Law Enforcement
News

June 19, 2018

12 arrests,
June 11-18

By Marc Robertson
Twelve individuals were taken into custody on a range of felony and misdemeanor charges in La Salle County over the past week, with arrests made by sheriff’s deputies, troopers of the Texas Department of Public Safety Highway Patrol, and officers of the Encinal Police Department.

Those jailed between Monday, June 11, and Monday, June 18, in addition to those being held in the La Salle County Jail on behalf of other law enforcement agencies in Frio and Zavala counties, with arrest times logged at booking, were as follows:

Fernando Gonzalez, 40, of Cotulla; arrested 12:32 p.m. Tuesday, June 12, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrants issued by La Salle County Justice of the Peace for violating a promise to appear in court, driving while license is not valid, and failing to report change of address; court-ordered release after five hours.

Jacobo Palestrant, 35, of San Antonio; arrested 1:39 p.m. Wednesday, June 13, by the Sheriff’s Office; bench warrant issued in La Salle County; transferred after one day, four hours.

Miguel Angel Gonzalez, 42, of San Antonio; arrested 5:45 p.m. Wednesday, June 13, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrant issued in La Salle County for failure to appear in court on a charge of possession of a controlled substance, methamphetamine; remains in jail as of June 18.

Genevieve Ann Gutierrez, 29, of San Antonio; arrested 5:45 p.m. Wednesday, June 13, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrant issued by La Salle County Justice of the Peace for misdemeanor failure to appear in court, and warrant issued in La Salle District Court for state jail felony possession of a controlled substance; released on bond after two days, nine hours.

Nathan A. Lara, 29, of Cotulla; arrested 8:45 p.m. Wednesday, June 13, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrants issued by La Salle County Justice of the Peace for possession of drug paraphernalia, driving without a license, and failing to meet a court obligation on a conviction of driving with an open container of alcohol; remains in jail as of June 18.

Lynn Ray Ellis Jr., 39, of Gardendale; arrested 10 a.m. Friday, June 15, by the Sheriff’s Office; Class B misdemeanor criminal trespass; released on bond after five hours.

Kenneth Jay Merchant, 56, of Cotulla; arrested 10 a.m. Friday, June 15, by the Texas DPS; Class A misdemeanor driving while intoxicated, first offense, with an open container of alcohol; released on bond after eight hours.

Noah David Smith, 20, of Scurry, Texas; arrested 7:27 p.m. Saturday, June 16, by the Encinal PD; warrant issued by La Salle County Justice of the Peace for failure to appear in court; released on bond after two hours.

John Brian Molina, 32, of Cotulla; arrested 9:52 p.m. Sunday, June 17, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrant issued in La Salle County for theft of property up to $750 in value; remains in jail as of June 18.

Ransley Dontrell Bailey, 31, of Cotulla; arrested 5:31 a.m. Monday, June 18, by the Sheriff’s Office; Class A misdemeanor family violence assault causing bodily injury; remains in jail as of June 18.

Gregory Drager, 35, of Sunset, Texas; arrested 6:28 p.m. Monday, June 18, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrant issued in La Salle County for revocation of probation; remains in jail as of June 18.

Carlos Joseph Reyna, 36, of Grand Prairie, Texas; arrested 6:28 p.m. Monday, June 18, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrant issued in La Salle District Court for probation violation on a conviction of possession of a controlled substance; remains in jail as of June 18.

*Addendum: Those previously listed as still in jail and since released or transferred include Rodolfo Ismael Garcia, transferred after 351 days, 12 hours; Reynaldo Lopez Jr., released on bond after 89 days, 23 hours; Rogelio Gonzalez III, transferred after 33 days, 13 hours; and Nathaniel Ray Garcia, transferred after seven days, 14 hours.   

June 14, 2018

Punched

Emergency responders were dispatched to the corner of Thornton and Lane streets on the east side of Cotulla at 9:15 a.m. Thursday, June 14, after an accident in which a vehicle had struck a building. La Salle Sheriff's Deputy Juan Mirelez noted in his report on the case that 18-year-old Christina Marie Aguilar was driving a 2005 Nissan Titan pickup truck on Lane Street and may have lost control of her steering while negotiating the Thornton intersection at an unsafe speed. The truck struck the South Texas Rural Health Armando Garcia Center with sufficient force to cause extensive damage both to the stucco exterior and to the interior, rendering a staircase      
unfit for use, according to the La Salle County Fire Rescue & EMS, whose officers examined the building for safety. Aguilar was transported to Frio Regional Hospital in Pearsall by the EMS and has been cited for driving without a license, failing to maintain vehicle insurance, and traveling at an unsafe speed. The Nissan is registered to owner Shiela Lynn Priess of Fredonia, Texas, and has been impounded.

June 11, 2018

14 arrests,
June 4-11

By Marc Robertson
Fourteen individuals were taken into custody on a range of felony and misdemeanor charges in La Salle County over the past week, with arrests made by sheriff’s deputies.

Those jailed between Monday, June 4, and Monday, June 11, in addition to those being held in the La Salle County Jail on behalf of other law enforcement agencies in Frio and Zavala counties, with arrest times logged at booking, were as follows:

Miguel Angel Vasquez, 27, of Cotulla; arrested 9:42 p.m. Tuesday, June 5, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrant issued in La Salle District Court for state jail felony failure to appear in court; released after 19 hours.

Antonio Garcia, 62, of Cotulla; arrested 10:08 p.m. Tuesday, June 5, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrant issued in La Salle District Court for state jail felony failure to appear in court, warrants issued in La Salle County for disregarding traffic sign and failure to appear in court, and warrant issued by La Salle County Justice of the Peace for misdemeanor bail jumping; released on bond after 22 hours.

Noah Mario Castor, 19, of Cotulla; arrested 11:24 p.m. Wednesday, June 6, by the Sheriff’s Office; Class B misdemeanor possession of marijuana; released on bond after 19 hours.

Jesus Eduardo Salinas Jr., 30, of Brownsville, Texas; arrested 12:30 p.m. Friday, June 8, by the Sheriff’s Office; Class A misdemeanor possession of false identification, warrant issued in Dallas County for theft up to $750 in value; released on bond after 22 hours.

Belinda Fletcher, 54, of Cotulla; arrested 10:32 p.m. Friday, June 8, by the Sheriff’s Office; misdemeanor disorderly conduct; released on bond after 14 hours.

Rosalinda Maldonado, 49, of Cotulla; arrested 1:08 a.m. Saturday, June 9, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrants issued by La Salle County Justice of the Peace for failure to meet a court obligation on a charge of credit card abuse, driving without a license and misdemeanor failure to appear in court; released on bond after eight hours.

Tamra Jean Foulds, 39, of Devine, Texas; arrested 2:11 a.m. Saturday, June 9, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrants issued by La Salle County Justice of the Peace for driving with an expired vehicle registration, driving while license is not valid, and failure to appear in court; released on bond after nine hours.

Basilio Plaza Jr., 42, of Dilley; arrested 4:49 p.m. Saturday, June 9, by the Sheriff’s Office; state jail felony possession of a controlled substance in Penalty Group 1; released on bond after 18 hours.

Ruben Nieto Jr., 27, of Houston; arrested 3:39 p.m. Sunday, June 10, by the Sheriff’s Office; state jail felony possession of a controlled substance in Penalty Group 1, Class B misdemeanor possession of marijuana; released on bond after eight hours.

Rene Federico Vasquez, 40, of Houston; arrested 5:04 p.m. Sunday, June 10, by the Sheriff’s Office; misdemeanor public intoxication; released after 20 hours.

Luis A. Henriquez, 24, of Houston; arrested 5:04 p.m. Sunday, June 10, by the Sheriff’s Office; misdemeanor public intoxication; released after 20 hours.

Adan Ruiz, 45, of Cotulla; arrested 5:27 p.m. Sunday, June 10, by the Sheriff’s Office; misdemeanor public intoxication; released after 20 hours.

Julian Lee Salinas, 29, of Gonzalez, Texas; arrested 10:45 p.m. Sunday, June 10, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrant issued by Austin Pardon & Parole for second-degree felony parole violation, warrant issued in Caldwell County for failure to appear in court on a charge of criminal non-support, warrant issued in La Salle County for Class A misdemeanor failure to identify or intentionally giving false information; remains in jail as of Monday, June 11.

Jonathan Elton Leal, 43, of Abilene; arrested 5:22 p.m. Monday, June 11, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrant issued in La Salle County for Class A misdemeanor failure to appear in court on a charge of driving while license is not valid, with a previous conviction, failure to maintain financial responsibility; remains in jail as of June 11.

*Addendum: Those previously listed as still in jail and since released or transferred include Gloria Genese Rodriguez, released on bond after 46 days, 22 hours; Alberto Garcia, court-ordered release after 25 days, 22 hours; Nathaniel Ray Garcia, transferred after seven days, 13 hours; and Roger Perez, released on bond after one day, 22 hours. 

June 8, 2018

Energy salesman was Dallas fugitive, carried fake ID

Arrested: Jesus Eduardo Salinas Jr. was taken into custody after he and his crew of representatives for Green Mountain Energy left their hotel in Cotulla.
By Marc Robertson
A man employed by a company offering residential electric utility service was arrested in Cotulla on Friday, June 8, after he and his crew overstayed their hotel booking and he was identified as being wanted on an arrest warrant in Dallas and was carrying a fictitious identity card.

Jesus Eduardo Salinas Jr., 29, of Brownsville told arresting officers that he was the crew leader of an eight-man team representing Green Mountain Energy, which is headquartered in Plano, Texas. The man was being questioned by La Salle County Deputies Jose Cardenas III, Juan Mirelez and Arnoldo Cadena at a truck stop on the outskirts of Cotulla, where he had parked a cargo van registered to a Brownsville woman but bearing Green Mountain Energy logos on its sides.

A trooper of the Texas Department of Public Safety Highway Patrol had reported to the La Salle County emergency dispatch office that he had spotted the cargo van at the truck stop after a vehicle description had been broadcast. The vehicle had earlier been seen driving out of a hotel parking lot after its occupants had engaged in a verbal altercation with a hotel employee.

A report on the case indicates Salinas and seven men had stayed at a hotel in Cotulla but had failed to leave the premises at check-out time on Friday morning. Deputies had been dispatched to the hotel at around 11:45 a.m. when a hotel employee called for assistance in removing the unwanted subjects.

At the time of the call for assistance, the hotel employee reported that all eight men were occupying a room whose occupancy limit was four persons. Investigating officers later confirmed that the energy company employees had booked and paid for two rooms at the hotel.

Salinas was identified correctly through his hotel registry but was later found in possession of a Texas ID card identifying him as 23-year-old Josue Vasquez Naranjos of Brownsville. Although the photograph on the card depicted Salinas, all other information was accurate for Naranjos. The signature on the card, however, read ‘Josue Velasquez.’

Deputy Cardenas said Friday that Salinas admitted to having purchased the fictitious Texas ID card in Cancun, Mexico. The deputy added that he believes it is possible Josue Naranjos has been the victim of identity theft.

Salinas was arrested on a Class A misdemeanor charge of violating the Texas Transportation Code by being in possession of a fictitious identity card and was also remanded into custody on the Dallas County arrest warrant for theft. His criminal history over a six-year period indicates four arrests for theft up to $20,000 in value, four arrests for drunk driving, and two for reckless driving.

“This incident should serve as a reminder to all area residents to exercise caution when giving out personal information to salespersons,” Deputy Mirelez said. “There are several energy companies and other businesses with salespersons going door to door in our area at this time. While we do not have any complaint against Green Mountain Energy, residents should be advised that any personal information they may provide to a salesperson may be misused.”

June 8, 2018

TxDOT hosts meeting on rural improvement plans, June 14 in Eagle Pass

The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) – Laredo District has scheduled a series of open house style public meetings for the development of the Rural Transportation Improvement Program (RTIP) 2019-2022.

The open house style public meeting encompassing the TxDOT Laredo District area will be held from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday, June 14, at City of Eagle Pass International Center for Trade, 3295 Bob Rogers Drive, Eagle Pass, at which time staff will receive comments on the FY 2019-2022 Rural TIP for Dimmit, Duval, Kinney, La Salle, Maverick, Val Verde, Webb and Zavala counties.

The plan will establish a framework for addressing the challenges of improving the roadway infrastructure from fiscal years 2019 through 2022. The plan will also address the need for improvements to all modes of transportation including roadways, pedestrian and bicycle facilities, transit and Intelligent Transportation Systems.

The purpose of the meeting is to present an overview of the currently proposed projects and to solicit comments and input to aid in the development of the plan, according to TxDOT. Information will be available for viewing at the meeting, including exhibits of the current list of projects. Representatives from TxDOT will be in attendance to discuss the development of the list of projects and to answer questions. Forms will be provided for submitting written comments.

For those unable to attend the public meetings, written comments will be accepted until 5 p.m. June 13 at TxDOT, by mail, Melisa D. Montemayor, District Administrator, 1817 Bob Bullock Loop, Laredo, Texas  78043; by email at Melisa.Montemayor@TxDOT.gov; or by fax at (956) 712-7401.

Persons with special communication or accommodation needs may call Raul Leal – Laredo District Public Information Officer at (956) 712-7416. Request should be made no later than three days prior to the meeting. Every reasonable effort will be made to accommodate needs.
  

June 4, 2018

16 arrests,
May 28 - 
June 4

By Marc Robertson
Sixteen individuals were taken into custody on a range of felony and misdemeanor charges in La Salle County over the past week, with arrests made by sheriff’s deputies, troopers of the Texas Department of Public Safety Highway Patrol, and officers of the Encinal Police Department.

Those jailed between Monday, May 28, and Monday, June 4, in addition to those being held in the La Salle County Jail on behalf of other law enforcement agencies in Frio and Zavala counties, with arrest times logged at booking, were as follows:

Veronica Vasquez Marroquin, 42, of Gardendale; arrested 1:19 a.m. Tuesday, May 29, by the Texas DPS; Class B misdemeanor driving while intoxicated; released on bond after two days, 21 hours.

Anthony Martinez, 32, of Orange Grove, Texas; arrested 5:24 p.m. Tuesday, May 29, by the Texas DPS; warrant issued in Atascosa County for larceny; released on bond after 17 hours.

Pedro Sandoval Jr., 40, of Cotulla; arrested 7:39 p.m. Tuesday, May 29, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrant issued by La Salle County Justice of the Peace for failure to appear in court; released on bond after 14 hours.

Angelo Cruz, 40, of Cotulla; arrested 1:03 a.m. Wednesday, May 30, by the Sheriff’s Office; Class B misdemeanor possession of marijuana; released on bond after 16 hours.

Cynthia Elvira Aranda, 33, of Laredo; arrested 1:19 p.m. Wednesday, May 30, by the Encinal PD; third-degree felony evading arrest or detention with a motor vehicle; released on bond after four hours.

Shannon Nicole Rea, 27, of Cotulla; arrested 1:42 p.m. Wednesday, May 30, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrant issued in La Salle District Court for probation violation on a charge of cocaine possession, warrants issued by La Salle County Justice of the Peace for driving without a license and failure to appear in court; released on bond after 21 hours.

Esteban Lopez Jr., 30, of Encinal; arrested 10:46 p.m. Wednesday, May 30, by the Encinal PD; warrants issued by La Salle County Justice of the Peace for permitting an unlicensed person to drive, two counts of failure to comply with a court order or to appear in court, operating an unregistered motor vehicle, and driving while license is not valid; released on bond after one day, 17 hours.

Blossom Marie Martinez, 23, of Cotulla; arrested 8:33 p.m. Thursday, May 31, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrant issued in La Salle County for Class B misdemeanor theft up to $750; released on bond after 18 hours.

Elan James Keller, 38, of Rockport, Texas; arrested 8:55 p.m. Thursday, May 31, by the Sheriff’s Office; Class B misdemeanor possession of marijuana; released on bond after 20 hours.

Ezequiel Hilario Vasquez, 34, of Cotulla; arrested 7:48 p.m. Friday, June 1, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrants issued by La Salle County Justice of the Peace for misdemeanor violating a promise to appear in court, misdemeanor driving without a license, and misdemeanor child safety seat violation; released on bond after one day, two hours.

Zabrina Cervantes Flores, 31, of Cotulla; arrested 7:55 p.m. Friday, June 1, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrants issued in La Salle County for disorderly conduct and violating a promise to appear in court; released on bond after four hours.

Isiah Nathaniel Carrasco, 22, of Crystal City, Texas; arrested 2:56 a.m. Saturday, June 2 by the Sheriff’s Office; felony warrant issued in Live Oak County for smuggling of six persons, one under the age of 18; released on bond after two days, ten hours.

Jodey Allen Byrd, 48, of Cotulla; arrested 4:30 p.m. Saturday, June 2, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrants issued by La Salle County Justice of the Peace for failure to appear in court, driving without a license, and failure to maintain financial responsibility; released on bond after 22 hours.

Cody Aaron Hasler, 26, of Cotulla; arrested 4:30 p.m. Saturday, June 2, by the Sheriff’s Office; state jail felony possession of a controlled substance in Penalty Group 1, misdemeanor warrants issued by La Salle County Justice of the Peace for failure to maintain financial responsibility, driving while license is suspended, speeding, two counts of failure to comply with a court order or to appear in court, and bail jumping; released on bond after two days, five hours.

