Law Enforcement
News

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.

December 28, 2017

Driver escapes unhurt when truck ignites

By Marc Robertson
A pickup truck driver traveling across the Ayala Ranch in western La Salle County managed to climb out of his vehicle without serious injury and call 911 when it caught fire, according to emergency responders this week.

Dispatched in response to the distress call at 8:30 p.m. Thursday, December 28, La Salle Sheriff’s Sgt. Rickey Galvan arrived at the scene off FM 468 some three miles west of IH-35 to find the vehicle owner unhurt but powerless to control the fire that was spreading quickly through his 25-year-old Chevrolet truck.

A fuel tank explosion ultimately destroyed the vehicle.  

Members of the La Salle Fire Rescue & EMS were dispatched to extinguish the blaze.

Sgt. Galvan noted that the driver identified himself as an out-of-town oilfield worker and said that the man had extracted valuables and other personal possessions from the truck as soon as he had detected the fire.

“The driver thought that the fire might have originated in the fuel line,” the sergeant said. “The gas tank blew up after that.

“This driver was lucky to have escaped unhurt,” Galvan added. “We definitely do not recommend that anyone try to recover any valuables from a vehicle that has started burning. It’s too dangerous. The most important thing – the only thing – to focus on is to get everyone out of the vehicle and a safe distance away.”
  

December 18, 2017

15 arrests,
​Dec. 11-18

By Marc Robertson
The La Salle County Sheriff’s Office has confirmed that at least fifteen suspects were taken into custody over the past week on a range of felony and misdemeanor charges as well as on outstanding warrants for failure to meet court obligations.

Arrests were made between Monday, December 11, and Monday, Dec. 18, by sheriff’s deputies and officers of the Cotulla City Patrol, the Encinal Police Department, the Texas Rangers, and troopers of the Texas Department of Public Safety Highway Patrol.

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

Ramon Martinez Sanchez, 77, of Cotulla; arrested 12:15 p.m. Monday, Dec. 11, by the Sheriff’s Office; first-degree felony aggravated sexual assault; released on bond after five hours.

Maria Aurelia Hernandez, 30, of Cotulla; arrested 3:54 p.m. Monday, Dec. 11, by the Texas DPS; warrants issued by La Salle County Justice of the Peace for failure to appear in court and failure to maintain financial responsibility; released after three hours.

Remigio Leal Guillen, 29, of Goodrich, Texas; arrested 10:03 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 12, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrant issued in La Salle County District Court for failure to appear in court on a charge of possession of a controlled substance, namely methamphetamine; remains in jail as of Dec. 18.

Matthew Avery Luna, 22, of Cotulla; arrested 9:40 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 12, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrant issued in La Salle County Court for failure to appear in court on a charge of criminal mischief; released on bond after 21 hours.

Lillian Cantu Castilleja, 58, of Dilley; arrested 12:44 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 13, by the Texas Rangers; warrants issued in La Salle County for first-degree felony engaging in organized criminal activity, and theft of property up to $500; remains in jail as of Dec. 18.

Jasmine Garcia Gutierrez, 25, of Laredo; arrested 9:23 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 13, by the Texas DPS; warrant issued in Bell County for bail jumping and failure to appear in court; released on bond after one day, seven hours.

Ricky Montes, 23, of Cotulla; arrested 12:40 p.m. Friday, Dec. 15, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrants issued in La Salle County and by La Salle County Justice of the Peace for driving without a license, failure to meet court obligations on charges of driving without a license, possession of drug paraphernalia, and violating a promise to appear in court; remains in jail as of Dec. 18.

Benny Rey Castor, 24, of Cotulla; arrested 12:50 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 17, by the Sheriff’s Office; Class A misdemeanor assault causing bodily injury; released on bond after 14 hours.

Bernardo Ramirez Castor, 54, of Cotulla; arrested 12:50 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 17, by the Sheriff’s Office; Class A misdemeanor assault causing bodily injury; released on bond after 14 hours.

Lloyd Gordon Gallup Jr., 37, of Corpus Christi, Texas; arrested 12:40 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 17, by the sheriff’s office; public intoxication; released on bond after 14 hours.

Anthony Luis Salazar, 33, of Cotulla; arrested 1:45 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 17, by the Cotulla City Patrol; 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 intoxicated, and failure to appear in court or to comply with a court order (three counts); released on bond after 13 hours.

Brandon Lee Ruiz, 20, of Dilley; arrested 2:05 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 17, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrants issued in La Salle District Court for failure to appear in court and state jail felony failure to meet a court obligation, and warrants issued in La Salle County for assault on a family or household member causing bodily injury, criminal trespass (two counts), theft up to $750, possession of a controlled substance in Penalty Group 2A, assault, theft up to $500, unlawful restraint, and failure to appear in court on seven of the above charges; remains in jail as of Dec. 18.

Reynaldo Lopez Jr., 43, of Encinal; arrested 7:16 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 17, by the Encinal PD; warrants issued by authorities in Laredo and Webb County for harassment (three counts); remains in jail as of Dec. 18.

LeRoy Garza-Facundo, 43, of Encinal; arrested 8:25 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 17, by the Encinal PD; warrant issued for failure to appear in court on charges of driving without a license and for failing to wear a seatbelt; released after 21 hours.

Raymond Edward Bronsord, 66, of Cotulla; arrested 10:06 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 17, by the Texas DPS; Class A misdemeanor driving while intoxicated, and warrant issued in La Salle County for driving while intoxicated; remains in jail as of Dec. 18.

*Addendum: Those previously listed as still in jail and since released or transferred include Joshua Jason Galvan, transferred after 149 days, 18 hours; Steven Medina, transferred after 116 days, 13 hours; Jose Onesimo Luna, released on bond after 11 days, one hour; and Luis Salazar Jr., released on bond after three days, eight hours.     
  

December 12, 2017

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 ten individuals who have failed to make court appearances on a variety of charges or who have failed to meet their obligations.

Those for whom warrants are signed will be subject to immediate arrest at home, at work or during the course of traffic stops id they are identified by a law enforcement officer. All are required to make immediate appearances at the judge's court on Center Street in downtown Cotulla and have forfeited the right to make arrangements by telephone. A telephone call does not constitute a court appearance.

Failure to appear in court may result in additional misdemeanor charges being filed. 

Arrest warrants are being signed for the following:

Cody Lane Aguilar, 27, of Lytle, Texas; failure to maintain financial responsibility, speeding.

Yajaira Ivette Banda, 36, of San Antonio; driving while license is not valid, failure to maintain financial responsibility.

Omar Dario Cuellar, 36, of Zapata, Texas; public intoxication.

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

Juan Francisco Guerrero, 38, of Brownsville, Texas; violating a promise to appear in court, driving without a license, speeding.

Julio Cesar Montoya, 45, of Austin; violating a promise to appear in court, failure to maintain financial responsibility, driving without a license.

Shannon Elise Novak, 31, of San Antonio; speeding.

Ruben Lira, 35, of Cotulla; driving with an expired motor vehicle inspection certificate, driving with expired vehicle registration, failure to maintain financial responsibility, speeding.

Robert Edward Rodriguez, 45, of Cotulla; driving with an open container of alcohol in the vehicle.

Oscar Trevino Jr., 41, of Cotulla; driving with expired vehicle registration, failure to maintain financial responsibility.

December 11, 2017

Six arrests,
​Dec. 4-11

By Marc Robertson
Six individuals were taken into custody in La Salle County last week on a range of felony and misdemeanor charges as well as on warrants for failing to meet court obligations.

Arrests were made by sheriff’s deputies and officers of the Cotulla Patrol Division, by the Encinal Police Department, and by troopers of the Texas Department of Public Safety Highway Patrol.

