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September 20, 2018

JP signs arrest warrants for court no-shows

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:

Juan Arriaga, 39, of Laredo; violating a promise to appear in court, driving without a commercial license, failing to show a medical certificate.

Kayla Marquette Burley, 30, of Weimar, Texas; violating a promise to appear in court (three counts), speeding, driving without a license, child safety seat violation.

Julio Alejandro Cerda, 20, of Cotulla; violating a promise to appear in court (two counts), driving without a license (two counts), failing to maintain financial responsibility (two counts), minor in possession of tobacco, disregarding a stop sign, possession of drug paraphernalia, assault by contact.

Alan Garcia, 24, of Laredo; failng to appear in court, failing to maintain financial responsibility, failing to drive in a single lane of traffic, driving without a license.

Idalia DeLeon, 37, of Cotulla; violating a promise to appear in court, open container violation, failing to appear in court, failing to show proof of financial responsibility, child safety seat violation.

Francisco Gomez, 36, of Somerset, Texas; failing to appear in court, failing to show proof of financial responsibility, driving without a license.

Carl V. Neathery Jr., 48, of Cotulla; failing to appear in court, speeding.

Mike Nickles, 39, of Dilley; violating a promise to appear in court, driving without a license.

Katrina Nicole Ramon, 30, of Dilley; failing to appear in court, disorderly conduct, public intoxication.

Humberto Sanchez, 32, of Laredo; violating a promise to appear in court (two counts), failing to maintain financial responsibility (two counts), driving without a license (two counts).  

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.
  

September 10, 2018

Arrests,
Sept. 3-10: Officers
cuff four

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

Those jailed between Monday, September 3, and Monday, September 10, 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:

Nathan David Guzman, 31, of Cotulla; arrested 12:36 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 5, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrant issued in La Salle District Court for failure to meet a court obligation or to appear in court; released on bond after 19 hours.

Jill Dean Hall, 50, of Elmendorf, Texas; arrested 8:28 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 8, by the Encinal PD; third-degree felony possession of a controlled substance in Penalty Group 1, warrant issued in Floresville for failure to appear in court on a charge of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle; released on bond after two days.

Ricardo Gabriel Madrigal Jr., 23, of Rio Medina, Texas; arrested 8:28 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 8, by the Encinal PD; third-degree felony possession of a controlled substance in Penalty Group 1, Class A misdemeanor evading arrest or detention; remains in jail as of Sept. 10.

David Murcia Rivera, 22, of Floresville, Texas; arrested 9:36 p.m. Monday, Sept. 10, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrant issued in Dallas County for Class A misdemeanor terroristic threat upon a family; remains in jail as of Sept. 10.

*Addendum: Those previously listed as still in jail and since released or transferred include Gregory Draeger, transferred after 77 days, 20 hours; Alfredo Velasquez, released on bond after 30 days, one hour; and Hugo Salinas Hernandez, transferred after 27 days, three hours. 

September 4, 2018

JP signs new 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:

Kathy Lee Arriazola, 32, of Dilley; unsafe lane change, driving without a license.

Julio Alejandro Cerda, 20, of Cotulla; failure to appear in court, violating a promise to appear in court, assault by contact, driving without a license (three counts), failure to maintain financial responsibility (two counts), minor in possession of tobacco, possession of drug paraphernalia.

Nicholas Galvan, 31, of San Antonio; violating a promise to appear in court, speeding, child safety seat violation, driving while license is not valid.

Garrison Cade Kelley, 22, of Beaumont, Texas; possession of drug paraphernalia, driving without a license, failure to maintain financial responsibility.

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

Francesca Nicol Quijano, 25, of La Pryor, Texas; violating a promise to appear in court, child safety seat violation, driving without a license.

Elpidio M. Rodriguez, 35, of Cotulla; child safety seat violation, driving without a license.

Juan Ramiro Sosa Jr., 21, of Cotulla; violating a promise to appear in court (two counts), driving without a license, window tint violation, driving while license is not valid (four counts), failure to appear in court, passing in a no-passing zone, possession of drug paraphernalia, failure to maintain financial responsibility.

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

William Jeffrey Williams, 49, of Three Rivers, Texas; violating a promise to appear in court, speeding.

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.

September 3, 2018

40 jailed, 
​August 13 -
September 3

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

One man was arrested on a criminal trespass charge a week after spending over a month in jail.

Those jailed between Monday, August 13, and Monday, September 3, 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:

Eduardo Nieto III, 20, of Cotulla; arrested 11:23 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 14, by the Texas DPS; warrant issued in La Salle County for Class B misdemeanor driving while intoxicated with an open container of alcohol in the vehicle; released on bond after nine hours.

David Gonzales, 40, of Cotulla; arrested 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 14, 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 failing to drive in a single lane; released on bond after three hours.

Hector Pulido-Molina, 49, of Michoacan, Mexico; arrested 3:13 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 14, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrant issued in La Salle County for failure to appear in court on a felony charge of fraud; on hold for the US Border Patrol; transferred after 19 hours.

Arturo Castor, 39, of Cotulla; arrested 7:47 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 14, by the Texas DPS; warrants issued by La Salle County Justice of the Peace for driving without a license (two counts), failure to appear in court (two counts), and warrant issued in La Salle County for driving while license is not valid; released on bond after 22 hours.

Dezerae Renae Delacruz, 25, of Cotulla; arrested 12:42 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 15, 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 La Salle District Court for probation violation; released after 15 hours.

Jose Rodriguez, 35, of Cotulla; arrested 2:06 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 15, by the Sheriff’s Office; Class A misdemeanor evading arrest or detention, warrants issued by La Salle County Justice of the Peace for driving without a license and failure to appear in court or comply with a court obligation; released on bond after 17 hours.

Belinda Diane Fletcher, 54, of Cotulla; arrested 1:45 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 16, 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 on bond after one day, nine hours.