Nathaniel Ray Garcia, 22, of San Antonio; arrested 7:05 p.m. Monday, June 4, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrant issued in Bexar County for first-degree felony aggravated sexual assault of a child, warrants issued in Pecos County for Class A misdemeanor criminal mischief up to $2,500 in damages, and Class B misdemeanor theft of property up to $750 in value; remains in jail as of June 4.

Roger Perez, 52, of Cotulla; arrested 10:15 p.m. Monday, June 4, by the Sheriff’s Office; Class A misdemeanor terroristic threat upon a family or household member, Class A misdemeanor family violence assault causing bodily injury; remains in jail as of June 4.

*Addendum: Those previously listed as still in jail and since released or transferred include Jesus R. Alvarado, released on bond after 39 days, five hours; Dominic Cortez, transferred after 21 days, 23 hours; Hugo Villa Zamudio, released on bond after 15 days, 19 hours; and Arturo B. Castor, released after six days, ten hours.      

May 31, 2018

Awaiting transfer to prison...

Ortiz faces 40-year sentence
for assault

By Marc Robertson
A Cotulla man presently in custody at the La Salle County Jail is awaiting transfer to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice to begin serving a 40-year prison sentence on a felony assault conviction.

A La Salle County district court jury had earlier convicted Orlando Ortiz, 52, of assault causing bodily injury to a woman with whom he had previously been in a relationship. Jurors in the case learned that Ortiz had assaulted the woman by impeding her breath or circulation.

Testimony in the convicted felon’s subsequent sentence hearing on Friday, May 25, included statements from two women with whom Ortiz had been in relationships over the past 25 years, who indicated that the man had repeatedly assaulted them by striking them in the face, restraining them and committing other forms of physical and emotional abuse. One of the women testified that she had been unable to hide her facial injuries after one such assault and that Ortiz had once thrown her from a moving vehicle. She also indicated that Ortiz’ violent and threatening behavior had created an atmosphere of fear in her household and that her own children were afraid of the man.

Further testimony indicated that Ortiz’ repeated violence had resulted in sheriff’s deputies being summoned to a home in Cotulla on a number of occasions when concerned neighbors allegedly heard his outbursts.

Ortiz has spent the majority of his adult life behind bars, having served two prison sentences of approximately a decade each on felony convictions of assault on a public servant and aggravated assault.

Presiding over the sentence hearing May 25, District Judge Donna Rayes heard testimony from Ortiz’ probation officer, who said a pre-sentence investigation into the man’s mindset had shown him to be prone to violence.

Ortiz is regarded as a habitual offender and was eligible for a minimum sentence of 25 years in prison on his new conviction.

May 31, 2018

Grill thieves strike at Holland Dam park

By Marc Robertson
The La Salle County Sheriff’s Office is looking for information on the persons responsible for the theft of a welded barbecue pit from the picnic area at the site of the former Holland Dam southeast of Cotulla.

A report on the case by Deputy Jose Cardenas III indicates vandals may have struck the park at any time between Friday, May 25, and Thursday, May 31, when the crime was reported by crew members working for the Precinct 3 county commissioner.

Cardenas examined the picnic and barbecue area at the park beside the Nueces River and reported that it appeared the pedestal leg of the welded barrel-style grill had been cut with a grinder or power saw.

“Whoever did this must have had the equipment ready to use, and must have had experience with heavy-duty power tools,” the deputy said. “It’s a shame that some people take what they want and ruin a public site like this for other people.”

Anyone with information on the theft is encouraged to call the sheriff’s office at (830) 879-3044.
(Photos this page) A barbecue grill has been stolen from La Salle County's public park beside the Nueces River at the site of the former Holland Dam. The grill's metal pedestal leg was cut with a power tool. 

May 28, 2018

16 arrests,
May 14-28

By Marc Robertson
Sixteen individuals were taken into custody on a range of felony and misdemeanor charges in La Salle County over the past two weeks, with arrests made by sheriff’s deputies, troopers of the Texas Department of Public Safety Highway Patrol, and officers of the Encinal Police Department.

Those jailed between Monday, May 14, and Monday, May 28, in addition to those being held in the La Salle County Jail on behalf of other law enforcement agencies in Frio and Zavala counties, with arrest times logged at booking, were as follows:

Rogelio Gonzalez III, 36, of Cotulla; arrested 11 p.m. Tuesday, May 15, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrants issued by La Salle County Justice of the Peace for failure to appear in court and speeding, and warrant issued in La Salle County for parole violation on a charge of possession of a controlled substance (cocaine); remains in jail as of May 28.

Ryan James Ramirez, 28, of Cotulla; arrested 11:10 p.m. Tuesday, May 15, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrants issued by La Salle County Justice of the Peace for four counts of violating a promise to appear in court; released on bond after 17 hours.

Sergio Ramirez Jr., 25, of Cotulla; arrested 1:08 a.m. Thursday, May 17, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrant issued by La Salle County Justice of the Peace for taking an alligator during a closed season; released on bond after 13 hours.

Yvonne Chrisanda DeLeon, 27, of Cotulla; arrested 6:28 p.m. Friday, May 18, by the Sheriff’s Office; Class C misdemeanor assault, Class B misdemeanor criminal mischief up to $750 in damages; released on bond after 15 hours.

David Rodriguez, 26, of Laredo; arrested 10:29 a.m. Saturday, May 19, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrant issued in Webb County for possession of dangerous drugs; released after three days, two hours.

Jose Felix Funes, 50, of San Juan, Texas; arrested 2:46 p.m. Saturday, May 19, by the Encinal PD; state jail felony possession of a controlled substance in Penalty Group 1; released on bond after one day, two hours.

Hugo Villa Zamudio, 50, of Cotulla; arrested 10:22 p.m. Saturday, May 19, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrant issued in La Salle County for failure to appear in court on a charge of driving while intoxicated; remains in jail as of May 28.

Jose Aguilar Jr., 33, of Cotulla; arrested 1:08 p.m. Monday, May 21, warrant issued in La Salle County for criminal mischief up to $30,000 in value; released on bond after two days, eight hours.

Patricia San Juana Morales, 30, of Laredo; arrested 7:19 a.m. Wednesday, May 23, by the Texas DPS; warrants issued by La Salle County Justice of the Peace for speeding and driving while license is not valid; released on bond after ten hours.

Alberto Torres Rubio, 44, of Vallecillos, Nuevo Leon, Mexico; arrested 2:55 a.m. Friday, May 25, by the Texas DPS; first-degree felony possession of a controlled substance in Penalty Group 1; remains in jail as of May 28, on hold for US Immigration & Customs Enforcement.

Miguel Angel Cabello, 50, of Laredo; arrested 7:01 p.m. Friday, May 25, by the Texas DPS; Class A misdemeanor driving while intoxicated; released on bond after 19 hours.

Micaela Lara, 26, of Laredo; arrested 12:51 a.m. Saturday, May 26, by the Encinal PD; second-degree felony trafficking of a person, third-degree felony evading arrest or detention with a motor vehicle, state jail felony abandoning or endangering a child by criminal negligence; released on bond after two days, 21 hours.

Arturo B. Castor, 38, of Cotulla; arrested 2:36 a.m. Saturday, May 26, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrant issued in La Salle County for driving while license is not valid, and warrants issued by La Salle County Justice of the Peace for failure to appear in court, driving without a license and violating a promise to appear in court; remains in jail as of May 28.

Rocky Alaniz Sosa, 56, of Encinal; arrested 12:40 p.m. Saturday, May 26, by the Encinal PD; warrant issued by La Salle County Justice of the Peace for Class B misdemeanor theft; released on bond after two hours.

Alberto Castor Jr., 38, of Cotulla; arrested 6:39 p.m. Sunday, May 27, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrants issued in La Salle District Court for two counts of failure to appear in court on state jail felony charges of assault upon a family or household member by occlusion, and warrant issued in La Salle County for failure to appear in court on a charge of family violence assault with a prior conviction; released on bond after 22 hours.

Alejo Medina Jr., 28, of Laredo; arrested 7:10 p.m. Sunday, May 27, by the Sheriff’s Office; one day commitment to detention; scheduled release.

*Addendum: Those previously listed as still in jail and since released or transferred include Juan Antonio Castillo-Lara, released on bond after 90 days, 17 hours; Noe Gutierrez, released on bond after 29 days, 21 hours; Hayden Michael Hammer, released after ten days, 14 hours; and Valerie Elizondo, transferred after one day, 15 hours. 

May 25, 2018

"It's happening again..."

New scam callers threaten elderly, demand cash

By Marc Robertson
In what has become a monthly wave of demands for immediate cash payment to kidnappers, scammers have returned to calling elderly residents in La Salle County, this time with renewed threats, according to the sheriff’s office.

La Salle Sheriff’s Sgt. Rickey Galvan said Friday, May 25, that he has been notified of several calls made to local residents over a 12-hour period in which the elderly appear to be primary targets.

“It’s happening again,” the sergeant said. “It’s been about a month and a half since the last surge in scam calls, and now it’s coming back. Whoever is doing this has upped the ante, as well. There are direct threats, claims of loved ones being kidnapped, and demands for twenty-five thousand dollars to be paid in cash immediately.”

He said none of the kidnapping claims have been true and all those who have received calls about loved ones being held against their will are being tricked.

“The calls are coming late at night, and there are sounds of screaming in the background, just like last time, only worse,” Galvan said, referring to similar calls made to La Salle County residents in early April.

“The calls sound horribly real to people who are being woken up and told that their children or grandchildren are being held hostage and might be killed if someone doesn’t pay the ransom.”

April’s wave of scam calls was described by investigators as bearing the trademarks of the Mexican Mafia, although there has been no confirmation the criminal organization is behind the calls.

Investigators have also noted that there may be a correlation between the scam calls and the beginning of the summer holiday season, when a number of university students are on vacation or traveling.

“If someone is watching your social media and you post your destinations or that you’re going on a road trip, they know you’re away from home, where you are and how long you’ll be gone,” Galvan said. “Don’t put things on social media or in any way make it public that you’re on a trip.”

In some cases reported to the sheriff’s office this week, Galvan said, callers have claimed to be holding children who were kidnapped while traveling.

“I don’t think this is a coincidence,” the officer said. “These calls are not as random as it seems.”

A recent demand for $25,000 in cash sounded convincing enough that a Cotulla family was prompted to withdraw the money and prepare to pay a kidnap ransom in order to save a child’s life, Galvan said, and a family member drove to a meeting place according to the caller’s instructions.

“We wanted to catch just one of these scammers,” the officer said, “but no one showed up to the meeting. They may have known we were waiting.”

The sheriff’s office is encouraging all area residents to notify those who may be scam victims that the calls are criminal and should be reported immediately, that there have been no actual kidnapping incidents to date and that no one should ever agree to make a payment or share any banking or other personal information over the phone. Furthermore, all families are being encouraged to keep travel and holiday information private.

The sheriff’s office may be reached at (830) 879-3041 to report a crime. In the event of an emergency, call 911.

“Word of mouth is one of the best ways we can make sure even senior citizens are kept aware of these tricks and are not scared into giving up their savings,” the sergeant said. “We hope everyone helps us put an end to this scamming and that no one becomes a victim.”

May 22, 2018

JP signs warrants for court dodgers

By Marc Robertson
La Salle County Precinct 1 Justice of the Peace Vicki Rodriguez is signing arrest warrants this week for a number of individuals who have failed to appear in court or who have failed to meet court obligations.

Those for whom warrants are being issued will be subject to immediate arrest at home, at work or in the course of a traffic stop when they are identified by a law enforcement officer. Failure to appear in court when ordered may result in additional charges being filed.

Warrants are being signed for the following:

Ernesto Aguillon III, 44, of Freer, Texas; driving while license is not valid, driving with an expired license.

Victor E Cortez-Garza, 27, of Laredo; driving without a license, displaying an expired license plate.

Arturo Eduardo Galvan, 62, of Falfurrias, Texas; vehicle weight restriction violation, fuel system violation.

Elvira Hamdan Rodriguez, 47, of Laredo; driving without a license.

Jose J. Merino Garcia, 22, of Laredo; driving without a license, displaying an expired license plate, failure to maintain financial responsibility.

Roberto Pargas, 30, of San Antonio; displaying an expired license plate, driving while license is not valid, speeding.

Ana Laura Rodela, 37, of Dallas; child safety belt violation, driving while license is not valid.

Steven Ray Salinas, 25, of Kingsville, Texas; violating a promise to appear in court, speeding.

Barrett Wayne Ulbrich, 41, of San Antonio; driving while license is not valid.

Gabriel Zuniga Flores, 22, of Laredo; failure to maintain financial responsibility, driving without a license.

All those for whom warrants are being issued should make court appearances without further delay at the offices of the justice of the peace beside Veterans Park on Center Street in downtown Cotulla. A telephone call does not constitute a court appearance.

May 14, 2018

11 arrests,
May 7-14

By Marc Robertson
Eleven individuals were taken into custody on a range of felony and misdemeanor charges in La Salle County last week, with arrests made by sheriff’s deputies, troopers of the Texas Department of Public Safety Highway Patrol, and a La Salle County constable.

Those jailed between Monday, May 7, and Monday, May 14, in addition to those being held on behalf of other law enforcement agencies, with arrest times logged at booking in the La Salle County Jail, were as follows:

Anthony Hernandez, 46, of Cotulla; arrested 2:38 a.m. Tuesday, May 8, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrant issued by La Salle County Justice of the Peace for violating a promise to appear in court, warrant issued in Collin County for probation violation, third-degree felony assault on a public servant; transferred after five days, 20 hours.

Jason Castor, 43, of Cotulla; arrested 7:28 p.m. Tuesday, May 8, by the Sheriff’s Office; third-degree felony assault on a family or household member, with a previous conviction; released on bond after 14 hours.

Raul Ronaldo Ramirez Jr., 38, of Gardendale; arrested 11:29 p.m. Tuesday, May 8, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrant issued in La Salle County for violating a promise to appear in court, warrant issued by La Salle County Justice of the Peace for failure to comply with a court order or to appear in court; court-ordered release after two days, 12 hours.

Alberto Garcia, 37, of Cotulla; arrested 9:37 p.m. Thursday, May 10, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrant issued by La Salle County Justice of the Peace for failure to comply with a court order or to appear in court, warrant issued in La Salle District Court for revocation of probation on a charge of forgery; remains in jail as of May 14.

Alejo Medina Jr., 28, of Laredo; arrested 7:06 p.m. Friday, May 11, by the Sheriff’s Office; detention commitment; released after weekend served.

Rafael Gutierrez Jr., 28, of Cotulla; arrested 1:47 a.m. Saturday, May 12, by the Texas DPS; Class A misdemeanor driving while intoxicated, second offense; released on bond after 13 hours.

Crispin Hernandez, 48, of Cotulla; arrested 1:36 p.m. Sunday, May 13, by the Texas DPS; third-degree felony driving while intoxicated, third or more offense, warrants issued in La Salle County for driving while license is not valid and driving with an open container of alcohol in the vehicle, and warrant issued by La Salle County Justice of the Peace for failure to maintain financial responsibility; released on bond after one day, six hours.

Hayden Michael Hammer, 18, of Leander, Texas; arrested 9:19 p.m. Sunday, May 13, by the Texas DPS; warrants issued in Taylor County for state jail felony unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, state jail felony criminal mischief, and Class B misdemeanor theft; remains in jail as of May 14.

Benito Olivarez Canals, 67, of Kingsville, Texas; arrested 2:25 p.m. Monday, May 14, by the Texas DPS; Class B misdemeanor driving while license is not valid, with a previous conviction, failing to maintain financial responsibility; released on bond after four hours.

Cassandra Rene Laguna, 27, of Cotulla; arrested 4:32 p.m. Monday, May 14, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrant issued by La Salle County Justice of the Peace for failure to appear in court; released on bond after six hours.

Valerie Elizondo, 39, of Pearsall; arrested 7:53 p.m. Monday, May 14, by La Salle County Constable; warrant issued in Frio County for family violence assault; remains in jail as of May 14.

*Addendum: Those previously listed as still in jail and since released or transferred include Jose Luis Maldonado, transferred after 353 days, 21 hours; Eraldo Navarette Bedolia, transferred after 241 days, 20 hours; Rigoberto Herrera-Boites, released on bond after 89 days, 15 hours; Sonia Flores E. Torres-Sanchez, court-ordered release after five days, four hours; and Jason R Perales, court-ordered release after seven days, 12 hours.

May 14, 2018

"The government never makes threats or asks for money..."

Social service calls with demands are fake, officer says

By Marc Robertson
A wave of scam phone calls to residents in the Cotulla area is again targeting senior citizens, this time with threats of arrest, demands for cash and other vital data, according to La Salle County Sgt. Rickey Galvan, who has received a number of complaints regarding the harassment.

“Someone is calling seniors and other vulnerable residents here, using a fake caller identification,” Galvan said Monday, May 14. “The caller ID on a phone will indicate ‘social security’ or ‘medicaid’ or some other government title, but it is completely fake.”

In one case, the sergeant said, a caller had successfully cloned the identity of a local business on the caller ID system and was making threatening calls to local residents who believed they were talking to someone managing a downtown store.

“Some of the calls include threats of arrest, such as claims that there is warrant out for someone, but that’s just not true,” the sergeant said. “It’s a scam attempt to get people to send money or to give out their banking information.