Those taken into custody between Monday, December 4, and Monday, Dec. 11, in addition to those being held for other jurisdictions, with arrest times logged at booking in the La Salle County Jail, are as follows:

Adolfo Campos III, 31, of Encinal; arrested 7:50 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 5, by the Encinal PD; Class A misdemeanor family violence assault causing bodily injury, Class B misdemeanor criminal trespass; released on bond after one day, 15 hours.

Bobbie James Williams, 61, of Wichita Falls, Texas; arrested 2:46 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 7, by the Sheriff’s Office; state jail felony injury to a child, disabled or elderly person by criminal negligence; released on bond after one day, 20 hours.

Rafael Gutierrez Jr., 27, of Cotulla; arrested 12:36 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 9, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrant issued in La Salle County for failure to meet a court obligation on a charge of driving while license is not valid; released after ten hours on promise to pay fines.

Luis Salazar Jr., 54, of Cotulla; arrested 6:22 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 9, by the Sheriff’s Office; Class A misdemeanor family violence assault causing bodily injury; remains in jail as of Dec. 11.

Juan Jose Hinojosa, 53, of San Antonio; arrested 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 9, by the Cotulla City Patrol; Class B misdemeanor possession of marijuana; released on bond after 19 hours.

Alexis Marie Ruiz, 22, of Dilley; arrested 3:55 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 10, by the Texas DPS; Class A misdemeanor driving while intoxicated; released on bond after 11 hours.

*Addendum: Those previously listed as still in jail and since released or transferred include Rodolfo Valentin Garcia, released on bond after 46 days, 22 hours; Ossiel Everardo Salinas, released on bond after 29 days, 23 hours; and Stephen Ray Martinez, released on bond after one day, 18 hours.

December 5, 2017

Victims included local residents...

'Re-shipping' job is scam with stolen cards, investigator says

People answering ads for extra holiday money were "unwitting pawns in a theft ring"

By Marc Robertson
Advertisements for lucrative work-from-home positions or extra cash for the holiday season may have lured one or more La Salle County residents into signing up for jobs in re-shipping goods bought with stolen credit card numbers, according to the sheriff’s office, and the theft victims themselves may have been local.

In a report on the case Tuesday afternoon, December 5, La Salle Sheriff’s Investigator Homar Olivarez said he believes a number of people may have been tempted to answer email or social media advertisements that offered payment to anyone who would take delivery of retail goods, examine them to ensure they were properly packaged and unbroken or that they met their shipping descriptions, and then send them on to their final destination with new shipping labels.

“The job seemed easy and appeared legitimate to anyone who answered the advertisement,” Olivarez said. “And, sure enough, the people who signed up to do this began receiving goods. These were relatively expensive items.”

The items were delivered to addresses in La Salle County, inspected by the “re-shipping employees” and then dispatched with new shipping labels via national carriers to the apparent buyers, most of whom were overseas.

What the people handling the goods cannot have known, according to Olivarez, was that the retail items had been bought with stolen credit cards and that any investigation into card fraud would lead to them, not to the overseas buyers.

What they would also not have known, the investigator said, was that the credit card numbers used for the fraudulent purchases had themselves been stolen in South Texas, specifically from La Salle County residents.

“This investigation began as a credit card theft case,’ Olivarez said. “We were notified by some local residents that their card numbers had been stolen or that card security had been compromised, and that fraudulent retail purchases had been made.

“When we looked into this, we discovered that the purchases had been shipped to an address here in Cotulla,” the investigator said. “So we approached this case as a matter of someone using stolen credit cards to go shopping.”

The investigation, however, revealed a far more complex scheme and in fact included more victims, Olivarez said.

“When we interviewed a person who appeared to have received goods that were paid for with stolen credit cards, that person showed us how this was presented as an employment opportunity, working at home for extra income,” Olivarez said. “And clearly that person was completely unaware that the goods were purchased with stolen card numbers.

“Thankfully for us, and for the person who was receiving and re-sending these goods, saving every email message and taking note of every detail in this scheme helped our investigation immeasurably,” Olivarez added. “It also helped to show the extent of the fraud and demonstrated that the culprit in this case was not local.”

The investigator said that those who answered the advertisement for employment as re-shipping agents would receive the pre-printed shipping labels to send the items to their next destinations and would also receive promises of payment for their work.

Those payments never came, and after approximately a month the so-called employer would stop sending emails and would not respond to inquiries. The employer would also stop having goods shipped to the local address.

“Those people who thought they were going to earn extra income for the holidays, just by re-shipping some retail goods, were unwitting pawns in a theft ring,” Olivarez said. “It’s difficult to come to grips with the reality that this was not a local credit card theft, but that this was something much deeper and more complex.”

The investigator noted that law enforcement investigations into stolen credit card numbers often reveal that banking details can be sorted by region, so that anyone perpetrating a fraud scheme may purchase credit card numbers in bulk, specific to a certain area. In this case, Olivarez said, someone appears to have targeted La Salle County and is making purchases with local residents’ cards. Advertisements for jobs in re-shipping are then floated on the internet or sent in mass emails, and in La Salle County the scheme appears to have met with some success.

“What we need people to be aware of is the old adage that if something looks too good to be true, it probably is,” the investigator said. “We also hope that everyone remains vigilant at all times – not just in the holiday season – and keeps a watchful eye over bank and credit card statements. It’s very important to report any fraudulent activity immediately.”  
  

December 4, 2017

13 arrests,
Nov. 27 - 
​Dec. 4

By Marc Robertson
Thirteen individuals were taken into custody in La Salle County over the past week, with arrests made by sheriff’s deputies, Texas Rangers and troopers of the Texas Department of Public Safety Highway Patrol.

Those taken into custody on a range of felony and misdemeanor charges as well as on outstanding warrants, in addition to those being held for other jurisdictions, between Monday, November 27, and Monday, December 4, with arrest times logged at booking in the La Salle County Jail in Cotulla, are as follows:

Robert T. Villarreal, 43, of San Antonio; arrested 3:54 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 28, by the Sheriff’s Office; misdemeanor disorderly conduct; released after 12 hours.

Antonio Zarzosa, 41, of Cotulla; arrested 5:52 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 29, by the Sheriff’s Office; commitment; released after one day, one hour.

Beatrice Marie Hernandez, 34, of Cotulla; arrested 7:42 p.m. Friday, Dec. 1, by the Sheriff’s Office; Class A misdemeanor tampering with a government record; released on bond after four hours.

Yvette Marie Martinez, 40, of Cotulla; arrested 5:04 p.m. Friday, Dec. 1, by the Texas Rangers; Class A misdemeanor tampering with a government record; released on bond after two hours.

Gerardo Arturo Cabello, 42, of Laredo; arrested 11:46 p.m. Friday, Dec. 1, by the Texas DPS; Class B misdemeanor driving while intoxicated; released on bond after 13 hours.

Elvira Elsa Gonzalez, 31, of Gardendale; arrested 12:59 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 2, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrants issued in La Salle County and by Justice of the Peace for two counts of failure to comply with a court order or to appear in court, driving without a license, and traveling with an unrestrained child under age 17; released after 11 hours on promise to pay fines.

Jeremy Jesus Teneyuca, 26, of Cotulla; arrested 1:09 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 2, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrants issued by La Salle County Justice of the Peace for failing to meet court obligations on charges of driving without a license and failing to maintain financial responsibility; released after nine hours on promise to pay fines.

Jonah Matthew Gonzales, 31, of San Antonio; arrested 2:19 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 2, by the Sheriff’s Office; Class B misdemeanor possession of marijuana; released on bond after ten hours.

Carlos Mario Gonzalez, 34, of San Antonio; arrested 3:13 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 2, by the Texas DPS; Class B misdemeanor driving while intoxicated; released on bond after 14 hours.

Martin Morales, 48, of Cotulla; arrested 10:11 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrants issued in La Salle County and by Justice of the Peace on three counts of failure to appear in court or violating a promise to appear, and interfering with railroad property; court-ordered release after 20 hours.