Gary Alvarez Jr., 28, of San Antonio; arrested 10:56 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 16, by the Encinal PD; warrants issued in La Salle County for speeding and driving while license is not valid; released on bond after 19 hours.

Joanna Elizelda Martinez, 28, of San Antonio; arrested 10:56 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 16, by the Encinal PD; warrants issued by La Salle County Justice of the Peace for violating a promise to appear in court, and driving without a license; released on bond after 19 hours.

Senovio Miguel Perales, 20, of Cotulla; arrested 3:30 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 18, by the Texas DPS; Class B misdemeanor driving while intoxicated; released on bond after nine hours.

Noah Mario Castor, 20, of Cotulla; arrested 2:03 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 19, 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 without a license; released after 18 hours.

Jesus Alvarado Jr., 48, of Cotulla; arrested 1:44 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 19, by the Sheriff’s Office; Class A misdemeanor criminal mischief up to $2,500 in damages, warrant issued by La Salle County Justice of the Peace for failure to meet a court obligation on a charge of assault; released on bond after 11 days, six hours.

Raul Arellano Mejia, 47, of Houston; arrested 9:05 p.m. Monday, Aug. 20, by the Sheriff’s Office; Class B misdemeanor driving while license is not valid with a previous conviction; remains in jail as of Sept. 3.

Kevin Raudel Ramirez, 25, of San Antonio; arrested 8:25 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 21, by the Texas DPS; warrants issued in La Salle County and by La Salle County Justice of the Peace for driving without a license, failure to appear in court, speeding, violating a promise to appear in court, and warrant issued in Jim Hogg County for failure to appear in court on a charge of marijuana possession; released on bond after two days, 17 hours.

Eduardo Villarreal, 47, of Cotulla; arrested 3:38 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 21, by the Texas DPS; warrants issued by La Salle County Justice of the Peace for failure to comply with a court order or to appear in court (two counts); released on bond after six hours.

Jose Angel Benavides, 30, of Cotulla; arrested 3:16 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 22, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrant issued in La Salle District court for third-degree felony probation violation, warrants issued by La Salle County Justice of the Peace for window tint violation (two counts), and child safety seat violation; remains in jail as of Sept. 3.

Jose Antonio Ramirez, 45, of Lolita, Texas; arrested 12:26 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 22, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrant issued in La Salle District Court for failure to appear in court on a felony drunk-driving charge with a history of prior convictions; remains in jail as of Sept. 3.

Mario Daniel Torres, 36, of Dilley; arrested 3:05 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 23, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrants issued by La Salle County Justice of the Peace for child safety seat violation, failure to appear in court; released on bond after six hours.

Adan Ruiz Jr., 26, of Cotulla; arrested 3:16 a.m. Thursday, Aug, 23, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrant issued in Bexar County for Class A misdemeanor assault causing bodily injury; transferred after six days, six hours.

Angel Renee Lopez, 19, of Cotulla; arrested 11:58 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 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; released on bond after six hours.

Derick Ray Rodriguez, 21, of Boerne, Texas; arrested 1:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 23, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrant issued in La Salle District Court for revocation of supervised release on third-degree felony charge of family violence assault by occlusion; released on bond after five hours.

Christian Lamar Porter, 35, of Plano, Texas; arrested 5:50 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 23, by the Sheriff’s Office; second-degree felony robbery, Class B misdemeanor possession of marijuana; remains in jail as of Sept. 3.

Perlita Gonzalez, 37, of Pharr, Texas; arrested 3:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 24, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrants issued in La Salle County for probation violation on a charge of marijuana possession up to 5 lbs. in weight (two counts); remains in jail as of Sept. 3.

Joe David Rodriguez, 30, of Cotulla; arrested 2:06 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 25, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrant issued through US Marshals Service on probation violation; court-ordered release after two days, ten hours.

David Meza, 31, of Laredo; arrested 2:10 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 25, 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 one day, two hours.

Saturnino Castro Garcia III, 37, of Cotulla; arrested 9:02 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 25, by the Sheriff’s Office; third-degree felony assault on a family or household member by impeding breath or circulation; remains in jail as of Sept. 3.

Cody Allen Hasler, 26, of Cotulla; arrested 11:50 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 25, by the Sheriff’s Office; Class B misdemeanor criminal trespass; remains in jail as of Sept. 3.

Obdulio Guerrero, 71, of Laredo; arrested 5:20 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 26, by the Texas DPS; Class B misdemeanor driving while intoxicated with an open container of alcohol in the vehicle; released on bond after 21 hours.

Marcus Ramos, 52, of Cotulla; arrested 7:37 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 26, by the Texas DPS; third-degree felony possession of a controlled substance in Penalty Group 1, Class A misdemeanor possession of a controlled substance in Penalty Group 3, Class B misdemeanor driving while intoxicated; released on bond after two days, 17 hours.

Jose E. Rodriguez, 57, of Cotulla; arrested 9:50 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 28, by the Sheriff’s Office; misdemeanor public intoxication, state jail felony arson of a building or vehicle, warrant issued by Illinois Department of Corrections for parole violation, hold for US Border Patrol and for Illinois Department of Corrections; remains in jail as of Sept. 3.

Erik Jasso, 27, of Zapata, Texas; arrested 3:51 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 28, by the Encinal PD; warrant issued in Zapata County for failure to appear in court; released after two days, one hour.

Armando Suarez DeLeon, 39, of Harlingen, Texas; arrested 7:10 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 29, by the Encinal PD; warrants issued in La Salle County for violating a promise to appear in court, failure to maintain financial responsibility, speeding; released on bond after 20 hours.

Marcos Garcia, 21, of Mission, Texas; arrested 2:58 a.m. Friday, Aug. 31, by the Sheriff’s Office; misdemeanor public intoxication; released on bond after 11 hours.

Guillermo Esqueda, 62, of Cotulla; arrested 9:30 a.m. Friday, Aug. 31, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrant issued in La Salle District Court for state jail felony theft; released on bond after three hours.