“No government agency will ever call to say someone’s going to be arrested, and the government never makes threats or asks for money,” Galvan added. “But these calls are very aggressive, and that’s frightening to some people. It’s possible that some local residents have already been harassed into sending money.”

Some calls, Galvan said, include misleading information, such as changes in benefits or an end to benefits altogether.

“People have called to say that Medicare was going to end or that Social Security benefits were going to stop, and that residents should quickly send money to open a new account, or to send a fee to apply for new benefits, and that’s just not true,” Galvan said. “We want to get the word out to the community that there is fake caller ID being used and that these calls are a complete scam.”

Those who are being harassed by telephone or who believe they may have been tricked into sending money or sharing bank information should immediately close all accounts to prevent theft and contact the La Salle County Sheriff’s Office at (830) 879-3044 to report the offense. The emergency dispatch office can be reached by calling (830) 879-3041.

“Once again, someone is targeting the vulnerable in our community,” Sgt. Galvan said, referring to a similar wave of phone calls in late March and early April in which local senior citizens were told their family members had been kidnapped. “We have to help prevent people from being victimized like this, and education and awareness are the only way. Folks need to be able to identify a scam when they hear it, and be wise.” 

May 7, 2018

CARGO, INTERCEPTED – La Salle County sheriff’s deputies have seized a heroin shipment that was being transported north on IH-35 and have estimated its value at over $150,000.

Traffic stop yields over $150K in heroin

By Marc Robertson
The routine traffic stop of a northbound pickup truck on the IH-35 access road at Cotulla on Monday evening, May 7, resulted in an arrest and the seizure of a heroin cargo.

Identified as 38-year-old Rogelio Ramirez of McAllen, the driver of the 2011 Ford F-250 had been stopped near a highwayside travel center by La Salle County sheriff’s deputies for a traffic violation shortly after 7 p.m. Monday when he was found in possession of the narcotics.

A brief report on the incident indicates Ramirez gave responses in a roadside interview that aroused deputies’ suspicions and that he gave consent for officers to examine the vehicle.

A backpack containing five foil-wrapped bundles of heroin had been stored in the truck tool box, the report indicated. The narcotics have been given an estimated street value in excess of $150,000.

Ramirez was remanded into custody at the La Salle County Jail on a first-degree felony charge of possession of a controlled substance in Penalty Group 1.

The case remains under investigation.
  

May 7, 2018

15 arrests,
April 30 -
​May 7

By Marc Robertson
Twenty individuals were taken into custody on a range of felony and misdemeanor charges in La Salle County last week, with arrests made by sheriff’s deputies, officers of the Encinal Police Department, and troopers of the Texas Department of Public Safety Highway Patrol.

Those jailed between Monday, April 30, and Monday, May 7, in addition to those being held on behalf of other law enforcement agencies, with arrest times logged at booking in the La Salle County Jail, were as follows:

Galindo Evaristo Garcia, 18, of Brownsville, Texas; arrested 1:31 a.m. Tuesday, May 1, by the Sheriff’s Office; misdemeanor public intoxication; released on bond after 16 hours.

David Flores, 52, of Cotulla; arrested 8:02 p.m. Tuesday, May 1, by the Sheriff’s Office; misdemeanor public intoxication; released on bond after 17 hours.

Sandra Nevares Cadena, 47, of San Antonio; arrested 7:05 p.m. Tuesday, May 1, by the Encinal PD; warrant issued in Bexar County for harassment; released on bond after 14 hours.

Leonardo Maldonado Jr., 51, of Cotulla; arrested 11:46 p.m. Tuesday, May 1, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrants issued by La Salle County Justice of the Peace for driving while license is not valid and failure to appear in court or to comply with a court order; court-ordered release after 12 hours.

Remigio Leal Guillen, 29, of Goodrich, Texas; arrested 2:46 p.m. Wednesday, May 2, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrant issued in Frio County for probation violation on a charge of driving while intoxicated; released on bond after one day, three hours.

Vidal Castaneda Jr., 24, of Cotulla; arrested 7:50 p.m. Wednesday, May 2, by the Sheriff’s Office; Class B misdemeanor reckless driving, Class B misdemeanor possession of marijuana; released on bond after two days, 20 hours.

Belinda Fletcher, 54, of Cotulla; arrested 1:40 a.m. Friday, May 4, by the Sheriff’s Office; state jail felony possession of a controlled substance in Penalty Group 1; released on bond after 19 hours.

Dominick Vasquez, 17, of Laredo; arrested 2:20 a.m. Friday, May 4, by the Sheriff’s Office; third-degree felony evading arrest or detention with a motor vehicle, Class A misdemeanor evading arrest or detention, Class B misdemeanor reckless driving; released on bond after 13 hours.

Alejo Medina Jr., 28, of Laredo; arrested 6:27 p.m. Friday, May 4, by the Sheriff’s Office; commitment; released after weekend served; two days, 12 hours.

Jose Norberto Guardiola, 19, of Laredo; arrested 6:47 p.m. Friday, May 4, by the Encinal PD; state jail felony evading arrest or detention with a vehicle; released on bond after one day, four hours.

Stefanie Joann Arriola, 21, of Cotulla; arrested 2:25 a.m. Saturday, May 5, by the Sheriff’s Office; misdemeanor disorderly conduct; released on bond after 14 hours.

Sonia Flores E. Torres-Sanchez, 36, of Cotulla; arrested 1:15 p.m. Saturday, May 5, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrants issued in La Salle County and by La Salle County Justice of the Peace for misdemeanor disorderly conduct, failure to comply with a DPS order or to appear in court (five counts), disregarding a stop sign or traffic signal, seatbelt violation, driving with expired vehicle registration, failure to show proof of liability insurance (two counts), driving with expired motor vehicle inspection certificate, failure to use a turn signal, driving without a license (three counts), driving an unregistered motor vehicle, violating a promise to appear in court (three counts), traveling with children in the open bed of a vehicle, speeding, driving with an expired license, failure to show proof of financial responsibility, theft of property up to $750, failure to comply with a court order to appear, failure to comply with a court order on a charge of contributing to non-attendance in school (four counts), failure to comply with a court order on a charge of contributing to truancy (two counts); remains in jail as of May 7.

Jason R Perales, 34, of Cotulla; arrested 8:10 p.m. Saturday, May 5, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrants issued in La Salle County for failure to comply with a court order on a misdemeanor seatbelt violation, and violating a promise to appear in court (two counts); remains in jail as of May 7.

Frederick Lee Farmer, 38, of Tomball, Texas; arrested 12:21 a.m. Sunday, May 6, by the Sheriff’s Office; misdemeanor public intoxication; released after 17 hours on promise to pay fines.

Salome Ruiz Jr., 48, of Cotulla; arrested 1:21 a.m. Sunday, May 6, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrant issued by La Salle County Justice of the Peace for failure to comply with a court order on a charge of driving with an open container of alcohol in the vehicle; released after 16 hours.

Cullen Wayne Prince, 34, of Lufkin, Texas; arrested 12:21 a.m. Sunday, May 6, by the Sheriff’s Office; misdemeanor public intoxication; released on bond after 16 hours.

Ricardo Ramirez Jr., 35, of Cotulla; arrested 1:20 p.m. Sunday, May 6, by the Texas DPS; warrant issued in La Salle County for Class A misdemeanor terroristic threat upon a family or household member; released on bond after four hours.

Curtis Wayne Dill, 53, of Cotulla; arrested 7:52 a.m. Monday, May 7, by the Sheriff’s Office; misdemeanor public intoxication; released on bond after 12 hours.

Adam Vitela, 28, of Atascosa, Texas; arrested 3:39 p.m. Monday, May 7, by the Sheriff’s Office; court bench warrant issued for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon upon a public servant; remains in jail as of May 7.

Dominic Cortez, 33, of Graham, Texas; arrested 4:55 p.m. Monday, May 7, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrant issued from the Austin Pardon & Parole Board for second-degree felony burglary of a habitation; remains in jail as of May 7.

*Addendum: Those previously listed as still in jail and since released or transferred include Jose Luis Maldonado, transferred after 353 days, 21 hours; Eraldo Navarette Bedolia, transferred after 241 days, 20 hours; Leonel Maldonado, scheduled release after 29 days, five hours; James Robert Offield, released on bond after six days, 22 hours; and Eric Scott Sierra, released on bond after four days, 17 hours.            

April 30, 2018

Vehicles
​impounded

The following vehicles have been impounded by the La Salle County Sheriff’s Office and are subject to public auction if they remain unclaimed:

2005 Cadillac SRX, black, VIN 1GYEE637X50136320;
2008 Chevrolet pickup, white, VIN 1GCHK29K08E173769;
2003 Chevrolet Tahoe, grey, VIN 1GNEC13Z43R136362;
1998 Dodge pickup, white, VIN 3B7HC12Y6WG189115;
1998 Ford Explorer, black, VIN 1FMZU32E8WZA81156;
1992 Nissan sedan, black/grey, VIN JN8HD17S7NW024177;
2007 Ford pickup, black, VIN 1FTPW14V47KD39318;
2006 Nissan Xterra, grey, VIN 5N1AN08UX6C558213;
2000 Jeep Cherokee, blue, VIN 1J4G248SXYC344560;
2006 Titan trailer, white, VIN 4TGB1620661038939;
2008 Ford sedan, grey, VIN 1FAHP35N38W135864;
1999 Ford van, grey, VIN 2FMZA5249XBB73263;
2000 Lincoln sedan, gold, VIN 1LNHM87A8YY882306.

Claimants should contact the La Salle County Sheriff’s Office at 101 Courthouse Square, Cotulla, Texas 78014, or call (830) 879-3044.

April 30, 2018

15 arrests,
April 24-30

By Marc Robertson
Fifteen individuals were taken into custody on a range of felony and misdemeanor charges in La Salle County last week, with arrests made by sheriff’s deputies, officers of the Encinal Police Department, and troopers of the Texas Department of Public Safety Highway Patrol.

Those jailed between Tuesday, April 24, and Monday, April 30, in addition to those being held on behalf of other law enforcement agencies, with arrest times logged at booking in the La Salle County Jail, were as follows:

Gloria Genese Rodriguez, 37, of Cotulla; arrested 12 p.m. Tuesday, April 24, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrants issued in La Salle District Court for third-degree felony probation violation on possession of a controlled substance and state jail felony probation violation; remains in jail as of Tuesday, May 1.

Antonio Moreno, 27, of Uvalde; arrested 12 p.m. Tuesday, April 24, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrant issued in La Salle County Court for state jail felony failure to appear in court; court-ordered release after five hours.

Sherwin Eric Paillao, 41, of Cotulla; arrested 12:03 a.m. Wednesday, April 25, by the Sheriff’s Office; Class B misdemeanor possession of marijuana, and warrants for failing to show liability insurance (two counts), driving with expired license plates, driving with defective taillights, violating a promise to appear in court, and failure to comply with a DPS order to appear in court; released on bond after 13 hours.

Diana Edith Hernandez, 25, of Cotulla; arrested 10:52 p.m. Wednesday, April 25, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrant issued by La Salle County Justice of the Peace for safety belt violation, and warrant issued in La Salle County for assault causing bodily injury; released on bond after one day, 13 hours.

Roel R. Pena, 43, of Laredo; arrested 12:39 a.m. Thursday, April 26, by the Sheriff’s Office; misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia; released on bond after 17 hours.

Jesus R. Alvarado, 47, of Cotulla; arrested 12:25 p.m. Thursday, April 26, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrants issued in La Salle County Court for failure to appear in court (four counts); remains in jail as of May 1.

James Robert Offield, 73, of Gardendale; arrested 6:01 p.m. Thursday, April 26, by the Sheriff’s Office; second-degree felony aggravated assault with a deadly weapon; remains in jail as of May 1.

Marco Antonio Gonzalez, 35, of Cotulla; arrested 3:30 p.m. Thursday, May 26, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrants issued by La Salle County Justice of the Peace for failure to appear in court or to comply with an order to appear, warrants on indictment issued in La Salle District Court for first-degree felony aggravated sexual assault and second-degree felony indecency with a child; remains in jail as of May 1.

Eric Scott Sierra, 39, of Cotulla; arrested 9:42 p.m. Thursday, April 26, by the Sheriff’s Office; Class B misdemeanor driving while license is not valid with a previous conviction; remains in jail as of May 1.

Juan Manuel Castor Jr., 24, of Cotulla; arrested 1:06 a.m. Friday, April 27, by the Sheriff’s Office; state jail felony possession of a controlled substance in Penalty Group 1; released on bond after 19 hours.

Rajesh Nathan Chandler Kapila, 27, of Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada; arrested 2:45 a.m. Saturday, April 28, by the Texas DPS; Class B misdemeanor driving while intoxicated; released on bond after one day, 15 hours.

Adan Ruiz Jr., 26, of Dilley; arrested 4:52 a.m. Saturday, April 28, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrant issued in Bexar County for Class A misdemeanor failure to appear in court on a charge of assault causing bodily injury; released on bond after six hours.

Daniel Garcia, 21, of San Antonio; arrested 2:54 a.m. Sunday, April 29, by the Texas DPS; Class B misdemeanor driving while intoxicated; released on bond after 17 hours.

Miguel Cantu Jr., 27, of Zapata, Texas; arrested 6:53 p.m. Sunday, April 29, by the Encinal PD; warrant issued by La Salle County Justice of the Peace for speeding; released on bond after 21 hours.

Ricardo Alberto Gonzalez, 38, of Laredo; arrested 12:25 p.m. Monday, April 30, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrant issued in La Salle County for failure to appear in court on a charge of possession of a controlled substance, methamphetamine, and warrant issued by La Salle County Justice of the Peace for violating a promise to appear in court; remains in jail as of May 1 on hold for Webb County Sheriff’s Office.

*Addendum: Those previously listed as still in jail and since released or transferred include Inez Marie Leal, transferred after four days, 11 hours; Cynthia Elizabeth Mata, court-ordered release after four days, two hours; Desiderio Galindo-Ramirez, transferred after four days, three hours; Jacobo Palestrant, transferred after 19 hours; Cody Aaron Hasler, released on bond after 14 hours; and Emily Ann Carter, released on bond after 18 hours.   

April 26, 2018

Gardendale man in custody
after school bus machete attack

By Marc Robertson
La Salle County sheriff’s deputies took a Gardendale man into custody Thursday afternoon, April 26, on a second-degree felony charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon after he allegedly struck a school bus driver with a machete.

Identified as 73-year-old James Offield, the suspect in the case remains behind bars at the La Salle County Jail in Cotulla as of Monday, April 30, in lieu of bond and is accused of having caused injury to a Cotulla ISD bus driver on a public street in the rural community.

A report on the case this week from La Salle County Deputies Enrique Velez and Julian Lopez indicates emergency responders were summoned to Wilson Street in Gardendale shortly after 5 p.m. Thursday when bus driver Earl Eastham, 55, reported in a 911 call that he had been struck by a man wielding a machete. Medics of the La Salle Fire Rescue & EMS arrived at the scene to find that the man had sustained injuries to the side of his face and to his shoulder.

The report shows that Eastham had been driving a school bus on a daily route that ended in Gardendale and that there were no students remaining on the bus when he had parked the vehicle on Wilson Street and was making a brief examination of the passenger compartment to ensure that no valuables had been left behind, and to collect any trash, when a man had emerged from a nearby home and had begun striking the sides of the bus with a machete.

“The driver had closed the main door to the bus, and he reported to us that the man with the machete tried to open the door and board the bus,” Deputy Velez said. “The suspect was unable to open the door and walked around the bus to the driver’s window, where he met Eastham, who was demanding to know what was going on.”

The deputies have indicated that Offield continued striking the bus with the machete and that he then lunged for the driver’s window, striking the driver in the face with the weapon.

“We believe that the assailant then struck other blows to the driver,” Deputy Velez said.
The sheriff’s office has obtained photographs taken during the assault, which indicate Offield was carrying a machete.

Law enforcement officers dispatched to the scene also included La Salle Sgt. Rickey Galvan and Texas DPS Highway Patrol Trooper Bradley Bush, who assisted in a search of Offield’s home and surrounding property in an attempt to recover the weapon. The machete has not been found.

“We found the suspect in his home and are charging him with assault,” Deputy Velez said. “We do not understand why he would attack a school bus in this manner. The bus goes through Gardendale every day. This was not in any way suspicious activity. It was on a public street.”

April 24, 2018

19 arrests,
April 16-24

By Marc Robertson
Nineteen individuals were taken into custody on a range of felony and misdemeanor charges in La Salle County last week, with arrests made by sheriff’s deputies and troopers of the Texas Department of Public Safety Highway Patrol.

Those jailed between Monday, April 16, and Tuesday, April 24, in addition to those being held on behalf of other law enforcement agencies, with arrest times logged at booking in the La Salle County Jail, were as follows:

Joe Torres Jr., 36, of Dilley; arrested 4:16 p.m. Monday, April 16, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrants issued in La Salle County District Court for third-degree felony theft of property up to $50,000, and state jail felony unauthorized use of a motor vehicle; remains in jail as of April 24.

Ransley Dontrell Bailey, 31, of Cotulla; arrested 5:08 p.m. Monday, April 16, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrant issued in La Salle County Court for Class B misdemeanor failure to appear in court; released after three days.

