Government.
Wendy Davis Campaign Hits Back At 'Desperate' Greg Abbott, Rush Limbaugh
The Huffington Post | By Paige Lavender Posted: 01/25/2014 11:49 am EST | Updated: 01/25/2014 11:59 am EST
The campaign for Texas gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis (D) hit back at her opponent Greg Abbott and conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh for attacking her personal life earlier this week.
In an email to supporters titled "They're getting desperate," Davis' campaign manager Karin Johanson said the Texas state senator's opponents would "try anything, including the typical dirty tricks we're all tired of" to bring Davis down.
"I guess Rush Limbaugh just couldn't help himself," Johanson wrote.
Johnason criticized Limbaugh for having "one of his infamous outbursts," referencing a recent show where he called Davis a "fraud."
Huff Post's Laura Bassett reported earlier on the controversy surrounding Davis' personal life: More from Huffington Post.
Kingwood teacher accused of sex with student: ‘I allowed it to go too far’
by Drew Karedes / KHOU 11 News
Posted on January 24, 2014 at 3:51 PM
Updated yesterday at 10:20 PM
KINGWOOD, Texas -- A popular Kingwood Park High former social studies teacher and football coach has been charged with having an inappropriate relationship with a student.
Zachary Harlan, 35, resigned from the school back in November 2013. That’s when the accusations surfaced, and he was placed on administrative leave.
Parents had received a letter informing them about the accusations against Harlan. Harlan has been arrested more than two months later and is now officially charged with the crime.
“He’s innocent until proven guilty,” said parent Amy Hogan. “It doesn’t change my stance until I hear everything. I don’t know what to think.”
Parents and students have been defending Harlan since the allegations surfaced. Harlan is accused of having sex with a 17-year-old senior girl back in October 2013. More from KHOU 11 News.
Barrera wins second place in San Antonio Photography Contest
Professional photographer, Javier Barrera of Eagle Pass took part in a photography contest sponsored by the Professional Photographers Association of San Antonio on Wednesday January 22, and placed second in competition.
Elusive hacker Guccifer arrested in Romania - report
Published time: January 23, 2014 01:13
Romanian authorities arrested on Wednesday a man they suspect is hacker Guccifer, known for infiltrating the email accounts of many international political and public figures, including former US President George W. Bush.
Marcel Lazar Lehel, 40, was arrested and his home in Arad County was searched, according to Romania’s Directorate for Investigating Organized Crime and Terrorism (DIICOT). Lehel had already been sentenced to three years of supervised release in February 2012 for similar hacks.
Romanian authorities allege that a man they refer to only as LML “accessed, repeatedly and without authorization, by bypassing security measures, email accounts belonging to public figures from Romania, with the purpose of gaining possession of confidential information found in their electronic mailboxes.” Radio Romania first identified the suspect as Lehel.
A Romanian prosecutor told Reuters that the suspect is believed to be hacker Guccifer. MORE.
Thousands brave cold for Cowboy Breakfast
San Antonio Express-News
By Scott Huddleston
January 24, 2014
Updated: January 24, 2014 11:17pm
SAN ANTONIO - "Bill Massey, chairman of the Cowboy Breakfast Foundation, which stages the event, said volunteers began serving food as scheduled at 4:30 a.m. Friday and thousands lined up.
“It's a little bit lighter than normal,” because of the weather, Massey said. “We've slowed our cooking a bit. We don't want to have any unused product.”
The event celebrates the trail riders of the Old West and has become an unofficial kickoff for the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo, which will run Feb. 6-23.
Because of the possibility of ice or sleet causing dangerous travel, organizers extended the breakfast for an hour to 9:30 a.m.and promised to keep it going until 10 a.m., if necessary, to give people time to check the latest road conditions and stop by for free food and entertainment. Through the years, the event has seen ice, snow and a heavy deluge, but has never been canceled, organizers said.
The Cowboy Breakfast Foundation, which holds the event, provides scholarships to culinary arts students at St. Philip's College. Students helped cook with coal fire burners, gaining experience in high-volume food preparation." More from San Antonio Express-News
Michigan Seeks Visas to Lure Immigrants to Detroit
By Immigration Prof
Friday, January 24, 2014
ABC News reports that Michigan Governor Rick Snyder has announced a plan to ask the Obama administration to set aside thousands of work visas to entice talented immigrants to live and work in bankrupt Detroit. The Republican governor said he is seeking 50,000 work visas solely for the city over five years. The type of visas involved are not currently allocated by region or state, but rather go to legal immigrants who have advanced degrees or show exceptional ability in certain fields. Source
ON FACEBOOK .. Delaine Mathieu
Finally home from witnessing an accident on 281..and trying to process what just happened. I'm thankful I was there to help. To the special ops military guy...you were incredible. You were so composed and calm and soothing to that man. You kept him from going into shock and you set the tone for all of us. To the woman who helped me with the tourniquet, thank you...we could have lost him right there on the highway without it. To the woman who saw exactly what happened and STAYED ON THE SCENE...thank you. I know his family will be grateful. To the paramedics, police and fire rescue - thank you! We were so relieved to see you.
To Paul Sr., I pray your son will be okay. Just know that he was surrounded by people who genuinely cared.
If you see an accident, please stop to help. Even if it's to make sure someone has called 911. It could make the difference between life and death. Facebook.
EP Class of 1965 Celebrates 50th Reunion
The Eagle Pass High School Class of 1965 will be celebrating their 50th Class Reunion on October 9th & 10th. The celebration will take place at the Kickapoo Lucky Eagle Casino & Hotel.Those planning to attend are asked to complete the registration form at this link. You are also asked to please print the registration form, complete it and mail it to the given address. Any additional information will be posted on this website and elsewhere on Facebook.
FEB 13-14, 2015
EAGLE PASS HIGH
CLASS OF 1970
invites all EP alumni to join them in San Antonio for their 45th REUNION
Click Here for