Robert Charles Davis, 55, of Cotulla; arrested 1:31 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 1, by the Texas DPS; Class B misdemeanor driving while intoxicated; released on bond after nine hours.

Jesus Cantu Garza, 39, of Cotulla; arrested 12:30 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 2, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrants issued by La Salle County Justice of the Peace for failure to appear in court (two counts), speeding, driving without a license, and failure to comply with a court order or to appear in court; released after 14 hours.

Jose Angel Martinez, 41, of Laredo; arrested 2:54 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 2, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrants issued in La Salle County and by La Salle County Justice of the Peace for violating a promise to appear in court or failing to meet a court order (four counts), displaying an expired license plate, driving without a license (three counts), failure to maintain financial responsibility, and disorderly conduct; remains in jail as of Sept. 3.

Pedro Sandoval Jr., 41, of Cotulla; arrested 4:47 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 2, by the Encinal PD; warrant issued in La Salle District Court for third-degree felony assault on a family or household member by impeding breath or circulation; released on bond after one day, one hour.

Carlos Alberto Tamez, 30, of San Antonio; arrested 7:50 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 2, by the Encinal PD; warrants issued by La Salle County Justice of the Peace for failure to appear in court, speeding, and driving while license is not valid; released on bond after 16 hours.

Adan Ruiz, 45, of Cotulla; arrested 8:24 a.m. Monday, Sept. 3, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrants issued by La Salle County Justice of the Peace for public intoxication, failure to appear in court, traveling with an open container of alcohol in the vehicle; remains in jail as of Sept. 3.

*Addendum: Those previously listed as remaining in jail and since released or transferred include Alberto Torres Rubio, released after 90 days, six hours; Cody Allen Hasler, released after 31 days, 13 hours; Domingo David Ramirez, released after 26 days, 13 hours; Olvidio Navarro Jr., released on bond after three days, 22 hours; and Gustavo Bustos, transferred after eight days, four hours.

August 13, 2018

Seven jailed, 
​August 6-13

By Marc Robertson
Seven individuals were taken into custody on a range of charges 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 jailed between Monday, August 6, and Monday, Aug. 13, 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:

Jorge Alberto Rodriguez, 36, of Cotulla; arrested 4:04 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 7, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrants issued by La Salle County Justice of the Peace for failure to comply with a court order or to appear in court, and violating a promise to appear in court; released on bond after 21 hours.

Pedro Rodriguez Hernandez, 40, of Pearsall; arrested 2:52 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 8, by the Sheriff’s Office; Class A misdemeanor evading arrest or detention, warrant issued by Austin Pardon & Parole on a violation for possession of dangerous drugs; remains in jail as of Aug. 13.

Alfredo Velasquez, 58, of Cotulla; arrested 9:13 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 8, by the Sheriff’s Office; Class B misdemeanor falsification of drug test results; remains in jail as of Aug. 13.

Hugo Salinas Hernandez, 48, of Cotulla; arrested 11:43 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 8, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrant issued in La Salle District Court for failure to appear in court on a charge of felony assault on a public servant (two counts); remains in jail as of Aug. 13.

Alexandria Rose Ramirez, 27, of Cotulla; arrested 12:52 p.m. Friday, Aug. 10, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrant issued by La Salle County Justice of the Peace for misdemeanor failure to maintain financial responsibility; released on bond after eight hours.

Olvidio Navarro Jr., 28, of Laredo; arrested 12 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 10, by the Sheriff’s Office; Class B misdemeanor criminal trespass; released after two days, 21 hours.

Gustavo Bustos, 23, of San Antonio; arrested 8:33 a.m. Monday, Aug. 13, by the Texas DPS; warrant issued in Webb County for state jail felony unauthorized use of a motor vehicle; remains in jail as of Aug. 13.

*Addendum: Those previously listed as still in jail and since released or transferred include Jack Daniel Coleman, transferred after 190 days, nine hours; Nathan Michael Guon, court-ordered release after 113 days, four hours; Emanuel Israel Hermoso, scheduled release after 36 days, 19 hours; Joselynn Barba, released on bonds after 32 days; Alberto F Morales Jr., released on bond after 12 days, four hours; Tyrone Hector Roman, court-ordered release after 13 days, two hours; Reymundo DeLeon, released after eight days, 16 hours; and Raquel Ermelinda Salyer, scheduled release after four days, 23 hours.

August 13, 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:

Ruben Carbajal, 42, of George West, Texas; driving while license is not valid, passing in a no-passing zone, violating a promise to appear in court.

Donald Lee Cook, 55, of Tow, Texas; driving while license is suspended, failing to cover load.

Bianca Belma Flores, 29, of Cotulla; possession of drug paraphernalia, disorderly conduct.

Rafael Garcia Jr., 50, of Bishop, Texas; failing to secure cargo, speeding, oversize vehicle violation, vehicle weight restriction violation.

Thomas Ralphie Mendez, 38, of Cotulla; failure to appear in court, public intoxication, driving without a license, disregarding a traffic signal, possession of drug paraphernalia, failure to display a driving license, failure to control speed.

Wesley Robert Morningstar, 48, of Pearsall; driving without a commercial license, speeding.

Eloy Saenz Jr., 35, of Edinburg, Texas; failure to appear in court, driving while license is not valid.

Daisy Villegas, 26, of Laredo; violating a promise to appear in court, driving while license is not valid, child safety seat violation.

Jesus Prado, 57, of Dilley; open container violation.

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

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.

August 9, 2018

Smuggler wanted drug sale revenues in his jail account...

Encinal trio goes to prison on federal charges

By Marc Robertson
Three narcotics traffic defendants from Encinal have been sentenced in a federal courtroom in Laredo to serve prison sentences for crimes committed in a 2017 conspiracy involving the possession and attempted sale of methamphetamine and cocaine.

Sentences were handed down August 9 by Federal Judge Marina Garcia Marmolejo, who heard cases presented on behalf of the Encinal Police Department, the La Salle County Sheriff’s Office and the US Drug Enforcement Administration.