Christopher John Pineda, 38, of Laredo; arrested 1:45 a.m. Monday, Dec. 4, by the Texas DPS; warrant issued in Webb County for child neglect; remains in jail as of Dec. 5.

Stephen Ray Martinez, 19, of Dilley; arrested 4:27 p.m. Monday, Dec. 4, by the Texas Rangers; second-degree felony indecency with a child by sexual contact; remains in jail as of Dec. 5.

Jose Onesimo Luna, 52, of Pearsall; arrested 4:25 p.m. Monday, Dec. 4, by the Sheriff’s Office; Class B misdemeanor driving while license is suspended or nor valid with a previous conviction; remains in jail as of Dec. 5.

*Addendum: Those previously listed as still in jail and since released or transferred include Edward Acuna, court-ordered release after 28 days, five hours; Amy Garcia Gonzalez, released on bond after five days, 15 hours; and Misael Anguiano, released on bond after one day, six hours.  

November 30, 2017

Sheriff's staff attend training conference in SA

Attendees at the 15th annual administrative assistants’ conference of the Sheriff’s Association of Texas, San Antonio, November 27-30
Representing the La Salle County Sheriff’s Office, Norma Miranda and Amanda Carbajal have returned from attending the 15th annual training conference for sheriff’s administrative assistants in Texas, covering a range of topics related to improving their service.

Miranda is the administrative assistant and Carbajal is the administrative clerk to La Salle County Sheriff Miguel Rodriguez and the county’s law enforcement agency.

The Sheriff’s Association of Texas hosted the conference for administrative personnel from sheriff’s offices across the state for four days in late November at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in downtown San Antonio. Each year, the conference provides attendees with critical training on topics that affect the duties and responsibilities of sheriff’s offices. Attendees also have the opportunity to make contact with their peers from across the state and discuss issues faced by their respective law enforcement agencies.

More than 120 people attended the event this year and received training and information on a variety of topics that included communication effectiveness, organization, an agency overview from the Office of the Attorney General, the benefits of social media, employment law, and open records requests.

The Sheriff’s Association of Texas is a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing the effectiveness of local law enforcement in the state. Through the support of its members, the association provides training, legal and technical information, and other resources vital to law enforcement personnel. The association also offers scholarships to peace officers and their children who wish to continue their education. In addition, the association honors fallen officers with its Lost Lawman Memorial.

For information on the Sheriff’s Association of Texas or to join the organization that supports the state’s law enforcement agencies, visit www.txsheriffs.org or call (512) 445-5888.
  

November 30, 2017

Five hundred were summoned...

Judge orders community service for jury duty skippers

"The wheels of justice stop" when citizens fail to answer the call,
district attorney says

By Marc Robertson
  
District Judge Russell Wilson offered a choice between eight hours of community service and criminal prosecution for dozens of La Salle County residents on Thursday, November 30, after they skipped jury duty or failed to provide adequate excuses for not serving.

By Thursday afternoon, a total of 41 local citizens had agreed to perform community service between now and mid-January. Hundreds, however, may face contempt charges after they failed to put in court appearances when summoned.

The 218th District Court judge’s decision came after the La Salle County & District Clerk’s Office mailed 500 jury summons for a court date in early November. According to court officers, a mere 70 reported for jury duty, and only 44 of those were eventually deemed suitable as jurors for a trial. Judge Wilson ordered summons to be mailed immediately to all those who had failed to appear.

The numbers indicate that as many as 390 La Salle County residents are now wanted in court to answer to Judge Wilson and explain why they failed to appear for jury selection and why they then failed to appear when summoned to explain their absence. Staff at the County & District Clerk’s Office said late Thursday that they believe a number of jury summons were undeliverable and that some of those who were called may be ineligible for service.

Staff member Arturo Carbajal estimates that at least one hundred La Salle County residents remain unaccounted for and should have made court appearances on Thursday.

Prosecutors for the 81st Judicial District include Assistant District Attorney Leslie Carranza, who said Thursday that she believes the judge’s decision will encourage more people to respond to jury summons in future.

For her part, District Attorney Audrey Louis said she believes that serving on a jury is a vital duty of every citizen to ensure the maintenance of law and order.

“While many may view a jury summons as an inconvenient burden, it’s easy to forget how important jury service is,” the district attorney wrote last week in a prepared statement. “Crimes are committed, law enforcement investigates, a grand jury indicts, but only a jury can determine the guilt or innocence of someone charged with a crime.”

DA Louis also noted that failure by local citizens to appear for jury duty when summoned has far-reaching effects in the law enforcement, judicial and government systems, including expense of public monies.

“Countless hours are spent by both sides preparing for trial; witnesses are subpoenaed and their lives put on hold to come testify,” the district attorney wrote. “When we do not have enough jurors, all of that taxpayer money and time is wasted, and the wheels of justice stop. 

“It may be a child that’s prepared to testify about how they were molested, or a business owner that’s had money stolen from them by an employee… now those victims have to wait in hopes that next time, enough people take their service seriously and appear,” DA Louis added. “Justice depends on both the quality and quantity of jurors who serve. We must have enough people, and those people must take their oath to serve seriously. We all owe it to our fellow citizens to take jury service seriously. My hope is, this will remind people of that.”  

November 28, 2017

Area firefighters summoned
to railroad wreck

Investigation underway after fiery train crash with tanker

By Marc Robertson
The La Salle County Sheriff’s Office is conducting an investigation into the causes of a November 28 crash between a northbound Union Pacific freight train and an 18-wheel tanker truck at a grade crossing near Dilley, an incident that resulted in thousands of gallons of crude oil burning.

Emergency responders from the La Salle County Fire Rescue & EMS were dispatched to the scene at the Ledwig Ranch entrance near the Frio County line shortly after 10 p.m. Tuesday and were joined by volunteer firefighters from Dilley in battling the blaze that had ensued when the freight train had collided with the truck that had been crossing the tracks from the private ranch road.

The grade crossing is not equipped with barricades; heavy vehicles including tankers, freighters and buses are required to stop and watch for trains before proceeding over the railroad line.

The northbound train on the single-track mainline between Laredo and San Antonio included a string of cars carrying double-stacked shipping containers.

Sheriff’s officers investigating the crash have indicated the tanker truck was carrying 178 barrels (9,790 gallons) of crude oil from an energy industry site off Ledwig Ranch Road, which stretches east of the railroad line. All of the cargo was ignited when the train ran over the tanker and destroyed it.

The tanker truck driver was transported by ambulance to Frio Regional Hospital in Pearsall and has since been released, according to preliminary reports. There have been no reports of injuries to any of the train crew.

Providing water for the firefighters at the scene were La Salle County Commissioners Erasmo Ramirez Jr. and Noel Niavez with their respective crews; law enforcement officers at the scene included La Salle Lt. Mike Bostwick, Sgt. Rickey Galvan, Cpl. Elvira Hernandez, Deputies Jose Avila, Michael Hernandez and Cesar Villarreal, Texas Highway Patrol Sgt. JD Rodriguez, and the Union Pacific Railroad Police and regional supervisor.
Members of the La Salle Fire Rescue & EMS and the Dilley Volunteer Fire Department worked together Tuesday night, November 28, in extinguishing an oil fire (Photos this page) that resulted from a crash between a freight train and a tanker truck near the Ledwig Ranch Road grade crossing.  

November 27, 2017

Eight arrests,
Nov. 20 - 27

By Marc Robertson
Eight individuals were taken into custody in La Salle County over the past week, with arrests made by sheriff’s deputies and troopers of the Texas Department of Public Safety Highway Patrol.