John Brian Molina, 32, of Cotulla; arrested 7:14 p.m. Tuesday, April 17, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrants issued by La Salle County Justice of the Peace for driving without a license  and failure to appear in court; released on bond after 16 hours.

Cynthia Noemi Colchado, 36, of Cotulla; arrested 11:08 p.m. Tuesday, April 17, by the Sheriff’s Office; Class B misdemeanor interfering with public duties; released on bond after 12 hours.

Yvonne Luna, 52, of Cotulla; arrested 9:41 a.m. Wednesday, April 18, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrants issued in La Salle County and by La Salle County Justice of the Peace for misdemeanor failure to appear in court, violating a promise to appear in court, failure to maintain financial responsibility and driving with an expired motor vehicle inspection certificate; released on bond after six hours.

Noe Gutierrez, 41, of Cotulla; arrested 3 a.m. Thursday, April 19, by the Sheriff’s Office; Class B misdemeanor driving while license is not valid with a previous conviction, warrants issued by La Salle County Justice of the Peace for driving while license is not valid, failure to comply with a court obligation or to appear in court on a DPS citation (three counts), driving without a license (two counts), failure to report an accident, violating a promise to appear in court, and driving without a commercial license; remains in jail as of April 24.

Nathan Michael Guon, 47, of Pleasanton; arrested 5:39 a.m. Thursday, April 19, by the Sheriff’s Office; second-degree felony possession of a controlled substance in Penalty Group 1; remains in jail as of April 24.

Armando Bustillos, 33, of Odessa, Texas; arrested 12 a.m. Friday, April 20, by the Texas DPS; warrant issued in Ector County for Class B misdemeanor failure to appear in court on a charge of driving while intoxicated; released on bond after 19 hours.

Inez Marie Leal, 40, of San Antonio; arrested 12:50 a.m. Friday, April 20, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrant issued in Bexar County for fraudulent use or possession of identification; remains in jail as of April 24.

Daniel Miguel Carbajal, 18, of Pearsall; arrested 10:25 a.m. Friday, April 20, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrant issued in La Salle County for Class A misdemeanor assault causing bodily injury; released on bond after eight hours.

Cynthia Elizabeth Mata, 28, of Rio Bravo, Texas; arrested 11:05 a.m. Friday, April 20, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrant issued in La Salle County Court for Class B misdemeanor failure to appear in court; remains in jail as of April 24.

Joe David Rodriguez, 30, of Cotulla; arrested 2:35 a.m. Saturday, April 21, by the Sheriff’s Office; Class B misdemeanor driving while intoxicated or with an open container of alcohol in the vehicle; released after eight hours.

Jeremiah Sambrano, 27, of Dilley; arrested 2:58 a.m. Saturday, April 21, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrants issued by La Salle County Justices of the Peace for driving without a license, failure to maintain financial responsibility, and failure to appear in court; released after ten hours.

J Guadalupe Olivarez, 69, of Pearsall; arrested 3:50 p.m. Saturday, April 21, by the Sheriff’s Office; misdemeanor public intoxication; released on bond after 16 hours.

Desiderio Galindo-Ramirez, 41, of Hidalgo, Mexico; arrested 8:10 p.m. Saturday, April 21, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrant issued in Tarrant County for driving while intoxicated; remains in jail on hold for US Immigration and Customs Enforcement as of April 24.

Jonathan Eban Casillas, 23, of El Campo, Texas; arrested 6:06 a.m. Sunday, April 22, by the Texas DPS; third-degree felony driving while intoxicated, third or more offense; released on bond after 15 hours.

Jacobo Palestrant, 35, of San Antonio; arrested 3:11 p.m. Monday, April 23, by the Sheriff’s Office; court bench warrant; remains in jail as of April 24.

Cody Aaron Hasler, 26, of Lytle, Texas; arrested 12:48 a.m. Tuesday, April 24, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrants issued by La Salle County Justice of the Peace for failure to maintain financial responsibility, driving while license is suspended, speeding, driving with an expired license, failure to comply with a court order or to appear in court; remains in jail as of April 24.

Emily Ann Carter, 34, of Lytle, Texas; arrested 1:34 a.m. Tuesday, April 24, by the Sheriff’s Office; state jail felony possession of a controlled substance in Penalty Group 1, Class A misdemeanor possession of a controlled substance in Penalty Group 3; remains in jail as of April 24.

*Addendum: Those previously listed as still in jail and since released or transferred include Hector Hugo Rojo, released after 57 days, five hours; Travis Scott Odden, released after 23 days, one hour; Efrain Castillo-Zavala, transferred after 18 days, 23 hours; Mark Vangorp, released on bond after three days, one hour; Jaime H Garza Martinez, released on bond after one day, 21 hours; and Ovidio Navarro Jr., released on bond after four days, 14 hours. 

April 17, 2018

Social media helps in search for missing child

By Marc Robertson
The La Salle County Sheriff's Office is extending its thanks to all Cotulla-area residents for their help in locating an 11-year-old boy who had been reported missing over the weekend and who was subsequently found unharmed.

The child identified as Jordan Wood had last been seen at 8 p.m. Friday, April 13, at Martinez Park on the southeastern outskirts of Cotulla and was reported missing by family members. Sheriff’s deputies assisting in the search noted that several local residents helped patrol streets where Wood may have walked. Agents of the US Border Patrol also helped in the search.  

The sheriff's office post on social media was seen by over 24,000 people and was shared between area residents and friends dozens of times within hours of the boy's disappearance.

"We are very pleased with the results of our post on social media and we recognize the power of community support in this endeavor," Investigator Homar Olivarez said of the number of people who saw and reacted to the message, as well as those who offered input regarding the boy's whereabouts. "Fortunately, the child was found within a matter of hours and had not come to any harm at all.

"We have great confidence in the strength of our community and in the people's resolve to step up at a time of need," Olivarez said. "It is reassuring to know that there are so many who are concerned about the safety of one of our children and who will take action for the sake of the innocent and vulnerable."

April 16, 2018

JP signs warrants for court no-shows this week

By Marc Robertson
La Salle County Precinct 1 Justice of the Peace Vicki Rodriguez is signing arrest warrants this week for a number of individuals who have failed to appear in court or who have failed to meet court obligations.

Those for whom warrants are being issued will be subject to immediate arrest at home, at work or in the course of a traffic stop when they are identified by a law enforcement officer. Failure to appear in court when ordered may result in additional charges being filed.

Warrants are being signed for the following:

Christopher Robert Cano, 29, of Laredo; violating a promise to appear in court (two counts), speeding (three counts), driving without a license (two counts), driving while license is not valid.

Nora Licett Euceda de Berry, 48, of San Antonio; failure to maintain financial responsibility, driving without a license.

Juan Francisco Guerrero, 39, of Brownsville, Texas; violating a promise to appear in court, speeding, driving without a license.

Carlos Alberto Olivares, age not listed, of Laredo; failure to appear in court, speeding, following too closely.

Edna Sandra Jaime, 55, of Carrizo Springs; violating a promise to appear in court, driving while license is not valid.

Garrison Cade Kelley, 21, of Beaumont; failure to maintain financial responsibility, driving without a license, possession of drug paraphernalia.

Jose J Merino Garcia, 22, of Laredo; failure to maintain financial responsibility, displaying an expired license plate, driving without a license.

Jamison Cody Ross, 24, of Missouri City, Texas; hunting without a license.

Robert Lee Trevino, 45, of Leming, Texas; violating a promise to appear in court (two counts), driving while license is not valid, speeding.

Nakesha Gray Williams, 43, of Dilley; failure to maintain financial responsibility, driving without a license.  

All those for whom warrants are being issued should make court appearances without further delay at the offices of the justice of the peace beside Veterans Park on Center Street in downtown Cotulla. A telephone call does not constitute a court appearance.

April 16, 2018

9 arrests,
April 9-16

By Marc Robertson
Nine individuals were taken into custody on a range of felony and misdemeanor charges in La Salle County last week, with arrests made by sheriff’s deputies, officers of the Encinal Police Department, and the Texas Rangers.

Those jailed between Monday, April 9, and Monday, April 16, in addition to those being held on behalf of other law enforcement agencies, with arrest times logged at booking in the La Salle County Jail, were as follows:

Raul Javier Valles, 32, of Cotulla; arrested 10:03 a.m. Wednesday, April 11, by the Texas Rangers; warrants issued in La Salle County for state jail felony theft by unlawfully appropriating property (three counts); released on bond after one day, nine hours.

Jose Jesus Porras-Vargas, 52, of San Antonio; arrested 9:24 p.m. Wednesday, April 11, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrant issued in La Salle County for failure to appear in court on a charge of driving while license is not valid, with a previous conviction; released on bond after 23 hours.

Brayan Abad, 20, of Houston; arrested 9:09 p.m. Wednesday, April 11, by the Sheriff’s Office; Class A misdemeanor possession or delivery of drug paraphernalia, Class B misdemeanor possession of marijuana; released on bond after two days, 22 hours.

Mark Vangorp, 59, of Corpus Christi; arrested 5:33 p.m. Saturday, April 14, by the Encinal PD; state jail felony manufacture or delivery of a controlled substance in Penalty Group 1; remains in jail as of April 16.

Joel Valenzuela, 17, of Cotulla; arrested 8:12 p.m. Saturday, April 14, by the Sheriff’s Office; misdemeanor disorderly conduct; released on bond after 16 hours.

Ryan Joseph Walsh, 37, of Santash, California; arrested 1:08 a.m. Sunday, April 15, by the Encinal PD; Class B misdemeanor public intoxication (enhanced); released on bond after 21 hours.

Andres Victor Garcia, 23, of Laredo; arrested 5:58 p.m. Sunday, April 15, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrant issued by La Salle County Justice of the Peace for misdemeanor disregarding a stop sign; released on bond after four hours.

Jaime H. Garza Martinez. 56, of Mission, Texas; arrested 8:28 p.m. Sunday, April 15, by the Encinal PD; warrant issued in Hidalgo County for Class B misdemeanor family violence assault; remains in jail as of April 16.

Ovidio Navarro Jr., 27, of Laredo; arrested 3:16 a.m. Monday, April 16, by the Sheriff’s Office; misdemeanor warrants issued by La Salle County justices of the peace for driving while license is not valid (two counts), failure to appear in court (three counts), displaying an expired license plate, speeding, failure to show proof of liability insurance, and driving without a license; remains in jail as of April 16.

*Addendum: Those previously listed as still in jail and since transferred or released include Carlos Leon Rivera, court-ordered release after 268 days, seven hours; Alfredo Velasquez, court-ordered release after 102 days, 18 hours; Jesus R. Alvarado, court-ordered release after 33 days, 19 hours; Amanda Roxann Hartley, court-ordered release after 27 days; Luis A. Santana, transferred after 22 days, ten hours; Joselynn Barba, released on bond after 15 days, 23 hours; and Ricardo Soto, released on bond after one day, five hours. 

April 12, 2018

National Telecommunicators' Week...

Sheriff praises dispatchers for service
to county

Sheriff Rodriguez presents gifts of appreciation to emergency dispatchers Nuvia Colchado and Sandi Ibarra, who are on duty April 12, during National Telecommunicators’ Week, celebrating the service of those who staff the 911 line and dispatch law enforcement and emergency services 24 hours a day.  
By Marc Robertson
La Salle County Sheriff Miguel Rodriguez visited the emergency dispatch office on Thursday, April 12, to present the staff with gifts in celebration of National Telecommunicators’ Week, an event that shines a light on those who maintain vital communications around the clock to receive emergency calls on the 911 line and to send law enforcement officers, medics and firefighters to locations around the county where they are needed.

“These staff members play a vital role in the county, and in many ways they are at the front line of any emergency and ready to respond to any call,” the sheriff said. “All law enforcement officers, emergency medical and fire services in this county owe a debt of gratitude to these dispatchers who are often unknown to the general public. The work they do is critical to the smooth operation of this county’s services to the people.”

The sheriff also noted that it is through continual training and long experience on the job that La Salle County’s emergency dispatchers are able to perform their work with precision, relaying vital information at high speed and with accuracy where it is needed by the emergency responders who are dispatched to crash sites and accidents, crime scenes, and homes when distress calls are made.

“It is critical for emergency dispatchers to obtain the information that our officers, medics and firefighters need when responding to a call and to relay that information clearly,” the sheriff said. “That also means staying calm, reassuring accident or crime victims that help is on the way, and staying on the line if necessary, to ensure the safety of our citizens.

“Too often, the dispatchers are unappreciated by the general public because they operate in an office that is focused on communications by telephone and radio, and they are not at the scene of a crime or accident,” Sheriff Rodriguez said, “but every emergency responder in this county appreciates the work that our dispatchers do, day and night, with the professionalism that the public expects.”

The county’s dispatch supervisor is Sandi Ibarra, whose staff includes Nuvia Colchado, Stephen Alvarado, Denise Gonzalez, Jennifer Martinez, Sarah Murray and Jennifer Murray. All of La Salle County’s emergency dispatchers are licensed correctional officers and may at any time be called upon to perform additional duties in the county jail that adjoins the dispatch office in the Roy Sturges Law Enforcement Center on North Main Street in downtown Cotulla.
  

April 11, 2018

"A chance for a safe and positive future..."

County joins advocates in proclamation against child abuse

By Marc Robertson
La Salle County government and law enforcement officials stood shoulder to shoulder with child advocates and service providers Wednesday, April 11, in support of a proclamation designating April as Child Abuse Prevention & Awareness Month, vowing to continue working at intervention and care for the young victims.

Representatives of the Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of South Texas, the Children’s Alliance of South Texas (CAST) advocacy group, the Wintergarden Women’s Shelter, county commissioners and elected officials, the La Salle County Sheriff’s Office, Precinct 1 Justice of the Peace, juvenile probation service, 81st Judicial District Attorney’s Office, the Fire Rescue & EMS, and counselors and staff of the advocacy center in Cotulla applauded County Judge Joel Rodriguez’ annual proclamation and celebrated their close collaboration in serving the needs of those who suffer at the hands of their elders and peers in the home and in public.

“The county of La Salle prides itself in giving back to the community, contributing to the quality of life among our citizens,” the judge wrote in his proclamation for April. “CASA of South Texas, La Salle County Child Protective Services and the Children’s Alliance of South Texas speak for the best interests of abused and neglected children who are involved in the juvenile courts.”

Both the judge and CASA representative Francie Gasch noted that at least 17 children in La Salle County suffered some form of confirmed abuse or neglect during the past year and were placed in the conservatorship of Child Protective Services.

“Through a national effort, La Salle County community members are encouraged to join together to raise awareness for those children fallen victim to abuse and neglect,” Judge Rodriguez wrote. “This effort will give abused and neglected children in our community and around the country a chance for a safe and positive future.

“I urge all citizens to join me,” the judge said, “in a national effort to raise awareness and help prevent child abuse and neglect.”

The Children’s Alliance of South Texas will host a ‘Paint the Town Blue’ fundraising and awareness event from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, April 28, at 200 East Trinity Street in Pearsall to further promote the designation of Child Abuse Awareness & Prevention Month. All community members are invited to take part in the painting project. Admission will be $35; all painting supplies will be provided. Information on the event is available from CAST at (830) 393-6290.

April 9, 2018

"There was the sound of women screaming..."

Scam artists target seniors with violent 'Mafia-style' tactics

By Marc Robertson
At least four reports have been made at the La Salle County Sheriff’s Office in the past week regarding alleged kidnapping and threats of serious injury to loved ones, and senior citizens may be the primary target in what investigators are describing as an aggressive scam.

In a brief statement Monday, April 9, La Salle Sheriff’s Sgt. Rickey Galvan said he believes threatening telephone calls to elderly residents have been designed to give the impression that women or children have been kidnapped and will be seriously harmed or killed if a large cash ransom is not paid immediately.

Furthermore, targets of these attempted scams have been warned by the anonymous callers not to notify the police, Sgt. Galvan said.

“I spoke with one of the people who was an intended target in this trick, and she described the threatening call in detail,” the sergeant said. “She said there was the sound of women screaming, of women or children pleading for their lives, in the background of the call, while the caller made it clear that the ransom had to be paid quickly and that harm would be done to the victims if instructions were not followed.

“It has all the earmarks of the Mexican Mafia, but this is a trick,” the sergeant said. “The first thing we did was instruct the recipients of the call to try and contact their loved ones, and sure enough, everyone was fine. There had been no kidnapping.”

Sgt. Galvan is being joined in the investigation by La Salle Lt. Mike Bostwick. Both are examining details of complaints made by those who have received threatening phone calls and have begun drawing similarities between each.

In one incident, Galvan said, a senior citizen was sufficiently frightened by the threats over the phone that she would only meet investigators at a secret location and wanted no one to know that she had involved law enforcement.

“Senior citizens are the targets here,” the sergeant said. “They are threatened with something that is shattering, something so hurtful and cruel, something so violent that their whole world is turned upside down. At that moment, they might do anything to save the lives of their loved ones.”

The sheriff’s office is cautioning all area residents that scam telephone calls may take the form of threats and that no one should ever divulge banking information or agree to make any form of payment over the phone. Those who have been threatened should immediately contact family and friends to determine that all are safe and can be accounted for, and should also notify law enforcement officers without delay.