Miguel Angel Reyes, 31, was charged in October 2017 with possession and intent to distribute 400 grams of methamphetamine and 22 grams of cocaine. Both are listed as federal offenses. Reyes had been in custody in Laredo during September 2017 on charges of drug possession and conspiracy to transport undocumented immigrants when he reportedly made a telephone call to his mother in Encinal, asking her to go to his house and retrieve a quantity of narcotics.

An investigation revealed that Reyes wanted his mother and her sister to sell the narcotics in order to pay his bills and to put the remaining revenues into his jail bank account.

Reyes has been sentenced to serve 12 years in prison, which will be followed by eight years of supervised release. He will also undergo 500 hours of drug treatment.

Reyes’ mother, Priscilla Nelda Reyes, 53, was arrested on the same federal felony drug possession and distribution charges, which were dismissed in court and replaced with a charge of knowingly failing to report a felony. She was sentenced on Aug. 9 to serve 18 months in prison with one year of supervised release following.

Reyes’ aunt, Maria Sanchez Soto, 55, was likewise arrested on the drug possession and distribution charges, which were likewise dismissed in favor of a charge of knowingly failing to report a felony. She has also been sentenced to serve 18 months in prison with one year of supervised release.

Officers of the Encinal PD, La Salle sheriff’s deputies, and DEA and US Border Patrol agents took part in the investigation and arrests.      

August 6, 2018

Five arrests, 
July 30 -
​August 6

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

Those jailed between Monday, July 30, and Monday, August 6, 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:

Jesus R Alvarado, 48, of Cotulla; arrested 2:37 a.m. Friday, August 3, by the Sheriff’s Office; Class A misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia; released on bond after one day, six hours.

Domingo David Ramirez, 35, of Cotulla; arrested 6:16 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 4, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrants issued by La Salle County Justice of the Peace for crossing where prohibited, violating a promise to appear in court, failure to maintain financial responsibility, bail jumping, and failure to appear in court; remains in jail as of Aug. 6.

Reymundo DeLeon, 53, of Cotulla; arrested 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 4, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrants issued by La Salle County Justice of the Peace for open container violation, and violating a promise to appear in court; remains in jail as of Aug. 6.

Raquel Ermelinda Salyer, 31, of Corpus Christi; arrested 11:17 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 5, 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, namely methamphetamine, in a drug-free zone; remains in jail as of Aug. 6.

Edmundo Contreras, 35, of Laredo; arrested 5:37 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 5, by the Encinal PD; warrants issued in La Salle County for speeding (two counts), and driving with expired license plates; released on bond after 20 hours.

*Addendum: Those previously listed as still in jail and since released or transferred include Brandon Lee Ruiz, released on bond after 29 days, nine hours; Jared Ross Ramirez, released after 16 days, ten hours; Tamra Jean Foulds, released after 11 days, 14 hours; Juan Jesus Oyervides Jr., released on bond after five days, 23 hours; Jesus Mario Sanchez-Sandoval, released on bond after one day, 23 hours; and Elizabeth Ramon, released on bond after 18 hours. 

July 30, 2018

14 arrests, 
July 23-30

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, officers of the Encinal Police Department and troopers of the Texas Department of Public Safety Highway Patrol. 

Those jailed between Monday, July 23, and Monday, July 30, 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:

Daniel M. Yanez, 54, of Bigfoot, Texas; arrested 10:28 p.m. Tuesday, July 24, by the Texas DPS; Class B misdemeanor driving while intoxicated with an open container of alcohol in the vehicle; released on bond after 11 hours.

Juan Manuel Arciba, 66, of Cotulla; arrested 5:48 p.m. Wednesday, July 25, by the Sheriff’s Office; detention commitment; court-ordered release after 12 hours.

Juan Jesus Oyervides Jr., 43, of Moore, Texas; arrested 3:08 p.m. Thursday, July 26, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrant issued in La Salle District Court for third-degree felony theft of a firearm, warrant issued in Frio County for third-degree felony theft of a firearm; remains in jail as of July 30.

Gabriel Ramos, 41, of Corpus Christi; arrested 5:23 p.m. Thursday, July 26, by the Texas DPS; Class B misdemeanor driving while license is not valid with a previous conviction; released on bond after 22 hours.

Charles Smith Jr., 38, of Cotulla; arrested 5:53 p.m. Thursday, July 26, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrants issued by La Salle County Justice of the Peace for failure to meet court obligations on charges of driving with an open container of alcohol in the vehicle and driving while license is not valid, warrant issued in La Salle County for failure to comply with a court order or to appear in court; released after 23 hours.

Michael Scott Samuels, 34, of Alice, Texas; arrested 6 p.m. Thursday, July 26, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrants issued in Comal County for unlawful possession of a weapon and possession of marijuana; released on bond after 21 hours.

Noe Gutierrez, 41, of Cotulla; arrested 11:33 p.m. Thursday, July 26, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrants issued by La Salle County Justices of the Peace for driving without a license, failure to comply with a court order or to appear in court (four counts); released on bond after 13 hours.

Alberto F. Morales Jr., 31, of San Antonio; arrested 11 a.m. Friday, July 27, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrants issued in La Salle County for second-degree felony delivery of a controlled substance in Penalty Group 1 (three counts); remains in jail as of July 30.

Rashaud DeShaun Ellis Randle, 25, of San Antonio; arrested 11 a.m. Friday, July 27, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrants issued in La Salle County for failure to appear in court on a charge of possession of a controlled substance in Penalty Group 3 and driving while license is not valid with a previous conviction; released on bond after seven hours.

Tyrone Hector Roman, 25, of Cotulla; arrested 10:20 p.m. Friday, July 27, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrants issued in La Salle County for failure to meet a court obligation on a charge of driving without a license (two counts), and failure to appear in court on a charge of possession of drug paraphernalia; remains in jail as of July 30.