Those taken into custody on a range of felony and misdemeanor charges as well as on outstanding warrants, in addition to those being held for other jurisdictions, between Monday, November 20, and Monday, Nov. 27, with arrest times logged at booking in the La Salle County Jail in Cotulla, are as follows:

Richard Ray Twiss II, 26, of San Antonio; arrested 1:26 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 21, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrant issued in La Salle County for failing to appear in court on a state jail felony charge of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle; remains in jail as of Nov. 27, on hold for the US Marshals Service.

David Flores, 52, of Cotulla; arrested 3 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 21, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrant issued in La Salle County Court for Class A misdemeanor failure to appear in court, warrant issued in La Salle County for failure to appear in court on a charge of possession of a controlled substance, namely methamphetamine; remains in jail as of Nov. 27.

Amy Garcia Gonzalez, 35, of Cotulla; arrested 7:57 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 22, by the Sheriff’s Office; three counts of third-degree felony assault on a public servant, Class A misdemeanor resisting arrest, search or transport; remains in jail as of Nov. 27.

Willie Ray Thomas Jr., 31, of San Antonio; arrested 11:47 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 22, by the Texas DPS; Class B misdemeanor driving while license is not valid, with a previous conviction; released on bond after 15 hours.

Chris Romero, 48, of Austin; arrested 12:58 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 22, by the Sheriff’s Office; Class B misdemeanor driving while license is not valid, with a previous conviction, failing to maintain financial responsibility; released on bond after one day, 15 hours.

Juan Jesus Campos, 41, of Encinal; arrested 1:10 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 23, by the Sheriff’s Office; Class A misdemeanor family violence assault causing bodily injury; released on bond after 16 hours.

Jose Guadalupe Castillo, 42, of Laredo; arrested 2:09 p.m. Monday, Nov. 27, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrant issued in La Salle County Court for failure to appear in court on a charge of giving false or fictitious identification; released on bond after two hours.

Misael Anguiano, 34, of Palmer, Texas; arrested 8:58 p.m. Monday, Nov. 27, by the Texas DPS; warrant issued in Dallas County for failure to pay child support; remains in jail as of Nov. 27.

*Addendum: Those previously listed as still in jail and since released or transferred include Elisema Rivera Jones, released on bond after 67 days, 13 hours; Jack Daniel Coleman, released on bond after 29 days, 19 hours; Eric Scott Rivera, released on bond after 28 days, one hour; Jiovanni Rodriguez, released on bond after 26 days, 21 hours; Edward Acuna, court-ordered release after 28 days, five hours; Salome Ruiz Jr., released from custody after four days, one hour; Patrick Thomas Solansky, transferred after one day; and Juan Ramiro Sosa, released on bond after five days, 18 hours.
  

November 20, 2017

Ten arrests,
Nov. 13 - 20

By Marc Robertson
Ten people were taken into custody in La Salle County over the past week, according to the Sheriff’s Office, with arrests made by deputies, officers of the Cotulla City Patrol, and troopers of the Texas Department of Public Safety Highway Patrol, on a range of misdemeanor and felony charges as well as on local warrants for failure to meet court obligations.

Those arrested between Monday, November 13, and Monday, Nov. 20, in addition to those being held for other jurisdictions, with arrest times logged at booking in the La Salle County Jail, are as follows:

Jabriel Olivarez, 33, of Cotulla; arrested 6:15 p.m. Monday, Nov. 13, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrants issued in La Salle District Court for two counts of probation violation on charges of possession of a controlled substance, namely cocaine; remains in jail as of Nov. 20.

Euvence Saldivar Jr., 52, of Cotulla; arrested 11:10 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 15, by the Texas DPS; warrant issued on failure to appear in court on a charge of driving while intoxicated; released on bond after five hours.

Martin A. Hinojosa III, 37, of Alice, Texas; arrested 9:58 p.m. Friday, Nov. 17, 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; released on bond after 21 hours.

Maricela Marie Abundis, 19, of Austin; arrested 11:15 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 18, by the Sheriff’s Office; disorderly conduct; released on bond after 11 hours.

Heligio Ramirez Jr., 31, of Cotulla; arrested 1:40 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 18, by the Sheriff’s Office; Class B misdemeanor criminal trespass; released on bond after one day, one hour.

Marcus Ramos, 51, of Cotulla; arrested 3:20 a.m. Sunday. Nov. 19, by the Cotulla City Patrol; Class B misdemeanor theft, and warrant issued by La Salle County Justice of the Peace for Class B misdemeanor theft; released on bond after ten hours.

Salome Ruiz Jr., 47, of Cotulla; arrested 11:59 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 19, 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 driving with an open container of alcohol in a motor vehicle; remains in jail as of Nov. 20.

Patrick Thomas Solansky, 30, of Refugio, Texas; arrested 10:05 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 19, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrant issued by the US Marshals Service for probation violation; transferred after one day.

Katherine Kane, 29, of Corpus Christi; arrested 10:08 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 19, by the Sheriff’s Office; Class A misdemeanor possession of a controlled substance in Penalty Group 1; remains in jail as of Nov. 20.

Juan Ramiro Sosa, 42, of Cotulla; arrested 12:41 a.m. Monday, Nov. 20; warrant issued in La Salle County for driving while license is suspended, warrants issued by La Salle County Justice of the Peace for driving while license is not valid and three counts of violating a promise to appear in court or failing to comply with a court order; remains in jail as of Nov. 20.  

November 13, 2017

Five arrests,
Nov. 6 - 13

By Marc Robertson
Five people were taken into custody in La Salle County over the past week, according to the Sheriff’s Office, with arrests made by deputies, officers of the Encinal Police Department, and troopers of the Texas Department of Public Safety Highway Patrol, on a range of misdemeanor and felony charges as well as on local warrants for failure to meet court obligations.

Those arrested between Monday, November 6, and Monday, Nov. 13, in addition to those being held for other jurisdictions, with arrest times logged at booking in the La Salle County Jail, are as follows:

Ossiel Everardo Salinas, 39, of Austin; arrested 8:59 p.m. Monday, Nov. 6, by the Texas DPS; Class B misdemeanor driving while intoxicated; remains in jail as of Monday, Nov. 13.

Ruben Rolando Muniz, 39, of San Antonio; arrested 10:50 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 7, by the Encinal PD; third-degree felony assault on a public servant, third-degree felony evading arrest or detention in a motor vehicle; Class A misdemeanor evading arrest or detention, on hold for the US Border Patrol; remains in jail as of Monday, Nov. 13.

Eric Casey Brown, 37, of Fayette, Texas; arrested 11:02 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 8, by the Sheriff’s Office; misdemeanor public intoxication; released on bond after ten hours.

Isabel Laguna, 38, of Cotulla; arrested 10:18 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 9, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrants issued by La Salle County Justice of the Peace for failing to comply with a court order or to appear in court, two counts of driving while license is not valid, two counts of failing to maintain financial responsibility, and displaying an expired license plate; court-ordered release after 13 hours.

Miguel Angel Rodriguez, 23, of Laredo; arrested 12:44 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 12, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrants issued by La Salle County Justice of the Peace for driving with expired license plate or registration and failing to maintain financial responsibility; court-ordered release after seven hours.

*Addendum: Those previously listed as still in jail and since released or transferred include Jesus Orlando Ortiz Jr., transferred after 104 days, 18 hours; Basilio Plaza Jr., transferred after 39 days, three hours; Cynthia Elizabeth Mata, court-ordered release after 16 days, three hours; Ricardo Soto, released on bond after 20 hours; and Jose Alfredo Garcia, released on bond after 17 hours. 

November 7, 2017

Five passengers stacked in small truck...

Pursuits end with immigrant arrests

By Marc Robertson
La Salle County sheriff’s deputies joined forces with the Encinal Police Department and the US Border Patrol on Tuesday evening, November 7, in pursuing a pair of northbound vehicles towards Cotulla and arresting at least seven undocumented immigrants.

An American citizen has also been taken into custody and may face federal charges of human smuggling. The San Antonio resident is believed to have been the driver of a vehicle in which five Mexican men had been concealed.