April 9, 2018

9 arrests,
April 2-9

By Marc Robertson
Nine individuals were taken into custody in La Salle County over the past week, with arrests on misdemeanor and felony charges by sheriff’s deputies and city patrol officers, and the Encinal Police Department.

Those arrested in addition to those being held for other jurisdictions between Monday, April 2, and Monday, April 9, with arrest times logged at booking in the La Salle County Jail, were as follows:

Francisco Martinez, 53, of Cotulla; arrested 5:05 p.m. Tuesday, April 3, by the Cotulla City Patrol; misdemeanor public intoxication; released on bond after one day, six hours.

Norberto Rosales, 17, of Cotulla; arrested 11:17 p.m. Tuesday, April 3, by the Sheriff’s Office; Class B misdemeanor possession of marijuana; released on bond after one day.

Jonathon Giovanni Oceguera, 29, of Cotulla; arrested 1:43 a.m. Wednesday, April 4, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrant issued by La Salle County Justice of the Peace for failing to carry a fishing license; released after 22 hours.

Leonel Maldonado, 38, of Cotulla; arrested 8:28 a.m. Thursday, April 5, by the Cotulla City Patrol; warrants issued by La Salle County Justice of the Peace for driving while license is not valid (three counts), driving without a license, driving with expired vehicle registration (two counts), child safety seat violation, and possession of drug paraphernalia; remains in jail as of April 9.

Joshua Rene Cruz, 21, of Grand Forks, North Dakota; arrested 1:02 a.m. Saturday, April 7, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrant issued in La Salle County Court for failure to appear in court on a charge of evading arrest or detention; released after 12 hours.

Javier Contreras, 33, of Laredo; arrested 5:25 p.m. Saturday, April 7, by the Encinal PD; state jail felony possession of a controlled substance in Penalty Group 1; released on bond after 22 hours.

Ricardo Avalos Jr., 39, of Laredo; arrested 5:25 p.m. Saturday, April 7, by the Encinal PD; state jail felony possession of a controlled substance in Penalty Group 1; released on bond after 22 hours.

Mario Hugo Garcia, 42, of Cotulla; arrested 9:34 p.m. Sunday, April 8, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrants issued by La Salle County Justice of the Peace for driving while license is not valid and failure to appear in court; released on bond after 15 hours.

Ricardo Soto, 47, of Encinal; arrested 11:33 a.m. Monday, April 9, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrant issued by La Salle County Justice of the Peace for third-degree felony tampering with or fabricating physical evidence; remains in jail as of April 9.

*Addendum: Those previously listed as still in jail and since released or transferred include Juan De La Luz, scheduled release after 29 days, two hours; and Noe Gutierrez, released on bond after two days, ten hours.

April 9, 2018

TxDOT's 'Talk, Text, Crash' campaign
targets distracted drivers

An estimated one in five traffic crashes in Texas is caused by distracted driving, and the problem is becoming worse.

As part of National Distracted Driving Awareness Month in April, the Texas Department of Transportation is launching its "Talk, Text, Crash" campaign to remind drivers to stay focused on the road.

"People are dying on Texas roadways because drivers are diverting their attention from the road to talk on a phone, send a text, post to social media or engage in some other distracting behavior," TxDOT Executive Director James Bass said. "When drivers take their focus off the road, they put themselves, their passengers and others at risk. It's just not worth it."

Last year, there were 108,962 distracted driving crashes in Texas – up three percent from 2015, according to data provided by TxDOT. Those crashes killed 452 people and seriously injured another 3,068.

Further statistics indicate distracted-driver crashes are highest among younger drivers ages 16 to 34.
In Texas, 38 percent of drivers say they regularly or sometimes use a cell phone while driving. Text messaging is particularly dangerous as reaction times double when drivers read or send text messages.

A driver texting at 55 mph will lose sight of the road for nearly five seconds, which is comparable to driving the length of a football field while blindfolded.

While mobile phone use is the most recognizable driving distraction, other high-risk activities that can take your eyes or mind off the road include adjusting a music player, grooming, eating or programming a navigation system, according to the transportation department.

The "Talk, Text, Crash" campaign reminds drivers of the following:
  • Put away the phone – or turn it off – before getting behind the wheel.
  • Pull over to a safe location if you must talk or text.
  • Use an app that will block texts and calls while driving.
  • Tell friends, family and colleagues you won't respond to calls or texts when driving.
  • Always give driving your full attention.

Texas law barring the use of mobile devices to send or read messages took effect in September 2017; law enforcement officers have begun issuing to citations to violators.

April 2, 2018

10 arrests,
March 26 -
April 2

By Marc Robertson
Ten individuals were taken into custody in La Salle County over the past week, with arrests on misdemeanor and felony charges by sheriff’s deputies and city patrol officers, troopers of the Texas Department of Public Safety Highway Patrol, and the Encinal Police Department.

Those arrested in addition to those being held for other jurisdictions between Monday, March 26, and Monday, April 2, with arrest times logged at booking in the La Salle County Jail, were as follows:

Paul Oliver Luke Carrier, 25, of Lydia, Louisiana; arrested 3:08 a.m. Tuesday, March 27, by the Sheriff’s Office; third-degree felony unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon; released on bond after 14 hours.

Travis Scott Odden, 38, of Mineral Wells, Texas; arrested 5:43 p.m. Tuesday, March 27, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrants issued in La Salle County Court for family violence assault causing bodily injury and violating a protective order; remains in jail as of April 2.

Andy Encina, 39, of Mathis, Texas; arrested 1:18 a.m. Wednesday, March 28, by the Sheriff’s Office; state jail felony possession of a controlled substance in Penalty Group 1; released on bond after 17 hours.

Joselynn Barba, 28, of San Antonio; arrested 12:16 p.m. Wednesday, March 28, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrant issued in La Salle District Court for state jail felony failure to appear in court; remains in jail as of April 2.

Efrain Castillo-Zavala, 35, of Dallas; arrested 2:50 p.m. Thursday, March 29, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrants issued in Cherokee County for failure to appear in court on a charge of driving while intoxicated, and release of surety on a charge of driving while intoxicated; remains in jail as of April 2, on hold for the US Border Patrol.

Jaime Garza, 31, of San Antonio; arrested 1:39 a.m. Friday, March 30, by the Sheriff’s Office; third-degree felony evading arrest or detention with a motor vehicle, state jail felony possession of a controlled substance in Penalty Group 1, Class B misdemeanor reckless driving; released on bond after two days, 19 hours.

Augustine Darnell, 37, of Houston; arrested 9:30 a.m. Saturday, March 31, by the Sheriff’s Office; Class A misdemeanor possession of a dangerous drug, Class B misdemeanor possession of a controlled substance in Penalty Group 2A, Class A misdemeanor failure to identify self as a fugitive or giving false information, Class A misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia, and warrant issued in Harris County for state jail felony parole violation; remains in jail as of April 2.

Charles Brulloths, 38, of Laredo; arrested 3:35 p.m. Saturday, March 31, by the Encinal PD; warrant issued by La Salle County Justice of the Peace for failure to comply with a court order or to appear in court; released on bond after three hours.

Jose Jesus Cardona, 49, of Seagoville, Texas; arrested 8:29 a.m. Sunday, April 1, by the Texas DPS; Class B misdemeanor driving while intoxicated, Class B misdemeanor reckless driving; released on bond after 15 hours.

Noe Gutierrez, 41, of Cotulla; arrested 11:49 p.m. Monday, April 2, by the Sheriff’s Office; Class B misdemeanor driving while intoxicated; remains in jail as of April 2.

*Addendum: Those listed as still in jail and since released or transferred include Zachary Edward Cantu, transferred after 20 days, 15 hours.  

March 27, 2018

JP signs warrants for court dodgers

By Marc Robertson
La Salle County Precinct 1 Justice of the Peace Vicki Rodriguez is signing arrest warrants this week for a number of individuals who have failed to make court appearances or who have failed to meet court obligations.

Those listed will be subject to arrest at home, at work, or in the course of routine traffic stops when they are identified by a law enforcement officer.

All those for whom warrants are being issued should make court appearances without further delay at the offices of the justice of the peace beside Veterans Park on Center Street in downtown Cotulla. Failure to comply with court orders may result in additional charges being filed.

Arrest warrants are being signed for the following:

Carlos Afredo Gonzalez, 28, of Cotulla; violating a promise to appear in court (two counts), speeding, safety belt violation, driving without a license (two counts).

Alexander Perez, 35, of Cotulla; driving with an expired license.

Elpidio M Rodriguez, 53, of Cotulla; child safety seat violation, driving without a license.

Reynaldo Sanchez, 67, of Dallas; violating a promise to appear in court, driving without a license, safety belt violation.

Samantha Ariel Sanchez, 22, of Converse, Texas; violating a promise to appear in court, speeding.

Lorenza James Spinks, 32, of Hobson, Texas; violating a promise to appear in court, failure to retain duty status, vehicle weight restriction violation.

Robert Lee Trevino, 45, of Leming, Texas; violating a promise to appear in court (two counts), speeding, driving while license is not valid.

Nakesha Gray Williams, 43, of Dilley; failure to maintain financial responsibility, driving without a license.

Jesse Zavaca, 26, of San Benito, Texas; violating a promise to appear in court, possession of drug paraphernalia.

Gabriel Zuniga Flores, 22, of Laredo; failure to maintain financial responsibility, driving without a license.

Those for whom arrest warrants are being signed have forfeited the right to make arrangements without making a personal appearance in the judge’s offices; a telephone call does not constitute a court appearance.
  

March 26, 2018

11 arrests,
March 19-26

By Marc Robertson
Eleven individuals were taken into custody in La Salle County over the past week, with arrests on misdemeanor and felony charges by sheriff’s deputies and city patrol officers, troopers of the Texas Department of Public Safety Highway Patrol, and the Texas Parks & Wildlife game warden.

Those arrested in addition to those being held for other jurisdictions between Monday, March 19, and Monday, March 26, with arrest times logged at booking in the La Salle County Jail, were as follows:

Norman Nelson Ramirez, 49, of Cotulla; arrested 11:34 p.m. Tuesday, March 20, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrant issued in La Salle County Court for failure to appear in court on a charge of being in possession of a prohibited weapon; released on bond after five days, 11 hours.

Jesus Gabriel Garcia, 38, of Cotulla; arrested 8:34 p.m. Wednesday, March 21, by the Sheriff’s Office; Class A misdemeanor family violence assault causing bodily injury; released on bond after ten hours.

Lowell R Thornton Jr., 40, of Converse, Texas; arrested 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 22, by the Sheriff’s Office; Class B misdemeanor obstructing highway passage; released after 19 hours.

Luis A Santana, 40, of Davenport, Florida; arrested 10:19 p.m. Friday, March 23, by the Texas DPS; warrant issued in Osceola County for felony aggravated assault with a deadly weapon; remains in jail as of March 26.

Mario Hugo Garcia, 42, of Cotulla; arrested 11:20 p.m. Friday, March 23, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrants issued in La Salle County and by La Salle County Justice of the Peace for traffic violation, possession or delivery of drug paraphernalia, violating a promise to appear in court, and driving while license is not valid or without maintaining financial responsibility with a previous conviction; released on bond after 22 hours.

Adan Sandoval, 24, of Mexico; arrested 2:38 a.m. Saturday, March 24, by the Texas Parks & Wildlife; state jail felony unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, Class A misdemeanor evading arrest or detention; remains in jail as of March 26, on hold for US Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Krystal Marie Pena, 32, of Atascosa, Texas; arrested 3:25 a.m. Saturday, March 24, by the Sheriff’s Office; Class A misdemeanor possession of a dangerous drug, Class B misdemeanor possession of marijuana; released on bond after one day, 17 hours.

David Ryan Sames, 22, of Laredo; arrested 8 a.m. Saturday, March 24, (arresting agency not listed); Class B misdemeanor driving while intoxicated with an open container of alcohol in the vehicle; released on bond after 11 hours.

Jose F Galvan, 34, of Fort Worth; arrested 2:30 p.m. Saturday, March 24, by the Texas DPS; state jail felony driving while intoxicated with a child passenger under 15 years of age; released on bond after one day, two hours.

Arturo B Castor, 38, of Cotulla; arrested 9:11 p.m. Saturday, March 24, by the Texas DPS; warrants issued by La Salle County Justice of the Peace driving while license is not valid and failure to comply with a court order or to appear in court; released after 15 hours.

Charles Smith Jr., 37, of Cotulla; arrested 9:29 a.m. Monday, March 26, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrants issued in La Salle County Court for Class B misdemeanor terroristic threat and failure to comply with a court order or to appear in court; released on bond after five hours.   

March 20, 2018

Court supports new
'Border Star' fund application

By Marc Robertson
La Salle County commissioners have signed a proclamation backing an application to the Texas governor’s office for continued funding of the critical Border Star program that pays the overtime salaries of sheriff’s deputies intercepting criminal activity on principal roads and highways.

In South Texas, the Border Star program helps provide additional manpower in the ongoing law enforcement effort to interrupt human smuggling, drug trafficking and the illegal transport of weapons and funds that sustain the criminal cross-border activity. While Texas counties bordering Mexico along the Rio Grande are focused on preventing illegal trade entering the United States, counties such as La Salle focus their attention on intercepting illegal traffic on IH-35 and state highways that lead from the border to metropolitan areas.

“The La Salle County Commissioners’ Court finds it in the best interest of the citizens of La Salle County that the Local Border Security Program be operated for the year 2018,” the court noted in a proclamation on Tuesday, March 20. Commissioners then agreed to provide applicable matching funds for the program as required by the grant application to the Texas governor’s office.

La Salle County Judge Joel Rodriguez has been designated the grantee organization’s authorized official and is given the authority to make the formal fund application, receive the grant and make any alterations to the grant on behalf of the applicant agency.

At the La Salle County Sheriff’s Office, several deputies are engaged monthly in Border Star operations that place them in the path of smugglers and drug traffickers, notably on IH-35, where they may cover a distance of nearly fifty miles between the Webb County line at Encinal and the Frio County line at Dilley. The deputies are working beyond their routine duty schedules and are supplementing the interstate’s law enforcement presence that includes local police, the US Border Patrol and the Texas Department of Public Safety Highway Patrol.

“We believe strongly in reinforcing the law enforcement presence and the intervention of criminal traffic along the interstate and in border-area communities,” Sheriff Miguel Rodriguez said of La Salle County’s new funding application. “It is our job to protect the citizens of our communities, and that means intercepting criminal traffic on the interstate and strengthening our border security measures.”

“Our officers are proud to stand as part of this nation’s frontline in the war on illegal activity, drug trade and human smuggling in the border regions,” Sheriff’s Lt. Mike Bostwick said of La Salle County’s part in the Border Star initiative. “We are prepared to provide the manpower to face the criminal element on our highways.”  
  

March 20, 2018

Warrants go out this week for court no-shows

By Marc Robertson
La Salle County Precinct 1 Justice of the Peace Vicki Rodriguez is signing arrest warrants this week for a number of individuals who have failed to make court appearances or who have failed to meet court obligations.

Those listed will be subject to arrest at home, at work, or in the course of routine traffic stops when they are identified by a law enforcement officer.

All those for whom warrants are being issued should make court appearances without further delay at the offices of the justice of the peace beside Veterans Park on Center Street in downtown Cotulla. Failure to comply with court orders may result in additional charges being filed.

Arrest warrants are being signed for the following:

Jose Guadalupe Bedoy, 39, of San Antonio; violating a promise to appear in court, open container of alcohol in a motor vehicle.

Donald Lee Cook, 54, of Tow, Texas; driving while license is suspended, failure to cover load when required.

Roberto Danny Gallegos, 35, of Laredo; vehicle weight restriction violation, failure to appear in court.

Baltazar Galvan Jr., 30, of Brownsville, Texas; violating a promise to appear in court, speeding (two counts), driving without a license.

Francisco Javier Galvan, 29, of San Antonio; violating a promise to appear in court, driving with an expired vehicle registration, driving without a license.

Nakesha Gray Williams, 43, of Dilley; failure to maintain financial responsibility, violating a promise to appear in court.

Alexandria Rose Sambrano, 27, of Cotulla; failure to maintain financial responsibility.

Jose J Merino Garcia, 22, of Laredo; failure to maintain financial responsibility; driving without a license, displaying expired license plates.

Juan Javier Martinez, 55, of Eagle Pass, Texas; vehicle weight limit violation, permit violation, driving without commercial vehicle inspection, violating a promise to appear in court.

Ashley Louis Hale, 26, of Cotulla; possession of drug paraphernalia, expired vehicle registration, driving without a license, child safety seat violation.

Those for whom arrest warrants are being signed have forfeited the right to make arrangements without making a personal appearance in the judge’s offices; a telephone call does not constitute a court appearance.

March 19, 2018

Six arrests, ​ 
March 12-19

By Marc Robertson
Six individuals were jailed in La Salle County over the past week, with arrests on misdemeanor and felony charges made by sheriff’s deputies on county and city patrol.

Those taken into custody in addition to those being held for other jurisdictions between Monday, March 12, and Monday, March 19, with arrest times logged at booking in the La Salle County Jail, were as follows:

Alexander James Rider, 26, of San Antonio; arrested 12:41 a.m. Tuesday, March 13, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrants issued in Bexar County for third-degree felony possession of a controlled substance in Penalty Group 1 and state jail felony unauthorized use of a motor vehicle; transferred after one day, nine hours.