Armando Davis III, 30, of Cotulla; arrested 10:24 p.m. Saturday, July 28, by the Encinal PD; Class A misdemeanor unlawfully carrying a weapon, misdemeanor public intoxication; released on bond after 20 hours.

Jesus Nieto Jr., 23, of Cotulla; arrested 7:15 p.m. Sunday, July 29, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrant issued in La Salle County for delivery of a controlled substance in Penalty Group 1; released on bond after five hours.

Jesus Mario Sanchez-Sandoval, 37, of Monte Rey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico; arrested 12:13 p.m. Monday, July 30, by the Sheriff’s Office; Class A misdemeanor unlawful restraint; remains in jail as of July 30.

Elizabeth Ramon, 31, of Encinal; arrested 8:40 p.m. Monday, July 30, 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 speeding; remains in jail as of July 30.

*Addendum: Those previously listed as still in jail and since released or transferred include Noel Maldonado, released on bond after five days, 20 hours.

July 27, 2018

Be alert, know the signs...

Counterfeit currency detected in South Texas

By Marc Robertson
The La Salle County Sheriff’s Office is echoing an alert this week from Stockmens National Bank in Cotulla regarding what may be a fresh surge in the amount of counterfeit currency circulating in the area.

Posting on social media Wednesday, July 25, bank representatives noted that staff have identified some counterfeit bills that were passed in the community and added a list of precautions all area residents should take and indicators people should heed when accepting paper currency.

“Please inspect bills carefully,” the bank noted in its post. “If they appear to be very thin, taped together or tear very easily, use caution.”

The bank is asking that anyone who discovers a counterfeit bill bring it to the bank on Main Street in downtown Cotulla or report the finding immediately to the La Salle County Sheriff’s Office.

La Salle Sheriff’s Investigator Homar Olivarez said on Friday that it is vital to a successful investigation that anyone who discovers a counterfeit bill report it as soon as possible in order to help officers trace its origins. Businesses and area residents alike are being encouraged to keep track of who may have passed the currency to them and should document any further helpful information for investigators.

All businesses are being reminded to issue detector pens to their cashiers, to train employees in how to detect counterfeit currency and not to rely on what may appear as previous detector pen strokes on the money, as those may likewise have been forged.

All US bills are printed on a fabric-and-paper blend that is recognizable by its strength and by the durability of its ink. The material contains extremely small fibers that may appear red or blue to the naked eye. All US paper currency carries an embedded watermark; recently issued high-value bills are now recognizable by a distinctive blue ribbon of vertical stripes that feel smooth to the touch and have an advanced 3-D printed image reflecting the face value of the bill.

Since earlier counterfeiting practices included printing higher values onto low-denomination bills that had been bleached of their ink, some detection practices will indicate that the currency is valid. In those cases, cashiers should observe poor print quality on the bills, missing details, incorrect watermarks or security ribbons, misalignment of the images on front and back of the currency, and in some cases poorly reproduced artwork and lettering.

Cashiers are also advised to observe unusual or suspicious behavior in those passing high-value currency ($20 and up), including apparent urgency or impatience, argumentative demeanor, partial concealment or folding of paper currency, and the use of large-denomination bills for small purchases.

All area residents are urged to inspect their own currency and to report any suspicious bills immediately to the bank or sheriff’s office.

July 24, 2018

Impounded
​vehicles

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

1999 Toyota sedan, white, VIN JT2BF22K1X0225838;
2003 Ford Expedition, green, VIN 1FMRU17L73LA35778;
2011 Chevrolet Camaro, black, VIN 2G1FK1EJ1B9198536;
2012 Chevrolet pickup, white, VIN 1GC1CVG1CF243366.

Claimants should contact the sheriff’s office at 101 Courthouse Square, Cotulla, Texas 78014, (830) 879-3044.

July 24, 2018

Children were sitting on
quarter million dollars' worth of narcotics...

Traffic stop yields
11-kilo cocaine cargo

By Marc Robertson
The routine traffic stop of a northbound sport utility vehicle on IH-35 between Cotulla and Dilley on Tuesday evening, July 24, resulted in the seizure of 11 kilos of cocaine worth more than a quarter million dollars, according to a report from the La Salle County Sheriff’s Office.

The case in which a Mexican national has been remanded into custody is now in the hands of the US Drug Enforcement Administration, whose agents are pursuing investigation and prosecution for narcotics smuggling.

In his report on the discovery, La Salle Sheriff’s Cpl. Anthony Zertuche said he was on patrol in northern La Salle County shortly before 6 p.m. Tuesday when he spotted a 1990s-model Chevrolet Suburban failing to maintain its lane of travel on the interstate. The corporal effected a traffic stop for the apparent violation near Milemarker 79. The vehicle bore license plates from Tamaulipas, Mexico, and was being driven by a man who has been identified as 38-year-old Francisco Alberto Valenzuela.

The driver was accompanied by a woman and two children, ages 13 and 8, all listed as Mexican nationals, according to Cpl. Zertuche, who interviewed the adults.

“I noticed inconsistencies in the stories that the driver and the adult female were giving,” the corporal said. “They were unable to tell me what their destination was or how long they would be staying. Added to that, there was no luggage visible in the vehicle, or any extra clothing that would be consistent with the length of time the family was planning to stay.”

Cpl. Zertuche was accompanied at the traffic stop by Deputy Michael Sauceda.

“I asked the driver for consent to examine the vehicle,” the corporal said. “Valenzuela consented.”
Both officers have confirmed that ten packets of cocaine had been concealed in the Suburban and that the children were sitting on nine of them.

“When we looked under the seats in the back of the SUV, we saw that bundles had been packed into the upholstery, clearly visible when the seats were lifted to gain access to the rear of the vehicle,” Deputy Sauceda said, confirming Cpl. Zertuche’s description of the contraband placement. “The tenth package had been placed in a tool compartment beside the rear seat.”