A report from investigators shows that Encinal Police Officer William Butterfield spotted a sedan and a small pickup truck traveling north on IH-35 near milemarker 46 shortly before 7:30 p.m. Tuesday and that they appeared to be traveling in tandem. Both vehicles bore paper license plates. The police officer traveled behind the pair for a short distance and noted that the driver of the forward vehicle committed a traffic violation. Ofc. Butterfield attempted to effect a traffic stop but the driver of the Ford Taurus accelerated in an attempt to evade police.

The officer reported that the sedan was traveling in excess of 100 miles per hour at times during the pursuit.  

The report shows that Ofc. Butterfield notified the sheriff’s office that the second vehicle – a compact Mazda pickup truck – had continued traveling north towards Cotulla and that he was in pursuit of the Taurus. The driver of the sedan further attempted to evade the officer by crossing to the IH-35 access road before plowing the car into a ranch fence.

Ofc. Butterfield reported that he opened the trunk of the Taurus to find that it contained two undocumented immigrants. He also reported that the driver and at least one passenger fled the scene of the crash. The sedan was impounded by the Encinal PD.

Anticipating the arrival of the Mazda pickup truck at Cotulla, sheriff’s deputies were positioned south of the Nueces River bridge when they identified the vehicle near milemarker 59. Officers included Deputies Enrique Velez, Juan Mirelez, Miguel Limon, Jose Cardenas, Jose Avila and Investigator Homar Olivarez.

A report on the second traffic stop shows that driver Javier Campos Zamora, 54, tried to evade capture by refusing to stop after committing a traffic violation. Deputy Avila noted that the driver appeared to be traveling dangerously close to the rear of an 18-wheel freight truck.

Zamora allegedly steered the Mazda off the interstate at the FM 468 intersection and came to a halt near a truck stop. Sheriff’s deputies surrounded the vehicle and corralled the driver and three of his passengers who were attempting to flee on foot. Two further passengers had been traveling in the bed of the truck and were promptly detained.

The undocumented immigrants captured at Cotulla have been listed as Mexican nationals aged 20, 27, 31, 36 and 38. All were remanded into the custody of the US Border Patrol, whose agents also took Zamora into custody to face possible smuggling charges. The Mazda was impounded as an abandoned vehicle at the sheriff’s yard in Cotulla. 

November 7, 2017

All hands to the pumps

La Salle County firefighters are joined by the Dilley Volunteer Fire Department, the La Salle County Sheriff's Office, and the Texas Highway Patrol in responding to a house fire on Williams Street in Gardendale on Tuesday evening, November 7. The two-story family home was partially engulfed when officers first arrived at the scene at around 5:30 p.m. and Deputies Enrique Velez and Juan Mirelez forced entry into the building to determine whether any residents remained inside. Family members assured officers that the building was unoccupied. Firefighters were provided with water from La Salle County Precincts 1 and 3; reserve firefighters were also summoned to assist. Trees and landscape near the building were beginning to ignite from the intensity of the blaze, and efforts continued to prevent the possible spread of wildfires to neighboring properties. Firefighters were unable to save the structure, which was destroyed when the upper level of the home collapsed into the ground floor. Investigations continue into the possible causes of the fire.
(Courtesy photos)

November 7, 2017

"He said he just wanted to go home..."

Driver continues north despite
multiple rollover

By Marc Robertson
A senior citizen from Cotulla escaped serious injury in a vehicle rollover near Artesia Wells and continued traveling north on IH-35 Tuesday, November 7, when he discovered that his Honda would start and drive.

Identified as Marcelo Malvaez, the man reported to a La Salle County sheriff’s deputy after a traffic stop that he had been to the dentist in Laredo and that he may have fallen asleep at the wheel on his way home.

A report on the case shows that a freight truck driver notified the La Salle County emergency dispatch office that she had witnessed a multiple rollover near milemarker 46 and that the driver of the Honda CR-V appeared to have suffered no serious injury and was standing beside his vehicle. She noted that the Honda had landed upright after flipping at least twice. In a second conversation with emergency responders while a sheriff’s deputy was heading for the crash site, the truck driver reported that the man had climbed back into his damaged vehicle and had resumed traveling north on the interstate.

Driving south from Cotulla, Deputy Enrique Velez reported seeing the white Honda traveling at approximately 45 miles per hour with a broken windshield, deployed airbags flapping in the windows, broken side mirrors hanging from their mountings, a damaged rear wheel and a flat tire.

Malvaez had driven at least eleven miles from the crash site when he was stopped by the sheriff’s deputy.

“The driver said that he didn’t remember clearly what had happened, but that he thought the Honda had flipped at least twice,” the deputy said of his roadside interview with Malvaez. “He said that he looked at the car and thought that it was not damaged too badly, and that the engine started as soon as he turned the key. He said he just wanted to go home, so that’s what he was doing.”

The case has been turned over to the Texas Department of Public Safety Highway Patrol for continued investigation.

November 6, 2017

Nine arrests,
Oct. 30 - Nov. 6

By Marc Robertson
Nine people were taken into custody in La Salle County over the past week, according to the Sheriff’s Office, with arrests made by deputies, officers of the Encinal Police Department, and troopers of the Texas Department of Public Safety Highway Patrol, on a range of misdemeanor and felony charges as well as on local warrants for failure to meet court obligations.

Those arrested between Monday, October 30, and Monday, November 6, in addition to those being held for other jurisdictions, with arrest times logged at booking in the La Salle County Jail, are as follows:

Jeanette Perales, 42, of Cotulla; arrested 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 31, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrant for revocation of probation on a state jail felony charge of forgery; released on bond after three hours.

Roel Eloy Trejo, 35, of Bandera, Texas; arrested 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 31, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrant issued in La Salle County Court for failure to appear in court on a charge of possession or delivery of drug paraphernalia; remains in jail as of Nov. 6.

David Anthony Colchado, 44, of Cotulla; arrested 5:20 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 2, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrants issued by La Salle County Justice of the Peace for three counts of contributing to truancy or non-attendance; released on bond after one day, 20 hours.

Maria Castro, 31, of Encinal; arrested 7:36 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 4, by the Encinal PD; warrant issued in La Salle County for failure to meet a court obligation on a charge of driving without a license; released after 18 hours on promise to pay fines.

Elizabeth Sanchez, 24, of Laredo; arrested 1:10 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 5, by the Texas DPS; Class B misdemeanor driving while intoxicated; released on bond after 11 hours.

Patricio Niaves III, 30, of Cotulla; arrested 2:46 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 5, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrants issued by La Salle County Justice of the Peace for failing to meet court obligations on charges of speeding, game animal hunting violation, failing to maintain financial responsibility, and failing to appear in court or comply with court orders; released after 13 hours on promise to pay fines.

Abel Garcia, 19, of Laredo; arrested 5:44 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 5, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrant issued in La Salle County for failing to meet a court obligation on a charge of speeding; released on bond after one hour.

Ricardo Soto, 46, of Encinal; arrested 8:55 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 5, by the Encinal PD; warrants issued by La Salle County Justice of the Peace for displaying an expired license plate, driving with an open container of alcohol in the vehicle, and failing to appear in court; remains in jail as of Nov. 6.

Jose Alfredo Garcia, 19, of Laredo; arrested 11:11 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 5, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrant issued in Bexar County on a charge of evading arrest or detention; remains in jail as of Nov. 6.

*Addendum: Those previously listed as still in jail and since released or transferred include Michael Finis Turner, court-ordered release after 61 days, 15 hours; Serafin Miranda, court-ordered release after 51 days, one hour; Shannon Nicole Rea, court-ordered release after 45 days, one hour; Mariah Ashley Flores, transferred after eight days, 15 hours; and Anita Ruiz, released on bond after two days, 23 hours. 