Derek Lee Troch, 19, of Leakey, Texas; arrested 5:07 a.m. Tuesday, March 13, by the Sheriff’s Office; Class A misdemeanor assault causing bodily injury, Class A misdemeanor possession of a dangerous drug; released on bond after 17 hours.

Jose Antonio Hernandez, 53, of Encinal; arrested 2:13 p.m. Tuesday, March 13, by the Sheriff’s Office; five-day commitment; court-ordered release after five days.

Reynaldo Lopez Jr., 43, of Encinal; arrested 3:08 p.m. Wednesday, March 14, by the Sheriff’s Office City Patrol; warrants issued in La Salle District Court for second- and third-degree felony probation violation (three counts), warrants issued in Webb County for family violence assault causing bodily injury, and assault to a child or elderly or disabled person with intent to cause bodily injury; remains in jail as of March 19.

Alejo Medina Jr., 28, of Laredo; arrested 12:20 p.m. Thursday, March 15, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrant issued in La Salle County Court for probation violation; released on bond after two days, one hour.

Amanda Roxann Hartley, 38, of Wimberley, Texas; arrested 1:45 p.m. Friday, March 16, (arresting agency not listed); warrant issued in La Salle County for cocaine possession; remains in jail as of March 19.

*Addendum: Those previously listed as still in jail and since released or transferred include Adam Vitela, transferred after 278 days; Johnny Gonzalez, court-ordered release after 83 days, two hours; Gloria Edith Rueda, court-ordered release after 21 days, two hours; Jacobo Palestrant, transferred after 20 days, 18 hours; Robert Daniel Benavidez, transferred after 20 days, 18 hours; Joseph Lee Hernandez, released on bond after seven days, 14 hours; and Brenda Nichole Hinkle, released on bond after three days, 15 hours. 

March 15, 2018

At least 17 in custody...

Manhunt continues after
immigrant transport interception

By Marc Robertson
More than seventeen undocumented immigrants have been taken into custody by combined law enforcement agencies over a two-day period in La Salle County, with one manhunt continuing through Thursday afternoon, March 15.

Reports of unidentified pedestrians roaming a residential neighborhood in Cotulla began coming to the La Salle County emergency dispatch office Thursday after agents of the US Border Patrol, Sheriff’s Office deputies, La Salle County constables and troopers of the Texas DPS Highway Patrol intercepted a pickup truck that had been loaded with more than a dozen passengers in Dimmit County earlier in the day. The vehicle had been spotted traveling towards Cotulla on FM 468 and was identified as a 1998 Dodge registered to a San Antonio resident.

In a brief report on the case Thursday afternoon, La Salle Pct. 2 Constable Rene Maldonado said he had been notified by the US Border Patrol that helicopter surveillance had helped identify the Dodge and that the vehicle appeared to be carrying a large number of passengers from Diamond H Road in Dimmit County.

By the time the vehicle reached La Salle County, law enforcement officers from across the region had been notified and had begun organizing an interception, according to officers dispatched to assist. The driver of the Dodge, however, attempted to evade capture by steering the heavily laden pickup truck towards a residential neighborhood, traveling between the Exxon Max E Mart and the Executive Inn near the FM 468 and IH-35 intersection.

“The truck hit a big pothole on that street between the two businesses,” La Salle Deputy Jose Avila said of the pursuit. “It sustained severe damage to its rear axle and could not be driven any further. At that moment, a lot of passengers started jumping out.”

Sheriff’s deputies, USBP agents, Constables Maldonado and Oscar Tellez of Pct. 1, and DPS troopers fanned out through the neighborhood and were assisted by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement helicopter surveillance in corralling several of the fugitives. Three had tried to evade detection by hiding in a motel room; others were found walking on Tejas Avenue and Crockett Street. A number of those captured had attempted to hide under homes but were reported by local residents or observed from the air.

Twelve men who had been traveling in the Dodge had been captured in Cotulla by noon on Thursday.  

One of those captured by Deputy Arnoldo Cadena at Crockett and Oleander streets was found to have sustained injuries to his face and back of the head, possibly when the pickup truck had struck the pothole. The man was treated by medics of the La Salle Fire Rescue & EMS after being remanded into USBP custody.

In another incident, Deputy Avila reported discovering three running from the crash site and noted that they had covered a distance of four blocks when he and Deputy Cadena intercepted them, succeeding in taking two into custody. Deputy Avila was injured in the process.

La Salle Sheriff Miguel Rodriguez is being credited with capturing a man who had attempted to conceal himself under the porch of a home at Tejas Ave. and Live Oak St. The sheriff had been asked by a neighbor to examine the property for trespassers when he detected the fugitive.   

Constable Maldonado is drawing comparisons between Thursday’s case and a similar incident of the previous day, when he was notified at around 4 p.m. Wednesday by the USBP that a number of passengers had been seen climbing into a pickup truck on Hwy 83 in Dimmit County. Traveling towards the vehicle’s last reported location, the constable noted that he discovered the truck on Hwy 44, some two miles west of Encinal, and that its occupants were attempting to flee into the brush.

The vehicle has since been identified as a 2013 Chevrolet extended-cab pickup truck that had been reported stolen in Frio County in December 2017.

Constable Maldonado succeeded in capturing two of the vehicle passengers while USBP agents caught three more. Other fugitives, however, fled into the brush and were not found.

In each case, the constable said, pickup trucks had been loaded with an unusually large number of passengers in Dimmit County and driven into La Salle County, possibly with an expectation of traveling north on the interstate.

All of those captured in the two incidents have been identified as adult male Mexican nationals.

Searches for further fugitives continue in Cotulla and rural La Salle County. Area residents are asked to report any pedestrian sightings, any trespassers on private property, and to remain vigilant for suspicious activity. The La Salle County emergency dispatch office can be reached at (830) 879-3041 or by calling 911.

March 12, 2018

14 arrests, ​ 
March 5-12

By Marc Robertson
Fourteen individuals were jailed in La Salle County over the past week, with arrests on misdemeanor and felony charges made by sheriff’s deputies, officers of the Encinal Police Department, and troopers of the Texas Department of Public Safety Highway Patrol.

Those taken into custody in addition to those being held for other jurisdictions between Monday, March 5, and Monday, March 12, with arrest times logged at booking in the La Salle County Jail, were as follows:

Juan De La Cruz, 30, of Michoacan, Mexico; arrested 4:25 p.m. Monday, March 5, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrants issued in Dakota County, Minnesota, for criminal sexual conduct (third offense), and predatory offender registration violation; remains in jail as of Monday, March 12, on hold for US Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Andrew Villegas Nunez, 28, of San Antonio; arrested 10:29 p.m. Tuesday, March 6, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrant issued by La Salle County Justice of the Peace for failure to appear in court; released after 21 hours.

Jesus R. Alvarado, 47, of Cotulla; arrested 1:51 p.m. Wednesday, March 7, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrant issued in La Salle County for unauthorized use of a motor vehicle; remains in jail as of March 12.

Manuel Garcia, 28, of Laredo; arrested 2:08 a.m. Thursday, March 8, by the Sheriff’s Office; misdemeanor driving without a license; released on bond after 16 hours.

Roger Rogelio Perez, 52, of Cotulla; arrested 4:22 p.m. Thursday, March 8, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrant issued in La Salle County for revocation of probation; released on bond after five hours.

Cody Aaron Hasler, 26, of Lytle; arrested 8:27 p.m. Thursday, March 8, by the Encinal PD; warrants issued by La Salle County Justice of the Peace for failure to maintain financial responsibility, driving while license is suspended, and failure to appear in court; released after 18 hours on promise to pay fines.

Alejandro Zamorano, 24, of Brownsville, Texas; arrested 12:20 a.m. Friday, March 9, by the Sheriff’s Office; misdemeanor public intoxication; released after 14 hours on promise to pay fines.

Zachary Edward Cantu, 22, of Cotulla; arrested 5:27 p.m. Thursday, March 8, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrant issued in La Salle County for failure to appear in court; remains in jail as of March 12.

Juan Valentin Rodriguez, 26, of Cotulla; arrested 8:54 p.m. Friday, March 9, by the Texas DPS; Class B misdemeanor possession of marijuana; released on bond after four hours.

David Garcia, 45, of Cotulla; arrested 3:21 a.m. Saturday, March 10, by the Texas DPS; Class B misdemeanor driving while intoxicated; released on bond after 16 hours.

Joseph Lee Hernandez, 20, of Encinal; arrested 3:10 a.m. Sunday, March 11, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrant issued in La Salle County for second-degree felony aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, remains in jail as of March 12.

Colby Austin Tassin, 23, of Bayminette, Alabama; arrested 3:49 a.m. Sunday, March 11, by the Sheriff’s Office; public intoxication; court-ordered release after 16 hours.

Brenda Nichole Hinkle, 24, of Encinal; arrested 1:43 a.m. Sunday, March 11, by the Sheriff’s Office; Class B misdemeanor possession of marijuana, warrants issued by La Salle County Justices of the Peace for violating a promise to appear in court, child safety seat violation, driving without a license, and failure to meet a court obligation on a charge of driving without a license; remains in jail as of March 13.

Randall Scott Martinez, 31, of Cotulla; arrested 12:00 a.m. Sunday, March 11, by the Texas DPS; Class B misdemeanor driving while intoxicated; released on bond after 19 hours.

*Addendum: Those previously listed as still in jail and since released or transferred include Noe Gutierrez, released on bond after 22 days, 16 hours; Ryan James Hernandez, transferred after seven days, 19 hours; Omar Gallegos-Lara, transferred after 12 days, ten hours; and Oscar Ceras, transferred after eight days, nine hours.  

March 5, 2018

JP signs warrants for court dodgers

By Marc Robertson
La Salle County Precinct 1 Justice of the Peace Vicki Rodriguez is signing arrest warrants this week for a number of individuals who have failed to make court appearances or who have failed to meet court obligations.

Those listed will be subject to arrest at home, at work, or in the course of routine traffic stops when they are identified by a law enforcement officer.

All those for whom warrants are being issued should make court appearances without further delay at the offices of the justice of the peace beside Veterans Park on Center Street in downtown Cotulla. Failure to comply with court orders may result in additional charges being filed.

Arrest warrants are being signed for the following:

Cynthia Cisneros, 29, of Brownsville, Texas; failure to appear in court, permitting an unlicensed operator to drive.

Yvonne Compean, 32, of Laredo; VPTA, driving without a license.

Martin Christopher Garcia, 41, of Lufkin, Texas; two counts of failure to appear in court, driving without a commercial license, speeding.

Donald Ray Lewis, 59, of Del Rio, Texas; permissible vehicle weight violation, axle weight limit violation.

Elida Moreno, 51, of Cotulla; disregarding a stop sign, driving while license is suspended.

Angelica Renee Rios, 27, of Cotulla; VPTA, failing to maintain financial responsibility.

Judy Saenz, 25, of Cotulla; failing to maintain financial responsibility, driving without a license.

Jose Cruz Silva, 27, of Mission, Texas; driving while license is suspended.

Ezequivel Hilario Vasquez, 34, of Cotulla; VPTA, driving without a license, child safety seat violation.

Ana Lydia Villarreal, 47, of Encinal; VPTA, failing to maintain financial responsibility, driving without a license.

Those for whom arrest warrants are being signed have forfeited the right to make arrangements without making a personal appearance in the judge’s offices; a telephone call does not constitute a court appearance.

March 5, 2018

Six arrests,
​Feb. 26 - 
March 5

By Marc Robertson
Six individuals were jailed in La Salle County over the past week, with arrests on misdemeanor and felony charges made by sheriff’s deputies, officers of the Encinal Police Department, and troopers of the Texas Department of Public Safety Highway Patrol.

Those taken into custody in addition to those being held for other jurisdictions between Monday, February 26, and Monday, March 5, with arrest times logged at booking in the La Salle County Jail, were as follows:

Ryan James Hernandez, 24, of Pearsall; arrested 8:28 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 27, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrants issued in Dallas County on probation violation, evading arrest or detention with a vehicle, and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle; remains in jail as of Monday, March 5.

Antonio Garcia, 36, of Cotulla; arrested 11:39 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 27, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrant issued in Medina County for failure to appear in court on a charge of driving while license is not valid; released on bond after nine hours.

Omar Gallegos-Lara, 34, of Mexico; arrested 6:44 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 28, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrant issued in La Salle County for probation violation on a charge of driving while intoxicated; remains in jail as of March 5.

Sebastian Hernandez, 25, of Fredericksburg, Texas; arrested 8:57 p.m. Thursday, March 1, by the Encinal PD; third-degree felony evading arrest with a motor vehicle, misdemeanor reckless driving; released on bond after 20 hours.

Matthew Rene Huizar, 27, of El Paso, Texas; arrested 2:42 a.m. Sunday, March 4, by the Texas DPS; Class B misdemeanor driving while intoxicated; released on bond after ten hours.

Oscar Ceras, 31, of Houston, Texas; arrested 12:45 p.m. Sunday, March 4, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrant issued in Harris County for felony aggravated assault with a deadly weapon; remains in jail as of March 5.

*Addendum: Those previously listed as still in jail and since released or transferred include Ana Ysabel De La Rosa, court-ordered release after 68 days, 14 hours; Robert Edward Rodriguez, transferred after 39 days, 16 hours; Richard Moreno, released on bond after 33 days, 20 hours; Martin Martinez, transferred after eight days, 14 hours; and Shannon Colleen DeGroat, released on bond after one day, three hours. 

February 26, 2018

12 arrests,
​Feb. 19-26

By Marc Robertson
Twelve individuals were jailed in La Salle County over the past week, with arrests on misdemeanor and felony charges made by sheriff’s deputies, officers of the Encinal Police Department, and troopers of the Texas Department of Public Safety Highway Patrol.

Those taken into custody in addition to those being held for other jurisdictions between Monday, February 19, and Monday, Feb. 26, with arrest times logged at booking in the La Salle County Jail, were as follows:

Gloria Edith Rudea, 36, of San Antonio; arrested 9:16 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 20, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrant issued for probation violation for failure to appear in court on a charge of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle; remains in jail as of Monday, Feb. 26.

Juan Antonio Castillo-Lara, 49, of Laredo; arrested 6:14 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 20, by the Sheriff’s Office; state jail felony unauthorized use of a motor vehicle; remains in jail as of Monday, Feb. 26.

Hector Hugo Rojo, 24, of Laredo; arrested 1:01 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 21, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrant issued in La Salle County for failure to appear in court on a charge of driving while license is not valid with a previous conviction; remains in jail as of Monday, Feb. 26.

Adan Leopoldo Aldaco, 51, of Laredo; arrested 1:16 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 21, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrants issued in La Salle County and in La Salle District Court for first-degree felony assault with a weapon upon a family or household member, third-degree felony assault by impeding breath or circulation upon a family or household member, and failure to appear in court on charges of burglary of a habitation, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, and driving while license is not valid with a previous conviction; remains in jail as of Monday, Feb. 26.

Jacobo Palestrant, 35, of San Antonio; arrested 3:02 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 21, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrants issued in La Salle County Court on a charge of failure to appear in court and possession of a controlled substance in Penalty Group 1; on hold for Bexar County and Comal County; remains in jail as of Monday, Feb. 26.

Martin Martinez, 51, of Cotulla; arrested 5 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 21, by the Sheriff’s Office; jail commitment; remains in jail as of Monday, Feb. 26.

Robert Daniel Benavidez, 26, of Cotulla; arrested 4:45 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 21, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrants issued in La Salle County and La Salle County Court for failure to appear in court on a charge of causing a vehicle accident with damage, failure to meet a court obligation on a traffic violation, second-degree felony aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, and warrant issued in Bexar County for possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance; remains in jail as of Monday, Feb. 26.

Crystal Marie Moreno, 35, of Von Ormy, Texas; arrested 12:38 p.m. Friday, Feb. 23, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrant issued in Bexar County for assault causing bodily injury to a family member; released on bond after two days, two hours.

Angel Renee Lopez, 19, of Cotulla; arrested 2:11 p.m. Friday, Feb. 23, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrant issued by La Salle County Justice of the Peace for failure to meet a court obligation on a charge of delinquent conduct; court-ordered release after five hours.

Anthony Rene Perez, 29, of Zapata, Texas; arrested 6:56 p.m. Friday, Feb. 23, by the Encinal PD; warrant issued through the US Marshals Service in Laredo for probation violation, warrant issued for failure to appear in court on a child passenger seatbelt violation; transferred after two days, 22 hours.

Angelica Garcia, 22, of Cotulla; arrested 2:54 a.m. Sunday, Feb. 25, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrant issued in La Salle County Court for failure to appear in court on a charge of marijuana possession; released on bond after eight hours.

Shannon Colleen DeGroat, 45, of Dilley; arrested 1:50 p.m. Monday, Feb. 26, by the Texas DPS; Class B misdemeanor charges of driving while intoxicated, failure to stop and render aid, driving while license is not valid with a previous drunk-driving conviction; remains in jail as of Feb. 26.

*Addendum: Those previously listed as still in jail and since released or transferred include Robert Edward Rodriguez, transferred after 39 days, 16 hours; and Armando Sambrano Jr., released on bond after 21 hours.