The cocaine cargo tipped the scales at over 24.25 lbs. and has been listed as having an estimated street value of approximately $275,000. The contraband and the principal suspect in the case have been turned over to the DEA.  

  

July 23, 2018

15 arrests, 
July 16-23

By Marc Robertson
Fifteen 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, a county constable and officers of the Encinal Police Department.  

Those jailed between Monday, July 16, and Monday, July 23, 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:

Cynthia Mendoza, 52, of San Antonio; arrested 2:16 p.m. Tuesday, July 17, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrant issued by La Salle County Justice of the Peace for misdemeanor failure to comply with a court obligation or to appear in court; released on bond after six hours.

Jared Ross Ramirez, 36, of Cotulla; arrested 12:06 a.m. Wednesday, July 18, by the Encinal PD; warrant issued in La Salle District Court for non-payment of child support; remains in jail as of July 23.

Leticia Aguilar, 51, of Cotulla; arrested 4:20 a.m. Wednesday, July 18, by the Sheriff’s Office; Class A misdemeanor assault causing bodily injury; released on bond after five days, 14 hours.

Elidio Gerardo Maldonado, 34, of Cotulla; arrested 1:58 p.m. Wednesday, July 18, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrant issued in La Salle District Court for failure to meet a court obligation on a charge of state jail felony possession of a controlled substance; released on bond after one day, three hours.

Noel Maldonado, 37, of Cotulla; arrested 6:05 p.m. Wednesday, July 18, by the Sheriff’s Office; Class B misdemeanor criminal trespass, warrant issued in La Salle County Court for Class B misdemeanor failure to appear in court; remains in jail as of July 23.

Rodolfo Limon Jr., 27, of Cotulla; arrested 7:15 p.m. Wednesday, July 18, by the Texas DPS; warrant issued by La Salle County Justice of the Peace for failure to meet a court obligation on a misdemeanor charge of driving with an expired license; released on bond after 15 hours.

Cody Aaron Hasler, 26, of Cotulla; arrested 7:46 p.m. Wednesday, July 18, by the Sheriff’s Office; misdemeanor warrants issued by La Salle County Justice of the Peace for failure to appear in court (two counts), bail jumping, speeding, and failure to maintain financial responsibility; remains in jail as of July 23.

Andres Gilberto Munoz III, 21, of Floresville, Texas; arrested 5:53 p.m. Thursday, July 19, by La Salle County Constable; warrant issued in Wilson County for injury to a child; released on bond after two hours.

Robert Gordon Dockery, 33, of Floresville, Texas; arrested 11:36 a.m. Friday, July 20, by La Salle County Constable; warrant issued in Live Oak County for Class B misdemeanor driving while license is not valid, with previous conviction, failure to maintain financial responsibility; released on bond after one day, two hours.

Jose Rodriguez-Olivio, 47, of Laredo; arrested 1:42 p.m. Saturday, July 21, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrant issued by La Salle County Justice of the Peace for misdemeanor driving while license is not valid; released on bond after 23 hours.

Jason Garza, 34, of Cotulla; arrested 12:33 a.m. Sunday, July 22, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrant issued in La Salle County Court for Class B misdemeanor theft of property up to $750 in value, warrant issued in La Salle County for failure to meet a court obligation on a charge of driving with an open container of alcohol, warrant issued by La Salle County Justice of the Peace for failure to appear in court; released on bond after one day.

Bryan Daniel Ibarra, 22, of San Antonio; arrested 6:18 a.m. Sunday, July 22, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrants issued by La Salle County Justice of the Peace for violating a promise to appear in court, speeding, failure to maintain financial responsibility, driving without a license, and possession of drug paraphernalia; released on bond after six hours.

Servando Vazquez-Galvan, 37, of Guanajuato, Mexico; arrested 4:09 a.m. Sunday, July 22, by the Encinal PD; third-degree felony evading arrest or detention with a motor vehicle; remains in jail as of July 23, on hold for US Border Patrol.

Tamra Jean Foulds, 39, of Cotulla; arrested 12:05 a.m. Monday, July 23, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrants issued by La Salle County Justice of the Peace for failure to meet court obligations on charges of driving with an expired vehicle registration, driving while license is not valid, and failure to appear in court; remains in jail as of July 23.

Isaac Benitez Flores, 28, of San Marcos, Texas; arrested 11:50 p.m. Sunday, July 22, by the Encinal PD; state jail felony driving while intoxicated with a child passenger; released on bond after 18 hours.

*Addendum: Those previously listed as still in jail and since released or transferred include Nora Castor, released on bond after seven days, five hours; and David S. Ramirez Jr., released on bond after one day, two hours.      


  

July 23, 2018

TABC investigation, surveillance resulted 
in warrant...

Guzman released
on $100K bond after drug arrest

By Marc Robertson
An extensive investigation by state and local agents into drug trafficking at a popular bar in downtown Cotulla resulted in the felony arrest last week of an employee who has since been released on a $100,000 bond.  
Second-degree felony:
Nathan Guzman
Identified as 30-year-old Nathan Guzman, the suspect in the case was reportedly in charge of operations at the City Limits Bar on Main Street when he was taken into custody shortly before midnight on Saturday, July 14, on a second-degree felony charge of delivery of a controlled substance in Penalty Group 1.

The warrant for Guzman’s arrest had been signed in La Salle County on the basis of an extensive investigation by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC), whose agents had received information on alleged drug trafficking at the business. The commission was assisted in its investigation by other law enforcement officers and carried out extensive surveillance.

Guzman is believed to have made narcotics available to patrons at the bar and may have been observed doing so by undercover officers, according to a report on the case.

The suspect was cuffed by La Salle County Deputy Julian Lopez, who was accompanied at the scene by several local deputies in executing the arrest warrant. Guzman was subsequently transported to the La Salle County Jail and later appeared before Precinct 3 Justice of the Peace George Trigo, who set bond at $100,000. Guzman spent less than 12 hours behind bars and made bail Sunday morning.