October 31, 2017

JP signs new arrest 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 meet court-ordered obligations.

Those for whom warrants are being signed will be subject to arrest at home, at work or in the course of routine traffic stops when they are identified by a peace officer.

All those who have unresolved cases or who have failed to meet appointments to see a judge, pay fines or meet other obligations after being cited will be subject to immediate arrest and face additional charges. All those with outstanding citations at the JP’s office should make court appearances at the office on Center Street adjoining Cotulla Veterans Park downtown and have forfeited the right to make arrangements by telephone. A telephone call does not constitute a court appearance.

Arrest warrants are being signed for the following:

Belena H De Los Santos, 50, of Cotulla; driving while license is suspended or not valid.

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

Juan Javier Martinez, 55, of Eagle Pass; violating a promise to appear in court, permit violation, driving without a commercial vehicle inspection certificate, excess vehicle weight on zoned road.

Oscar Palacios, 34, of Laredo; failure to appear in court (two counts), speeding, disregarding signal at railroad crossing, driving without a license.

Jose Maria Ramirez, 59, of Cotulla; failure to appear in court, driving with an expired license.

Daniel Adrian Salazar, 20, of Cotulla; driving while license is not valid.

Pedro Salazar III, 26, of Laredo; displaying an expired license plate, speeding.

Lorenza James Spinks, 32, of Hobson; failure to appear in court, excess vehicle weight on zoned road, failure to retain duty status.

Santana I Vasquez, 46, of San Antonio; child safety seat violation, speeding.

Luis Castillo, 25, of Dilley; driving while license is suspended or not valid.  

October 30, 2017

13 arrests,
Oct. 23-30

By Marc Robertson
Thirteen people were jailed on a range of misdemeanor and felony charges in La Salle County last week, with arrests made by sheriff’s deputies and officers of the Encinal Police Department.

Those taken into custody, in addition to detainees being held for other jurisdictions, between Monday, October 23, and Monday, Oct. 30, with arrest times logged at booking in the La Salle County Jail, are as follows:

Cynthia Elizabeth Mata, 28, of Rio Bravo, Texas; arrested 11:24 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 24, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrant issued in La Salle County for state jail felony failure to appear in court; remains in jail as of Oct. 30.

Jiovanni Rodriguez, 22, of Laredo; arrested 12:25 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 25, by the Sheriff’s Office; Class B misdemeanor possession of marijuana; remains in jail as of Oct. 30.

Margarito Duenas Castillo, 58, of Amery, Wisconsin; arrested 9:02 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 26, by the Encinal PD; Class A misdemeanor driving while intoxicated, Class B misdemeanor driving with an open container of alcohol in the vehicle; released on bond after 22 hours.

Arturo B. Castor, 38, of Cotulla; arrested 12:04 a.m. Friday, Oct. 27, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrants issued by La Salle County Justice of the Peace for driving without a license, driving while license is not valid and failing to appear in court; court-ordered release after 20 hours.

Joseph Santana Garcia, 18, of Dilley; arrested 11:05 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 28, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrant issued by La Salle County Justice of the Peace for failing to meet a court obligation on a charge of driving with expired vehicle registration; court-ordered release after 15 hours.

Lauro Ruiz, 40, of Pearsall; arrested 3:20 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 29, by the Sheriff’s Office; misdemeanor disorderly conduct; court-ordered release after ten hours.

Angel Garcia., 21, of Cotulla; arrested 3:25 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 29, by the Sheriff’s Office; misdemeanor disorderly conduct; court-ordered release after 11 hours.

Maritza Velma Gonzalez, 27, of Cotulla; arrested 3:15 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 29, by the Sheriff’s Office; misdemeanor disorderly conduct; court-ordered release after 11 hours.

Iliana Nereida Gonzales, 34, of Laredo; arrested 3:15 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 29, by the Sheriff’s Office; misdemeanor disorderly conduct; court-ordered release after 12 hours.

Arturo Cedillo Jr., 45, of Laredo; arrested 3:30 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 29, by the Sheriff’s Office; misdemeanor disorderly conduct; court-ordered release after ten hours.

Amy Garcia Gonzalez, 35, of Cotulla; arrested 2 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 29, by the Sheriff’s Office; misdemeanor public intoxication; court-ordered release after 13 hours.

Anita Ruiz, 44, of Pearsall; arrested 6:57 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 29, by the Sheriff’s Office; Class B misdemeanor driving while license is not valid with a prior conviction; remains in jail as of Oct. 30.

Edward Acuna, 36, of Corpus Christi, Texas; arrested 8:22 a.m. Monday, Oct. 30, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrant issued by Austin Pardon & Parole Board for parole violation; remains in jail as of Oct. 30.

*Addendum: Those previously listed as still in jail and since released or transferred include Ricardo Sierra, court-ordered release after 80 days, 22 hours; Cesar Antonio Adams Jr., court-ordered release after 24 days, seven hours; and Irene Contreras, court-ordered release after 14 days, 18 hours.

October 26, 2017

Grand jury indictments...

Encinal trio faces federal felony
drug charges after DEA investigation

Two Encinal women were arrested by local and federal agents last week and a man was served with charges while in custody after a grand jury in Laredo handed down indictments against each in connection with a drug traffic investigation that began in September.

Case reports and officer statements indicate Nelda Priscilla Reyes, 53, Maria Irma Sanchez Soto, 55, and Miguel Angel Reyes, 31, were served with drug-related felony charges by agents of the US Drug Enforcement Administration last week after federal indictments were signed on October 24. Each has been charged with felony possession of controlled substances – namely more than 400 grams of crystal methamphetamine and more than 22 grams of cocaine.

Nelda Reyes was taken into custody at an address in the 700 block of Goft Street in Cotulla on the federal arrest warrant on Thursday morning, Oct. 26. Soto was arrested on the federal warrant in Encinal after she was identified in a vehicle with an expired registration during the course of a routine traffic stop. Miguel Reyes was being held in the Webb County Jail on a charge of human smuggling when he was served with the indictment Thursday.

Agents have indicated the women were found with the narcotics on September 14, during the course of an investigation by the La Salle County Sheriff’s Office and the DEA into drug traffic activity at a residence on Berry Street in Encinal.

The case is supported by further evidence that included interviews and surveillance, according to officers, and investigations conducted by the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force.

Possible sentencing on the federal drug charges, if the three suspects are convicted, includes prison terms of up to 40 years.

October 23, 2017

12 arrests,
Oct. 16-23

By Marc Robertson
Twelve people were jailed on a range of misdemeanor and felony 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 taken into custody, in addition to detainees being held for other jurisdictions, between Monday, October 16, and Monday, Oct. 23, with arrest times logged at booking in the La Salle County Jail, are as follows:

Jesus Roberto Tellez, 34, of Cotulla; arrested 8:55 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 18, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrants issued in La Salle District Court for third-degree felony probation violation and state jail felony probation violation, possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver; released on bond after one day, seven hours.

Robert Bryan Campirano, 31, of Crystal City; arrested 11:33 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 18, by the Texas DPS; warrant issued in Dimmit County for misdemeanor theft by check; released on bond after one day, five hours.

Kenji Guy Dorsey-Imabori, 23, of Pearland, Texas; arrested 1:14 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 18, by the Texas DPS; Class B misdemeanor driving while license is not valid with a previous conviction; released on bond after two days, eight hours.

Dominique Renee Lopez, 25, of Cotulla; arrested 8:15 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 18, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrant issued in La Salle County Court for failure to appear in court on a charge of assault causing bodily injury to a family member; released on bond after one day, 12 hours.

Leopoldo Rodriguez Jr., 34, of Laredo; arrested 9 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 18, by the Texas DPS; state jail felony money laundering up to $30,000; released on bond after 20 hours.