February 19, 2018

15 arrests,
​Feb. 12-19

By Marc Robertson
Fifteen individuals were jailed in La Salle County over the past week, with arrests on misdemeanor and felony charges made by sheriff’s deputies, officers of the Cotulla City Patrol, and troopers of the Texas Department of Public Safety Highway Patrol.

Those taken into custody in addition to those being held for other jurisdictions between Monday, February 12, and Monday, Feb. 19, with arrest times logged at booking in the La Salle County Jail, were as follows:

Brian Hardwood, 32, of McGregor, Texas; arrested 2:50 p.m. Monday, Feb. 12, by the Texas DPS; warrants issued in Nolan County for theft of property by check up to $500, three counts; released on bond after 22 hours.

Noe Gutierrez, 41, of Cotulla; arrested 11:41 p.m. Monday, Feb. 12, by the Sheriff’s Office; Class A misdemeanor terroristic threat against a public servant, Class B misdemeanor driving while license is not valid with a previous conviction; remains in jail as of Monday, Feb. 19.

Jennifer Soto, 33, of Cotulla; arrested 2:04 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 13, by the Cotulla City Patrol; warrant issued by La Salle County Justice of the Peace for failure to maintain financial responsibility; court-ordered release after three hours.

Rigoberto Herrera-Boites, 37, of Dilley; arrested 3:31 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 14, by the Sheriff’s Office; state jail felony possession of a controlled substance in Penalty Group 1; remains in jail as of Monday, Feb. 19, on hold for US Border Patrol.

Alexandra Mariah Sanchez, 19, of Cotulla; arrested 4:56 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 14, by the Texas DPS; warrant issued in La Salle County for misdemeanor driving without a license; released after 17 hours on promise to pay fines.

Celina Margarita Rodriguez, 31, of Fort Worth, Texas; arrested 6:34 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 14, by the Sheriff’s Office; Class B misdemeanor possession of marijuana; released on bond after 15 hours.

Eric Scott Sierra, 39, of Cotulla; arrested 10:18 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 15, by the Sheriff’s Office; Class B misdemeanor driving while license is not valid with a previous conviction, and failure to maintain financial responsibility; released after ten hours on promise to pay fines.

Fabian Cuellar, 29, of Weslaco, Texas; arrested 1:32 a.m. Friday, Feb. 16, by the Sheriff’s Office; misdemeanor public intoxication; released after 12 hours.

David Michael Gonzalez Jr., 29, of Cotulla; arrested 8:56 p.m. Friday, Feb. 16, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrants issued by La Salle County Justice of the Peace for failure to appear in court or to meet a court obligation, two counts, on a charge of driving with expired vehicle registration; released after 11 hours.

Jose Angel Benavides, 30, of Cotulla; arrested 3:08 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 17, by the Texas DPS; Class A misdemeanor driving while intoxicated; released on bond after 12 hours.

J Fernando Martinez, 53, of Buda, Texas; arrested 7:49 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 17, by the Texas DPS; warrant issued in Travis County on a charge of indecency with a child by sexual contact; released on bond after 18 hours.

Jesus Antonio Canales, 27, of Cotulla; arrested 6:53 a.m. Sunday, Feb. 18, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrant issued in La Salle County for violating a promise to appear in court; released on bond after five hours.

Juan Bernardo Sanchez, 38, of Cotulla; arrested 5:40 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 18, by the Sheriff’s Office; two-day commitment; released Feb. 19.

Michael Abel Casillas, 34, of Cotulla; arrested 10:45 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 18, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrant issued in La Salle County for failure to appear in court or meet a court obligation; released after ten hours on promise to pay fines.

Armando Sambrano Jr., 28, of Cotulla; arrested 7:25 p.m. Monday, Feb. 19, by 6the Sheriff’s Office; Class A misdemeanor evading arrest or detention, Class A misdemeanor failure to provide identification or giving false information, warrants issued in La Salle County and in County Court for failure to appear in court on charges of possession of a controlled substance in Penalty Group 2A and possession of marijuana; remains in jail as of Feb. 19.

*Addendum: Those previously listed as still in jail and since released or transferred include Juan Angel Castillo, court-ordered release after 151 days, 16 hours; Ruben Rolando Muniz, transferred after 99 days, 15 hours; and Manuel Sauceda Jr., released on bond after one day, 16 hours.  

February 12, 2018

JP signs new warrants this week

By Marc Robertson
La Salle County Precinct 1 Justice of the Peace Vicki Rodriguez is signing arrest warrants this week for a number of individuals who have failed to make court appearances or who have failed to meet court obligations.

Those listed will be subject to arrest at home, at work, or in the course of routine traffic stops when they are identified by a law enforcement officer.

All those for whom warrants are being issued should make court appearances without further delay at the offices of the justice of the peace beside Veterans Park on Center Street in downtown Cotulla. Failure to comply with court orders may result in additional charges being filed.

Arrest warrants are being signed for the following:

Nicholas Galvan, 49, of San Antonio; failure to appear in court, speeding, child safety seat violation, driving while license is not valid.

Manuel Gutierrez, 37, of Laredo; vehicle weight limit violation.

Jorje Antonio Hernandez, 31, of Corpus Christi; speeding.

Phillip Longoria, 26, of Brownsville; violating a promise to appear in court, failure to maintain financial responsibility.

Rogelio Mendoza III, 29, of Laredo; violating a promise to appear in court, driving without a license, speeding.

Jose J Merino Garcia, 22, of Laredo; driving without a license, displaying an expired license plate, failure to maintain financial responsibility.

Francisco Alejos Pedroza, 31, of Austin; driving while license is suspended.

Alex Noel Ramos Cedillo, 25, of Houston; violating a promise to appear in court, driving without a license, speeding.

Coby Delane Russell, 42, of Corpus Christi; violating a promise to appear in court, speeding.

Lorenza James Spinks, 32, of Hobson, Texas; failure to appear in court, vehicle weight limit violation, duty status not retained.

Those for whom arrest warrants are being signed have forfeited the right to make arrangements without making a personal appearance in the judge’s offices; a telephone call does not constitute a court appearance.

February 12, 2018

13 arrests,
​Feb. 5-12

By Marc Robertson
Thirteen individuals were jailed in La Salle County over the past week, with arrests on misdemeanor and felony charges made by sheriff’s deputies, officers of the Encinal Police Department, and troopers of the Texas Department of Public Safety Highway Patrol.

Those taken into custody in addition to those being held for other jurisdictions between Monday, February 5, and Monday, Feb. 12, with arrest times logged at booking in the La Salle County Jail, were as follows:

Candelario Elizondo Jr., 42, of Cotulla; arrested 2:31 p.m. Monday, Feb. 5, by the Texas DPS; warrants issued in La Salle County for failure to meet a court obligation on a charge of driving while license is not valid and failure to appear in court on a charge of violating a protective order as condition of bond; released after two days, four hours.

Charles Thomas McCue Jr., 26, of Pearsall, arrested 12:23 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 6, by the Sheriff’s Office; Class B misdemeanor possession of marijuana; released on bond after 19 hours.

Sean Nieto Moreno, 26, of San Antonio; arrested 2:42 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 6, by the Encinal PD; second-degree felony possession of a controlled substance in Penalty Group 1A, and warrant issued in Bexar County for possession of marijuana; released on bond after two days, 18 hours.

Jose Chapa III, 30, of Laredo; arrested 8:29 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 7, by the Texas DPS; warrants issued in Bexar County for criminal mischief up to $2,500 in damages, and harassment; released on bond after one day, 13 hours.

Erick Jonathan Gomez, 19, of Laredo; arrested 2:50 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 7, by the Texas DPS; Class B misdemeanor possession of marijuana; released on bond after one day, seven hours.

Cesar Garza, 26, of Pearsall; arrested 10:42 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 7, by the Texas DPS; state jail felony possession of a controlled substance in Penalty Group 1, Class B misdemeanor driving while intoxicated; released on bond after two days, 21 hours.

Keri Neesvig, 47, of San Antonio; arrested 2 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 8, by the Sheriff’s Office; state jail felony possession of a controlled substance in Penalty Group 1, Class A misdemeanors possession of a dangerous drug and possession or delivery of drug paraphernalia, and Class B misdemeanor reckless driving; released on bond after two days, 20 hours.

Giovanni Enrique Dastych, 17, of Cotulla; arrested 10:03 a.m. Friday, Feb. 9, by the Sheriff’s Office; disorderly conduct; released on bond after eight hours.

Alyssa Marie Garcia, 27, of Cotulla; arrested 5:59 p.m. Friday, Feb. 9, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrant issued in La Salle County for Class A misdemeanor assault causing bodily injury; released on bond after two hours.

Hermelinda Aracelia Gonzalez, 53, of Cotulla; arrested 1:53 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 10, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrant issued in Midland County for violation of probation; released on bond after one day, 17 hours.

Manuel Sauceda Jr., 45, of Cotulla; arrested 8:58 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 10, by the Sheriff’s Office; state jail felony warrant issued (no agency listed) for probation violation on a charge of debit or credit card abuse; remains in jail as of Feb. 12.

Rudy Alvino Flores, 39, of Cotulla; arrested 1:41 a.m. Sunday, Feb. 11, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrant issued by La Salle County Justice of the Peace for failure to appear in court or to comply with a court order; released after 15 hours on promise to pay fines.

Marcus Anthony Cantu, 29, of Corpus Christi; arrested 5:35 a.m. Sunday, Feb. 11, by the Texas DPS; Class A misdemeanor driving while intoxicated (second offense); released on bond after 15 hours.

*Addendum: Those previously listed as still in jail and since released or transferred include Adan Ruiz, released after 326 days, 12 hours; Rudy Michael Sosa, transferred after 144 days, 23 hours; Brandon Lee Ruiz, released on bond after 52 days, 17 hours; Ernesto Rodriguez, released on bond after seven days, 16 hours; Ana M. Moreno, released after four days, ten hours; Natalie Shae Guthrie, released on bond after seven days; and Irma Linda Morales, released after 13 hours.

February 5, 2018

JP signs warrants for court dodgers

By Marc Robertson
La Salle County Precinct 1 Justice of the Peace Vicki Rodriguez is signing arrest warrants this week for a number of individuals who have failed to make court appearances or who have failed to meet court obligations.

Those listed will be subject to arrest at home, at work, or in the course of routine traffic stops when they are identified by a law enforcement officer.

All those for whom warrants are being issued should make court appearances without further delay at the offices of the justice of the peace beside Veterans Park on Center Street in downtown Cotulla. Failure to comply with court orders may result in additional charges being filed.

Arrest warrants are being signed for the following:

Jesus Chapa, 29, of Laredo; violating a promise to appear in court, disorderly conduct.

Ryan Casey Davlin, 24, of Jacksonville, Texas; possession of drug paraphernalia, defective brake light.

Leticia Villa Galvan, 56, of Cotulla; driving without a license, no commercial driving license.

Carolina Gonzalez, 35, of Cotulla; failure to appear in court, driving while license is not valid.

Abel Gonzalez, 32, of Laredo; failure to appear in court, driving while license is not valid, speeding.

Alexandra Monique Ochoa, 23, of Pearsall; driving while license is not valid.

Carlos Alberto Olivares, 22, of Laredo; failure to appear in court, following too closely, speeding.

Bobby Ramirez, 27, of Cotulla; two counts of failure to appear in court, possession of drug paraphernalia, driving while license is not valid, disregadring a traffic signal.

Mariah Michelle Puente, 22, of San Antonio; violating a promise to appear in court, driving without a license, failure to maintain financial responsibility.

Raul Sanchez, 33, of Crystal City, Texas; failure to maintain financial responsibility.

Those for whom arrest warrants are being signed have forfeited the right to make arrangements without making a personal appearance in the judge’s offices; a telephone call does not constitute a court appearance. 

February 5, 2018

10 arrests,
​Jan. 29 - Feb. 5

By Marc Robertson
Ten individuals were jailed in La Salle County over the past week, with arrests on misdemeanor and felony charges made by sheriff’s deputies and troopers of the Texas Department of Public Safety Highway Patrol.

Those taken into custody in addition to those being held for other jurisdictions between Monday, January 29, and Monday, February 5, with arrest times logged at booking in the La Salle County Jail, were as follows:

Ernesto Rodriguez, 43, of Cotulla; arrested 2:34 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 30, by the Sheriff’s Office; Class A misdemeanor resisting arrest, search or transport, Class B misdemeanor obstructing highway, warrant issued in La Salle County for probation violation on charge of possession of a controlled substance, warrants issued by La Salle County Justice of the Peace for failure to meet court obligations on four counts of violating a promise to appear in court, four counts of driving while license is suspended or not valid, two counts of failure to comply with a Texas DPS order to appear in court, seatbelt violation, driving with expired vehicle registration, driving with expired motor vehicle inspection, displaying an expired driving license, and driving without a valid motor vehicle inspection; remains in jail as of Feb. 5.

Jesus Bernardo Ramon, 39, of Dilley; arrested 8:42 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 30, by the Texas DPS; warrant issued in La Salle County for failure to appear in court on a charge of violating the conditions of an occupational driving license; released on bond after nine hours.

Eric Trevino, 38, of Dilley; arrested 9:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 31, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrant issued for failure to appear in court on a charge of public intoxication; released after 11 hours on promise to pay fines.

Ana M. Moreno, 37, of Cotulla; arrested 11:43 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 1, by the Sheriff’s Office; misdemeanor warrants issued in La Salle County Court and by La Salle County Justice of the Peace for failure to meet a court obligation on a charge of assault, and failure to appear in court; remains in jail as of Feb. 5.

Claudia Gutierres, 26, of Cotulla; arrested 11:53 p.m. Friday, Feb. 2, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrant issued in La Salle County for failure to meet a court obligation on a charge of failure to maintain financial responsibility; released on bond after 12 hours.

Justin James Rocha, 24, of Cotulla; arrested 12:56 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 3, by the Sheriff’s Office; state jail felony possession of a controlled substance in Penalty Group 1; released on bond after 13 hours.

Alonzo Lopez, 55, of Cotulla; arrested 1:31 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 3, by the Texas DPS; third-degree felony driving while intoxicated, third or more offense; released on bond after 12 hours.

Natalie Shoe Guthrie, 47, of Cotulla; arrested 2:46 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 3, by the Sheriff’s Office; state jail felony possession of a controlled substance in Penalty Group 1, Class A misdemeanor possession or delivery of drug paraphernalia, Class B misdemeanor possession of marijuana; remains in jail as of Feb. 5.

Jack Daniel Coleman, 29, of Cotulla; arrested 11:39 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 3, by the Texas DPS; warrant issued by Austin Pardon and Parole Board on third-degree felony parole violation, Class A misdemeanor driving while intoxicated, second offense; remains in jail as of Feb. 5.

Irma Linda Morales, 47, of La Pryor, Texas; arrested 12:10 a.m. Monday, Feb. 5, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrant issued in La Salle County for public intoxication; remains in jail as of Feb. 5.

*Addendum: Those previously listed as still in jail and since released or transferred include Richard Ray Twiss II, released after 70 days, four hours; Christopher Wayne Roberts, court-ordered release after 31 days, one hour; and Genese Gloria Rodriguez, released on bond after nine days, seven hours.   

  

February 1, 2018

Did truck hit roadway debris?

Driver escapes vehicle fire unhurt

By Marc Robertson
The Texas Department of Public Safety is investigating the possible causes of a truck fire that occurred in the southbound lanes of IH-35 at Cotulla Thursday evening, February 1, an event from which the driver escaped unharmed.

First at the scene of the fire at was La Salle County Sheriff’s Deputy Jose Avila, who reported that he found truck driver Gabriel Salas, 53, of McAllen uninjured and indicating that he believed his vehicle had struck some heavy debris on the interstate a short time before the fire ignited.

Investigations have revealed that two portions of a vehicle driveshaft were lying in the southbound lanes of traffic on the interstate within a mile of the fire.  

The deputy has confirmed that other motorists called the county emergency dispatch office at around 5:50 p.m. to report that they had seen a freight truck traveling south on the interstate near Milemarker 69 with heavy smoke pouring from its engine and drivetrain.

Salas brought the truck to a halt near Milemarker 67 and climbed out of the cab before it was engulfed in fire, Deputy Avila said. The vehicle trailer was loaded with oilfield sand and did not ignite. Fuel in the tractor unit and all of the forward tires exploded, however, sending debris across the interstate.

The La Salle Fire Rescue was dispatched to extinguish the blaze; representatives of the Texas Department of Transportation assisted Deputy Avila with traffic control in the early stages of the response. The Texas DPS has since taken over the case.

Wreck site cleanup was undertaken in part by the state transportation department for some oil that had spilled onto the roadway from the damaged freighter; the burned vehicle was removed from the scene by the Pearsall Towing company.

A portion of the interstate was closed to southbound traffic during the emergency response, cleanup and investigation.
Late-afternoon sunlight is partially blocked by thick billows of black smoke over western Cotulla on Thursday evening, Feb. 1, when a freight truck burns on the interstate.

January 29, 2018

JP signs more warrants this week

By Marc Robertson
La Salle County Precinct 1 Justice of the Peace Vicki Rodriguez is signing arrest warrants this week for a number of individuals who have failed to make court appearances or who have failed to meet court obligations.

Those listed will be subject to arrest at home, at work, or in the course of routine traffic stops when they are identified by a law enforcement officer.