“We are thankful to all those who worked in gathering information in this investigation and who assisted us in the intervention of drug traffic at a local establishment,” Sheriff Miguel Rodriguez said. “Our investigations continue.”

July 16, 2018

Seven arrests, 
July 9-16

By Marc Robertson
Seven 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 and troopers of the Texas Department of Public Safety Highway Patrol.

Those jailed between Monday, July 9, and Monday, July 16, 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:

Juan Manuel Arciba, 66, of Cotulla; arrested 5:49 p.m. Wednesday, July 11, by the Sheriff’s Office; detention commitment; court-ordered release after 13 hours.

Nora Castor, 44, of Cotulla; arrested 10:40 a.m. Thursday, July 12, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrant issued in La Salle District Court for state jail felony probation violation; remains in jail as of July 16.

Corie Tamara Garza, 26, of Cotulla; arrested 2:24 a.m. Saturday, July 14, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrants issued in La Salle County  for failure to meet court obligations on misdemeanor charges of public intoxication and disorderly conduct; released on bond after eight hours.

Brian Anthony Viesca, 27, of Pearsall; arrested 8:15 p.m. Saturday, July 14, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrants issued in Frio County for first-degree felony manufacture or delivery of a controlled substance in Penalty Group 2A, state jail felony possession of a controlled substance in Penalty Group 1, state jail felony manufacture or delivery of a controlled substance in Penalty Group 3 / 4, and Class B misdemeanor possession of marijuana; released after 14 hours.

Rodney Glen Morgan, 50, of Cotulla; arrested 9:53 p.m. Saturday, July 14, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrants issued by La Salle County Justice of the Peace for failing to meet a court obligation on a charge of driving with an open container of alcohol and failure to appear in court; released on bond after 12 hours.

Nathan David Guzman, 30, of Cotulla; arrested 11:54 p.m. Saturday, July 14, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrant issued in La Salle County for second-degree felony delivery of a controlled substance in Penalty Group 1; released on bond after ten hours.

David S. Ramirez Jr., 38, of Cotulla; arrested 4:16 p.m. Monday, July 16, by the Texas DPS; warrant issued by La Salle County Justice of the Peace for failure to meet a court obligation on a charge of disregarding a stop sign; remains in jail as of July 16.

*Addendum: Those previously listed as still in jail and since released or transferred include Ricardo Alberto Gonzalez, released after 76 days, 22 hours; and Francisco Aurelio Garcia, transferred after ten days, 18 hours.
  

July 16, 2018

JP signs 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 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:

Christian Oliver Alaniz, 45, of Cotulla; safety belt violation (two counts), driving without a license (two counts), speeding.

James Troy Duncan, 39, of Kerrville; commercial vehicle weight limit violation.

Nicholas Galvan, 31, of San Antonio, violating a promise to appear in court, speeding, child safety seat violation, driving while license is not valid.

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

Jesse James Munoz, 53, of Benavides, Texas; violating a promise to appear in court, failing to appear in court, driving without a license (two counts).

Thomas Edward Jordan, 32, of Dilley; failing to travel in a single lane of traffic, violating a promise to appear in court.

Sigifredo Nava Jr., 39, of Laredo; driving while license is suspended, failing to maintain financial responsibility.

Tyron Hector Roman, 25, of Cotulla; driving without a license.

Arturo Pablo Vielma, 28, of Laredo; failing to control speed, failing to drive in a single lane of traffic.

Ana Lydia Villarreal, 47, of Encinal; violating a promise to appear in court, failing to maintain financial responsibility, failing to appear in court, contributing to non-attendance, 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.

July 9, 2018

Deputies arrest Molina after burglary

By Marc Robertson
A Cotulla man has been remanded into custody on a second-degree felony charge of burglary after being found in possession of electronics that had been stolen from a residence over the weekend.

Identified as 32-year-old John Brian Molina, the suspect in the case is believed responsible for a break-in at a home in the 1300 block of Frio Street in Cotulla during daylight hours Sunday, July 8, and the theft of a 50-inch television and a game console.

In a brief report on the case this week, La Salle Sheriff’s Investigator Homar Olivarez said he believes cooperative efforts between a number of officers and conscientious citizens helped identify Molina as the suspect in the case. Search warrants were issued Monday for two homes on Matamoros and Jay streets, and officers recovered the stolen items. The suspect was cuffed by La Salle Deputy Juan Mirelez and transported without further incident to the county jail.

An investigation into the crime indicates Molina allegedly entered the residence on Frio Street through an unlocked door and that he carried the valuables out of the home in full view of the public on Sunday afternoon.

Molina has a history of arrests for theft of valuables in Cotulla.
Second-degree felony:
John Brian Molina
Investigator Olivarez said this week that he believes it is imperative that all property owners keep records of the serial numbers on their valuables, including electronics, entertainment systems, home appliances and power tools.

“Having a serial number for anything that has been taken from you enables us to identify something at a later date and return it to you,” the investigator said. “Recording serial numbers of all your valuables – including air conditioning units – gives us an accurate description and increases the likelihood that a crime will be resolved.

“We are grateful to local residents who helped us resolve this case as quickly as we did,” Olivarez said. “It is further proof that the old adage ‘If you see something, say something’ works for the betterment of the community.”​

July 9, 2018

19 arrests,
July 2-9

By Marc Robertson
Nineteen 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 working in Cotulla and across the county.

Those jailed between Monday, July 2, and Monday, July 9, 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:

Ricardo Ramirez Jr., 35, of Cotulla; arrested 12:10 p.m. Tuesday, July 3, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrant issued in La Salle County Court for Class A misdemeanor violation of bond or protective order; released on bond after eight hours.

Gary Lynn May, 28, of Lockhart, Texas; arrested 1:51 p.m. Tuesday, July 3, by the Sheriff’s Office; misdemeanor public intoxication; released on bond after eight hours.