Elias Isaiah Esparza, 21, of Cotulla; arrested 2:26 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 21, by the Sheriff’s Office; misdemeanor public intoxication; released on bond after six hours.

Rodolfo Valentin Garcia, 39, of Fort Worth; arrested 12:12 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 21, by the Texas DPS; state jail felony driving while intoxicated with a child passenger under age 15; remains in jail as of Monday, Oct. 23.

Mariah Ashley Flores, 17, of San Antonio; arrested 9:50 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 21, by the Encinal PD; warrant issued in Bexar County for theft; remains in jail as of Monday, Oct. 23.

Jack Daniel Coleman, 28, of Cotulla; arrested 2:57 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 22, by the Texas DPS; Class B misdemeanor driving while intoxicated; remains in jail as of Monday, Oct. 23.

Victor Emmanuel Fernandez, 29, of Laredo; arrested 9:20 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 22, by the Texas DPS; Class B misdemeanor driving while intoxicated; released on bond after 11 hours.

Veronica Vasquez Marroquin, 41, of Gardendale; arrested 12:24 a.m. Monday, Oct. 23, by the Texas DPS; Class B misdemeanor driving while intoxicated; released on bond after 18 hours.

Eric Scott Sierra, 39, of Cotulla; arrested 9:13 p.m. Monday, Oct. 23, by the Sheriff’s Office; Class A misdemeanor family violence assault causing bodily injury; remains in jail as of Monday, Oct. 23.

*Addendum: Those previously listed as still in jail and since released or transferred include Leanna Janae Rios, released on bond after 30 days, 17 hours; Roger Salinas, court-ordered release after 21 days, seven hours; and Chris Caswell Tamayo, court-ordered release after 13 days, 15 hours.

October 17, 2017

Quarter-mile exclusion zone...

Firefighters surround
tank battery blaze after blast

By Marc Robertson
The ignition of an oil tank battery is under investigation by Carrizo Oil & Gas this week in the wake of an apparent explosion and fire at an energy industry site in northern La Salle County on Tuesday morning, October 17.

Emergency services were dispatched to the scene on the Ledwig Ranch between Millett and Dilley shortly after 10:48 a.m. Tuesday and arrived to find fires near a number of upright storage tanks. Acting Chief Daniel Mendez of the La Salle Fire Rescue & EMS noted in a brief statement that it appeared an initial blast at the scene had extinguished itself and that peripheral fires remained.

Preliminary reports from the scene indicated that two oilfield workers sustained injuries and required helicopter transport to hospital in San Antonio, although the fire chief said the call for helicopter transport should not be interpreted as injuries having been severe or life threatening. There has been no further statement regarding the workers’ conditions.

Firefighters established a quarter-mile exclusion zone, surrounded the scene and remained at the site with several units to help extinguish remaining fires and prevent the possible spread of wildfires in the open areas.

Although situated within ten miles of Dilley, the incident did not warrant evacuation of any residential areas or schools, according to the fire chief. Information regarding the incident was relayed to Dilley ISD administrators.
  

October 17, 2017

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 meet court-ordered obligations.

Those for whom warrants are being signed will be subject to arrest at home, at work or in the course of routine traffic stops when they are identified by a peace officer.

All those who have unresolved cases or who have failed to meet appointments to see a judge, pay fines or meet other obligations after being cited will be subject to immediate arrest and face additional charges. All those with outstanding citations at the JP’s office should make court appearances at the office on Center Street adjoining Cotulla Veterans Park downtown and have forfeited the right to make arrangements by telephone. A telephone call does not constitute a court appearance.

Arrest warrants are being signed for the following:

Christian Oliver Alaniz, 44, of Cotulla; driving without a license, speeding, seatbelt violation.

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

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

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

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

Christopher Andrew Sandoval, 24, of Cotulla; two counts of failing to appear in court, failing to maintain financial responsibility, driving with defective tail lamps.

Caesar Ismael Villarreal, 30, of San Antonio; driving with excess vehicle weight on a zoned roadway.

Steve Eusebio Sosa, 28, of Cotulla; driving without a license.

Rafael Garcia Jr, 56, of Bishop, Texas; failing to secure cargo, speeding, driving a vehicle over legal size and of excess weight.

Lizzeth Alvarado Martin, 25, of Laredo; violating a promise to appear in court, child safety seat violation, driving without a license, speeding.
  

October 17, 2017

TxDOT reports collecting
10 million cubic feet of storm debris

The Texas Department of Transportation reported in a press release Tuesday, October 17, that its employees have helped gather ten million cubic feet of debris in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, which struck the Gulf Coast at the end of August.

The collected debris, including the remains of structures, vegetation and other obstacles on state roadways and adjoining areas, amounts to the equivalent of 186 football fields in size and was gathered in large part from the four TxDOT districts most impacted by the storm.

“From Corpus Christi to Houston and numerous towns in between, TxDOT crews have worked tirelessly to help clear roadways and help citizens in their ongoing recovery efforts,” the agency noted in its statement Tuesday.

“We continue to deliver much needed service to those communities seeking our assistance,” TxDOT Executive Director Marc Williams said. “I am so proud of the men and women of TxDOT who have so selflessly given their time and energy to this clean-up effort, even while many of them continue coping with their own personal losses.”

More than 600 TxDOT employees working weekly rotations have been brought in from around the state to assist local employees with debris removal in the hardest-hit areas on the coast from Corpus Christi to Beaumont, according to the transportation department, which adds that more than 500 road closures impacted the state transportation system at the height of the storm.

Today, only one road -- Park Road 1C in Buescher State Park in Bastrop County -- remains closed due to damage. Additionally, more than 4,300 bridges were inspected following the storm and only 13 required some repair, according to TxDOT, and of the 25 state assistance requests for debris removal that the department received, work has been completed in 10 counties and cities.
  

October 16, 2017

11 arrests,
Oct. 9-16

By Marc Robertson
The La Salle County Sheriff’s Office has confirmed that 11 individuals were arrested over the past week on a range of felony and misdemeanor charges as well as on warrants for failing to comply with court orders.

Arrests between Monday, October 9, and Monday, Oct. 16, were made by La Salle County sheriff’s deputies, officers of the Cotulla Patrol Division and the Encinal Police Department, and by troopers of the Texas Department of Public Safety Highway Patrol.

Those taken into custody, with arrest times logged at booking in the La Salle County Jail, in addition to those being held for other jurisdictions, are as follows:

Francisco Martinez, 52, of Cotulla; arrested 5:42 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 12, by the Sheriff’s Office; misdemeanor public intoxication; released on bond after 18 hours.

Josepha Ernestina Lara, 42, of Cotulla; arrested 11:54 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 12, by the Sheriff’s Office; third-degree felony possession of a controlled substance in Penalty Group 1 in a drug-free zone, Class A misdemeanor public lewdness; released on bond after one day, 17 hours.

Roberto Angeles Lopez, 32, of Mexia, Texas; arrested 11:54 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 12, by the Sheriff’s Office; Class A misdemeanor public lewdness; released on bond after 13 hours.

Bobby Ramirez, 27, of Cotulla; arrested 1:51 a.m. Friday, Oct. 13, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrants issued by La Salle County Justice of the Peace for failing to comply with a court order or to appear in court, warrant issued in La Salle District Court for failure to appear in court; released on bond after 11 hours.

Oscar Rene Niavez, 27, of Dilley; arrested 1:51 a.m. Friday, Oct. 13, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrants issued by La Salle County Justice of the Peace for two misdemeanor counts of driving without a license, speeding, and failing to comply with a court obligation on a charge of littering; court-ordered release after ten hours.

Edgar Ivan Hernandez, 29, of San Antonio; arrested 6:55 a.m. Friday, Oct. 13, by the Sheriff’s Office; Class B misdemeanor driving while license is not valid with a previous conviction, warrants issued on five counts of failing to comply with a court order or to appear in court; released on bond after one day, seven hours.