All those for whom warrants are being issued should make court appearances without further delay at the offices of the justice of the peace beside Veterans Park on Center Street in downtown Cotulla. Failure to comply with court orders may result in additional charges being filed.

Arrest warrants are being signed for the following:

Ricardo Raul Cavazos Jr., 22, of San Juan, Texas; violating a promise to appear in court, failure to maintain financial responsibility, driving without a license.

Sabino Coronado III, 47, of Cotulla; driving with an open container of alcohol, driving without a license.

Miguel Garza, 31, of Zapata, Texas; failure to appear in court, violating a driver license restriction.

Fernando S Herrera, 61, of Eagle Pass, Texas; overweight vehicle.

Ashley Celestina Lucio, 22, of Laredo; violating a promise to appear in court, two charges of driving without a license, seatbelt violation.

Robert Peterson, 68, of Cotulla; Class C misdemeanor assault, violating a promise to appear in court, vehicle maneuver violation, driving while license is not valid.

Fernando Resendez, 22, of Laredo; violating a promise to appear in court, speeding, driving without a license.

Cristobal Regalado Rigal, 51, of San Antonio; speeding.

Tyron Hector Roman, 24, of Cotulla; failure to appear in court, possession of drug paraphernalia, two charges of driving without a license, disorderly conduct.

Reynaldo Valero, 38, of San Antonio; vehicle weight limit violation on zoned road.

Those for whom arrest warrants are being signed have forfeited the right to make arrangements without making a personal appearance in the judge’s offices; a telephone call does not constitute a court appearance.

January 29, 2018

10 arrests,
​Jan. 22-29

By Marc Robertson
Ten individuals were jailed in La Salle County over the past week, with arrests on misdemeanor and felony charges made by sheriff’s deputies and troopers of the Texas Department of Public Safety Highway Patrol.

Those taken into custody in addition to those being held for other jurisdictions between Monday, January 22, and Monday, Jan. 29, with arrest times logged at booking in the La Salle County Jail, were as follows:

Antonio Garcia, 61, of Cotulla; arrested 12:04 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 23, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrants issued in La Salle County for failure to appear in court and disregarding stop sign or traffic signal; court-ordered release after 19 hours.

Anthony Fernandez, 46, of Cotulla; arrested 3:38 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 23, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrant issued by La Salle County Justice of the Peace for failure to appear in court or to comply with a court order; court-ordered release after 17 hours.

Richard Moreno, 35, of San Antonio; arrested 5:02 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 25, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrant issued in La Salle County Court for failure to appear in court; remains in jail as of Monday, Jan. 29.

Angel Renee Lopez, 19, of Cotulla; arrested 4:55 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 25, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrant issued in Bexar County for criminal trespass; released on bond after one day, 19 hours.

Genese Gloria Rodriguez, 37, of Cotulla; arrested 6:15 a.m. Friday, Jan. 26, by the Sheriff’s Office; state jail felony possession of a controlled substance in Penalty Group 1, Class B misdemeanor possession of marijuana, Class A misdemeanor evading arrest or detention, Class A misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia, warrants issued in La Salle County for failure to meet court obligations on charges of driving without a license, driving while license is not valid, possession of drug paraphernalia, revocation of probation on a charge of burglary of a building, and warrant issued in La Salle County District Court for revocation of probation on a charge of possession of a controlled substance; remains in jail as of Monday, Jan. 29.

Brandon Lalo Obregon, 18, of Cotulla; arrested 12:42 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 27, by the Sheriff’s Office; Class B misdemeanor possession of marijuana; released on bond after eight hours.

Martin Garcia, 41, of Kaufman, Texas; arrested 1:17 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 27, by the Texas DPS; misdemeanor reckless driving; released on bond after 19 hours.

Julio Liendo Anzaldua, 39, of Cotulla; arrested 5:02 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 28, by the Sheriff’s Office; third-degree felony evading arrest or detention with a vehicle, state jail felony possession of a controlled substance in Penalty Group 1, warrant issued in La Salle County for parole violation on a charge of delivery of a controlled substance; remains in jail as of Monday, Jan. 29.

Francisco Martinez, 52, of Cotulla; arrested 5 p.m. Monday, Jan. 29, by the Sheriff’s Office; public intoxication; remains in jail as of Jan. 29.

Antonio Zarzosa, 41, of Cotulla; arrested 5:53 p.m. Monday, Jan. 29, by the Sheriff’s Office; commitment to detention; remains in jail as of Jan. 29.

*Addendum: Those previously listed as still in jail and since released or transferred include Robert Walter Read, released after 751 days, 19 hours; Victor Orlando Velasco, released on bond after 164 days, 21 hours; David Flores, court-ordered release after 65 days, one hour; Carlos Joseph Reyna, court-ordered release after 26 days, 21 hours; Guadalupe Rios Viera, transferred after nine days, 19 hours; Alberto Gonzalez, released on bond after one day, ten hours; Luis Saavedra, released on bond after one day, 22 hours; and Noe Gutierrez, released on bond after one day, 21 hours.

January 23, 2018

JP signs warrants for court dodgers

By Marc Robertson
La Salle County Precinct 1 Justice of the Peace Vicki Rodriguez is signing arrest warrants this week for a number of individuals who have failed to make court appearances or who have failed to meet court obligations.

Those listed will be subject to arrest at home, at work, or in the course of routine traffic stops when they are identified by a law enforcement officer.

All those for whom warrants are being issued should make court appearances without further delay at the offices of the justice of the peace beside Veterans Park on Center Street in downtown Cotulla. Failure to comply with court orders may result in additional charges being filed.

Arrest warrants are being signed for the following:

Christian Oliver Alaniz, 45, of Cotulla; speeding, driving without a license, seatbelt violation.

Ruben Carbajal, 41, of George West, Texas; violating a promise to appear in court, driving while license is not valid, passing in a no-passing zone.

Annette Rae Elizondo, 33, of Cotulla; driving with an expired license plate, failure to maintain financial responsibility, driving while license is not valid, two counts of driving without a license.

Brian Edward Galarza, 28, of Laredo; violating a promise to appear in court, driving without a license, speeding.

Karina Mora Fernandez, 29, of Laredo; driving while license is suspended or not valid, driving without a license, speeding.

Martin Christopher Garcia, 41, of Lufkin, Texas; two counts of failure to appear in court, driving without a commercial license, speeding.

Felipe de Jesus A Garcia Argum, 56, of Cotulla; failure to maintain financial responsibility.

Brenda Nichole Hinkle, 24, of Encinal; driving without a license.

Alexander Perez, 34, of Cotulla; driving with an expired license.

Kelvin Jossue Rios-Canales, 27, of Houston; violating a promise to appear in court, driving without a license, speeding.

Those for whom arrest warrants are being signed have forfeited the right to make arrangements without making a personal appearance in the judge’s offices; a telephone call does not constitute a court appearance.  

January 22, 2018

15 arrests,
​Jan. 15-22

By Marc Robertson
Fifteen individuals were jailed in La Salle County over the past week, with arrests on misdemeanor and felony charges made by sheriff’s deputies, a county constable, and troopers of the Texas Department of Public Safety Highway Patrol.

Those taken into custody in addition to those being held for other jurisdictions between Monday, January 15, and Monday, Jan. 22, with arrest times logged at booking in the La Salle County Jail, were as follows:

Marcus Ramos, 51, of Cotulla; arrested 6:28 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 16, agency not listed; misdemeanor public intoxication; released after nine hours on promise to pay fines.

Daniella Marie Arce, 30, of Cotulla; arrested 9:37 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 16, by the Sheriff’s Office; Class B misdemeanor warrant issued in La Salle County Court for failure to stop and provide information to a peace officer; released on bond after eight hours.

Lisa Hernandez Hopper, 40, of Pearsall; arrested 4:15 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 16, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrant issued in Bexar County for possession of a controlled substance; transferred after one day, 23 hours.

Karina Hernandez, 20, arrested 9:40 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 16, by the Sheriff’s Office; Class B misdemeanor possession of marijuana; released on bond after three hours.

Robert Edward Rodriguez, 45, of Cotulla; arrested 4:45 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 17, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrant issued in La Salle County on probation violation, felony possession of a controlled substance; remains in jail as of Monday, Jan. 22.

Humberto Delgado, 34, of Encinal; arrested 4:06 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 18, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrants issued by La Salle County Justice of the Peace for failure to maintain financial responsibility and seatbelt violation; released on bond after five hours.

Juan Alejandro Mendez, 22, of Floresville, Texas; arrested 4:40 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 18, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrant issued by La Salle County Justice of the Peace for speeding; released on bond after six hours.

Jaime Alonso Zepeda, 34, of San Ignacio, Texas; arrested 9:33 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 18, by the Texas DPS; Class B misdemeanor driving while intoxicated; released on bond after 21 hours.

Andres Gilberto Munoz III, 21, of Floresville, Texas; arrested 2:50 p.m. Friday, Jan. 19, by La Salle County Constable; Class A misdemeanor family violence assault causing bodily injury; released on bond after seven hours.

Anyssa Renee Sanchez, 23, of Cotulla; arrested 3:15 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 21, agency not listed; Class A misdemeanor driving while intoxicated; released on bond after ten hours.

Steve Cruz Jr., 28, of Cotulla; arrested 3:40 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 21, by the Texas DPS; Class A misdemeanor driving while intoxicated; released on bond after 16 hours.

Alberto Gonzalez, 38, of Eagle Pass, Texas; arrested 9:04 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 21, by the Texas DPS; Class A misdemeanor driving while intoxicated; released on bond after one day, ten hours.

Luis Saavedra, 51, of Laredo; arrested 7:44 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 21, by the Texas DPS; Class A misdemeanor driving while intoxicated, second offense; remains in jail as of Monday, Jan. 22.

Noe Gutierrez, 41, of Cotulla; arrested 1:45 a.m. Monday, Jan. 22, by the Sheriff’s Office; misdemeanor driving with open container of alcohol in vehicle, warrant issued in La Salle County for Class B misdemeanor theft; remains in jail as of Monday, Jan. 22.

Pedro Vinton III, 24, of Cotulla; arrested 2:29 p.m. Monday, Jan. 22, by the Sheriff’s Office; misdemeanor warrants issued by La Salle County Justice of the Peace for failure to appear in court and failure to maintain financial responsibility; court-ordered release after six hours.

*Addendum: Those previously listed as still in jail and since released or transferred include Victor Orlando Velasco, released on bond after 164 days, 21 hours; Laureal Castro, court-ordered release after 21 days, 15 hours; and Mario Sanchez, transferred after eight days, 23 hours.

January 15, 2018

5 arrests,
​Jan. 8 - 15

By Marc Robertson
Five individuals were taken into custody by La Salle County sheriff’s deputies over the past week on a variety of charges including warrants for failure to meet court obligations.

Those jailed between Monday, January 8, and Monday, Jan. 15, with arrest times logged at booking in the La Salle County Jail, in addition to those being held for other jurisdictions, included the following:

Mario Sanchez, 52, of Cotulla; arrested 12:03 p.m. Monday, Jan. 8, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrant issued in Medina County for theft of rental property; remains in jail as of Jan. 15.

Jorge Rick Martinez, 32, of Cotulla; arrested 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 13, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrants issued in La Salle County and by La Salle County Justice of the Peace for failure to appear in court, driving while license is not valid, and displaying an expired license plate; released after three hours on promise to pay fines.

Alexandra Alvarado, 25, of Cotulla; arrested 12:37 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 13, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrant issued by La Salle County Justice of the Peace for displaying fictitious license plate; released on bond after five hours.

Noe Gutierrez, 41, of Cotulla; arrested 1:01 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 14, by the Sheriff’s Office; Class A misdemeanor possession of a prohibited weapon, warrant issued by La Salle County Justice of the Peace for failure to comply with a court obligation or to appear in court; released on bond after 17 hours.

Guadalupe Rios Viera, 43, of Dallas; arrested 2:19 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 14, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrant issued in Dallas County  for probation violation, driving while intoxicated; remains in jail as of Monday, Jan. 15.

*Addendum: Those previously listed as still in jail and since released or transferred include Fidel Alvarez Jr., released after 14 hours on promise to pay fines.  
  

January 8, 2018

16 arrests,
​Dec. 18 -
​Jan. 8

By Marc Robertson
Sixteen suspects were jailed in La Salle County over the holiday period at the end of 2017, with arrests made by sheriff’s deputies, officers of the Encinal Police Department and troopers of the Texas Department of Public Safety Highway Patrol.

Those arrested between Monday, December 18, 2017, and Monday, January 8, 2018, in addition to those being held for other jurisdictions, with arrest times logged at booking in the La Salle County Jail, were as follows:

Johnny Gonzalez, 39, of Cotulla; arrested 9:55 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 20, by the Sheriff’s Office; misdemeanor warrant issued by Cotulla Municipal Court for failure to meet a court obligation on a charge of public intoxication, and state jail felony warrant issued in La Salle District Court for probation violation; remains in jail as of Jan. 8.

Felipe de Jesus Beltran-Martinez, 18, of Charco Blanco, Mexico; arrested 8:01 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 23, by the Encinal PD; state jail felony unauthorized use of a motor vehicle; transferred after three days, 13 hours.

Noe Gutierrez, 40, of Cotulla; arrested 12:02 a.m. Monday, Dec. 25, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrants issued in La Salle County Court and by La Salle County Justice of the Peace for failure to appear in court on a charge of driving while license is suspended with a previous conviction, and three counts of violating a promise to appear in court or failure to comply with a court order; released on bond after 20 hours.

Gabriel Medina-Garcia, 27, of San Antonio; arrested 10:24 p.m. Monday, Dec. 25, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrant issued in Bexar County for Class B misdemeanor driving while intoxicated (third offense); released on bond after 19 hours.

Ana Ysabel De La Rosa, 51, of Cotulla; arrested 7:11 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 26, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrant issued in La Salle County Court for failure to appear in court on a charge of possession of drug paraphernalia; remains in jail as of Jan. 8.

Sharlon Wayne Barnes, 55, of Opelousas, Louisiana; arrested 11:43 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 27, by the Texas DPS; Class B misdemeanor driving while intoxicated; released on bond after one day, 22 hours.

Laureal Castro, 35, of Atascosa, Texas; arrested 8:08 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 28, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrant issued in La Salle County for failure to appear in court on a charge of marijuana possession; remains in jail as of Jan. 8.

Carlos Joseph Reyna, 36, of Grand Prairie, Texas; arrested 4:25 p.m. Friday, Dec. 29, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrant issued in La Salle County for failure to appear in court; remains in jail as of Jan. 8.

Ryan Matthew Rodriguez, 18, of Pearsall; arrested 1:55 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 30, by the Sheriff’s Office; Class B misdemeanor possession of marijuana; released on bond after nine hours.

Roberto Teneyuca, 45, of Cotulla; arrested 3:03 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 30, by the Texas DPS; state jail felony possession of a controlled substance in Penalty Group 1, third-degree felony tampering or fabricating physical evidence with intent to impair an investigation, third-degree felony possession of a prohibited substance in a correctional facility; released on bond after 21 hours.

Alfredo Velasquez, 58, of Cotulla; arrested 8:40 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 30, by the Sheriff’s Office; Class A misdemeanor evading arrest or detention, state jail felony possession of a controlled substance in Penalty Group 1, and warrant issued in La Salle County District Court for failure to appear in court on a charge of harassment of a public servant; remains in jail as of Jan. 8.

Ruben Salinas Jr., 30, of Cotulla; arrested 11:58 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 31, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrants issued by La Salle County Justice of the Peace for driving while license is suspended or not valid, disorderly conduct, and failure to comply with a court order or to appear in court; released on bond after 18 hours.

Christopher Wayne Roberts, 27, of Cotulla; arrested 1 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 2, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrants issued in La Salle County Court and in District Court for failure to appear in court on a charge of family violence assault causing bodily injury and probation violation for possession of a controlled substance; remains in jail as of Jan. 8.

Edgar Francisco Garcia Jr., 19, of Laredo; arrested 11:35 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 2, by the Sheriff’s Office; Class B misdemeanor possession of marijuana; released on bond after 19 hours.

Arnulfo Hernandez, 59, of Cotulla; arrested 5:28 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 4, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrants issued in Travis County for Class A misdemeanor failure to appear in court on a charge of theft and Class B misdemeanor theft of property; released after 23 hours.

Fidel Alvarez Jr., 31, of Encinal; arrested 8:40 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 7, by the Encinal PD; warrants issued By La Salle County Justices of the Peace for driving with defective tail lamps, driving while license is not valid, failure to appear in court and failure to maintain financial responsibility; remains in jail as of Jan. 8.

*Addendum: Those previously listed as still in jail and since released or transferred include David Hernandez, released after 175 days, 22 hours; Hugo Salinas Hernandez, transferred after 97 days, 23 hours; Jose Luis Martinez, released on bond after 91 days, five hours; Roel Eloy Trejo, released on bond after 51 days, 18 hours; Jabriel Olivarez, transferred after 43 days, 16 hours; Katherine Kane, released on bond after 30 days, 11 hours; Remigio Leal Guillen, released on bond after 13 days, 17 hours; Lillian Cantu Castilleja, released on bond after ten days, one hour; Ricky Montes, released after seven days, three hours on promise to pay fines; Reynaldo Lopez Jr., transferred after two days, 11 hours; and Raymond Edward Bronsord, released on bond after one day, 15 hours.