Andrew Ezekiel De La Garza, 24, of Cotulla; arrested 11:40 p.m. Friday, Oct. 13, by the Texas DPS; warrant issued in Bexar County for theft by check up to $750; released on bond after three hours.

Rafael Merla, 24, of Laredo; arrested 11:36 p.m. Friday, Oct. 13, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrants issued by La Salle County Justice of the Peace on two counts of violating a promise to appear in court; released on bond after three hours.

Esiquiel Ayala Romero, 35, of Cotulla; arrested 3:51 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 14, by the Sheriff’s Office; state jail felony possession of a controlled substance in Penalty Group 1, misdemeanor public intoxication; released on bond after six hours.

Oscar Perez, 28, of Cotulla; arrested 1:36 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 14, by the Sheriff’s Office; third-degree felony assault of a family or household member by impeding breath or circulation; released on bond after eight hours.

Jose Saucedo Morales, 51, of Bastrop, Texas; arrested 4:55 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 14, by the Sheriff’s Office; misdemeanor public intoxication; released on bond after 17 hours.

*Addendum: those previously listed as still in jail and since released or transferred include Ricardo Alberto Gonzalez, released on bond after 92 days, 11 hours; Cody Dee Canion, released on bond after 33 days, 20 hours; Gustavo Garcia Garza, released on bond after 21 hours; and Abelardo Molina, released on bond after one day.

October 9, 2017

14 arrests,
October 2-9

By Marc Robertson
Fourteen individuals were taken into custody over the past week in La Salle County on a range of felony and misdemeanor charges, according to the sheriff’s office.

Arrests between Monday, October 2, and Monday, Oct. 9, were made by sheriff’s deputies, officers of the Cotulla City Patrol and 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 in La Salle County on behalf of other counties, with arrest times logged at booking in the county jail, included the following:

Roger Salinas, 36, address not listed; arrested 4 a.m. Monday, Oct. 2, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrant issued in La Salle District Court for revocation of probation; on hold for Denton County; remains in jail as of Oct. 9.

Juan Alberto Ramirez, 60, of San Antonio; arrested 2:55 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 3, by the Sheriff’s Office; misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia; released after 13 hours on promise to pay fines.

Yvonne Luna, 51, of Cotulla; arrested 3:12 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 3, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrant issued by La Salle County Justice of the Peace for failing to meet a court obligation on a charge of violating a promise to appear in court, and warrants issued in La Salle County for failing to meet court obligations on charges of not maintaining financial responsibility and driving with an expired motor vehicle inspection certificate; released after 12 hours on promise to pay fines.

Joslyn Barba, 27, of San Antonio; arrested 2:55 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 3, by the Sheriff’s Office; state jail felony possession of a controlled substance in Penalty Group 1; released on bond after one day, 12 hours.

Chris Caswell Tamayo, 39, of Cotulla; arrested 9:50 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 3, by the Sheriff’s Office; arrests issued by La Salle County Justices of the Peace for two counts of driving while license is not valid, four counts of failing to appear in court or violating a promise to appear, and failing to meet a court obligation on a charge of driving while license is not valid; remains in jail as of Oct. 9.

Jack Earl Hooks, 67, of Dilley; arrested 11:40 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 4, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrant issued in Frio County for third-degree felony violation of a protective order; released on bond after one day, six hours.

Jerry Aguilar Jr., 36, of Del Rio; arrested 9:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 4, by the Texas DPS; Class B misdemeanor driving while intoxicated; released on bond after 22 hours.

Jesus Martin Villezcas III, 21, of Laredo; arrested 10:51 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 5, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrants issued in La Salle County Court for violating a promise to appear in court and possession of drug paraphernalia; released after four hours on promise to pay fines.

Anthony Howard Tschirhart, 54, of Houston; arrested 6:25 p.m. Friday, Oct. 6, by the Texas DPS; Class B misdemeanor possession of marijuana; released on bond after one day, 16 hours.

Angelica San Miguel, 38, of Cotulla; arrested 12 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 7, by the Sheriff’s Office; Class B misdemeanor possession of marijuana; released on bond after one day, 17 hours.

Julian Mojica Jr., 38, of Cotulla; arrested 12 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 7, by the Sheriff’s Office; Class B misdemeanor possession of marijuana; released on bond after one day, 17 hours.

Irene Contreras, 32, of Cotulla; arrested 6:47 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 8, by the Cotulla City Patrol; wanted by Austin Pardon & Parole Board for state jail felony parole violation; remains in jail as of Oct. 9.

Gustavo Garcia Garza, 65, of Encinal; arrested 10:14 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 8, by the Encinal PD; Class A misdemeanor terroristic threat of a family or household member; released on bond after 21 hours.

Abelardo Molina, 34, of Cotulla; arrested 9 p.m. Monday, Oct. 9, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrant issued in La Salle District Court for failing to appear in court on a charge of possession of a controlled substance in Penalty Group 1; remains in jail as of Oct. 9.

*Addendum: Those previously listed as still in jail and since released or transferred include Jason Garcia, released on bond after 50 days, 23 hours; Ricardo Ramirez Jr., released on bond after nine days, two hours; Eloy Rodriguez Jr., released after 17 hours on promise to pay fines; and Crispin Hernandez, released after 18 hours on promise to pay fines.

October 7, 2017

Investigation begins into gas explosion

FM 469 closed moments before blast launches debris 3/4 mile

By Marc Robertson
The Texas Railroad Commission and the state’s environmental quality agency have begun an investigation into the possible causes and effects of a fire and gas explosion that took place at an energy industry site in eastern La Salle County on Saturday afternoon, October 7.

Emergency responders were dispatched to the property operated through Carrizo Oil & Gas some five miles north of Los Angeles on FM 469 shortly after 2:30 p.m. Saturday after being notified that a fuel tanker truck had begun to burn.

According to a statement provided this week by the La Salle Fire Rescue & EMS, firefighters and sheriff’s deputies were assisted by Texas Highway Patrol troopers in promptly closing the two-lane farm-to-market road when it became apparent that the tanker truck fire threatened to spread to an adjoining fuel storage facility. Firefighters reported hearing a high-pitched whistling sound indicative of pressurized gases leaking at the site of the fire, according to a report on the incident. All responders were immediately instructed to retreat because of the apparent risk of fire spreading to the storage tank.  

Acting Fire Chief Daniel Mendez said on Monday that an evacuation zone of an approximate one-mile radius was established and all traffic on FM 469 halted at intersections in Los Angeles and Millett.

Mendez said that shortly after the exclusion zone had been created and emergency vehicles were retreating to a safe distance from the fire, an explosion tore apart the fuel tank and sent one end of the metal container hundreds of feet into the air. The metal tank cap landed on FM 469 approximately three fourths of a mile from the blast site.

There have been no serious injuries reported from the incident. Emergency responders have noted that the tanker truck was connected to a liquid propane (LPG) fueling line and that small fires resulting from the initial explosion were discovered at or near the blast site. Firefighters worked to extinguish those and to eliminate further risk of wildfires spreading into the brush from the scene.

Mendez said firefighters reported that the explosion had completely destroyed the tanker truck and that a minimal amount of fire remained in the vehicle wreckage.

Representatives of Carrizo Oil & Gas and Select Energy arrived on scene Saturday to assess the damage and to begin their own investigation into the causes of the fire and subsequent explosion.  
  
Viewed from an emergency responder vehicle Saturday afternoon, Oct. 7, a ball of flame erupts from a fuel storage tank at the moment of explosion following a fire in a tanker truck that had been parked beside it at an energy industry site near Los Angeles in eastern La Salle County. A one-mile exclusion zone had been established moments before the blast.
The metal cap of a fuel storage tank lies across FM 469 in eastern La Salle County on Saturday afternoon, Oct. 7, after being flung three fourths of a mile in an explosion at an energy industry site.