Jacob Ramirez, 28, of Cotulla; arrested 10:40 p.m. Tuesday, July 3, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrants issued in La Salle County Court for failure to meet court obligations on a Class A misdemeanor charge of criminal mischief up to $2,500 in damages and Class B misdemeanor charge of criminal mischief up to $500 in damages, and warrant issued by La Salle County Justice of the Peace for misdemeanor violating a promise to appear in court; released on bond after 18 hours.

Brandon Lee Ruiz, 20, of Dilley; arrested 3:45 a.m. Wednesday, July 4, by the Sheriff’s Office; Class A misdemeanor assault causing bodily injury; remains in jail as of July 9.

Heraclio Juventino DeHoyos, 39, of Laredo; arrested 10:35 a.m. Wednesday, July 4, by the Sheriff’s Office; no charges listed; released on bond after four hours.

Emanuel Israel Hermoso, 23, of Gardendale; arrested 1:15 p.m. Wednesday, July 4, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrants issued in La Salle County for failure to appear in court (two counts), failure to maintain financial responsibility, displaying an expired license plate, driving without a license, and violating a promise to appear in court, and warrants issued by La Salle County Justice of the Peace for failure to comply with a court order or to appear in court, and disorderly conduct (two counts); remains in jail as of July 9.

Armando Gonzalez, 33, of Cotulla; arrested 1:34 a.m. Thursday, July 5, by the Sheriff’s Office; state jail felony possession of marijuana up to 5 lbs.; released on bond after one day, 20 hours.

Kayla Jade Perales, 25, of Carrizo Springs; arrested 12:24 p.m. Thursday, July 5, by the Sheriff’s Office; state jail felony criminal mischief up to $30,000 in damages; released on bond after one day, one hour.

Morgan Mae Davis, 18, of Cotulla; arrested 4:13 p.m. Thursday, July 5, by the Sheriff’s Office; Class A misdemeanor family violence assault causing bodily injury; released on bond after one day, five hours.

Jason Garcia, 33, of Dilley; arrested 9:05 a.m. Friday, July 6, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrant issued in La Salle County for failure to appear in court; remains in jail as of July 9.

Ovidio Navarro Jr., 27, of Laredo; arrested 3:09 p.m. Friday, July 6, by the Sheriff’s Office; third-degree felony assault on a family or household member by impeding breath or circulation, 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 18 hours.

Diana Edith Hernandez, 25, of Cotulla; arrested 3:20 a.m. Saturday, July 7, by the Sheriff’s Office; Class B misdemeanor possession of marijuana; released on bond after 15 hours.

Carlos Enrique Perales, 37, of Cotulla; arrested 8:17 p.m. Saturday, July 7, by the Sheriff’s Office; misdemeanor public intoxication; released on bond after 14 hours.

Greg James Dunford, 26, of Crystal City; arrested 9:02 p.m. Sunday, July 8, by the Sheriff’s Office; misdemeanor public intoxication; released on bond after 17 hours.

Alberto Garcia, 37, of Cotulla; arrested 2:13 a.m. Monday, July 9, by the Sheriff’s Office; Class B misdemeanor criminal trespass; released on bond after 18 hours.

Miriam Ariana Ruiz, 26, of Dilley; arrested 4:55 a.m. Monday, July 9, by the Sheriff’s Office; misdemeanor public intoxication; released on bond after nine hours.

Joselynn Barba, 28, of San Antonio; arrested 12:45 p.m. Monday, July 9. By the Sheriff’s Office; warrant issued in La Salle County Court for failure to meet a court obligation on a charge of felony possession of a controlled substance; remains in jail as of July 9.

Elisema Rivera Jones, 47, of Carrizo Springs; arrested 3:32 p.m. Monday, July 9, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrants issued in La Salle District Court for failure to meet court obligations on charges of felony possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and felony possession of a controlled substance; remains in jail as of July 9.

John Brian Molina, 32, of Cotulla; arrested 5:06 p.m. Monday, July 9, by the Sheriff’s Office; second-degree felony burglary of a habitation; remains in jail as of July 9.

*Addendum: Those previously listed as still in jail and since released or transferred include Lorenzo Alberto Sauseda, released after seven days, 16 hours; Jessie Lee Perez, released on bond after seven days, three hours; Jose Juan Maldonado, court-ordered release after two days, 17 hours; and Rene Sanchez, released on bond after one day, 23 hours.

July 2, 2018

17 arrested,
June 25 - 
July 2

By Marc Robertson
Seventeen 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, officers of the Encinal Police Department and troopers of the Texas Department of Public Safety Highway Patrol.

One man was arrested twice between Friday and Monday.

Those jailed between Monday, June 25, and Monday, July 2, 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:

Ronald Lynn Beauchamp, 48, of Krum, Texas; arrested 2:17 p.m. Tuesday, June 26, by the Sheriff’s Office; charge not listed; released on bond after one day, two hours.

Enrique Tierra Blanca Martinez, 32, of Guanajuato, Mexico; arrested 12:14 a.m. Tuesday, June 26, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrant issued in Baldwin County, Alabama, for failure to appear in court; hold for US Immigration and Customs Enforcement released after one day, ten hours.

Ana Ysabel De La Rosa, 52, of La Grange, Texas; arrested 7:34 p.m. Wednesday, June 27, 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 obligation, warrant issued in Bexar County for probation violation on a charge of theft up to $750; released on bond after two days, 23 hours.

Melissa Michele Rosales, 44, of Cotulla; arrested 7:34 p.m. Wednesday, June 27, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrant issued in La Salle County for driving without a license, warrants issued by La Salle County Justice of the Peace for child safety seat violation, driving without a license (two counts),violating a promise to appear in court, failure to maintain financial responsibility, and failure to appear in court; court-ordered release after 21 hours.

Isabel Laguna, 38, of Cotulla; arrested 7:34 p.m. Wednesday, June 27, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrant issued by La Salle County Justice of the Peace for failure to appear in court or to meet a court obligation on a charge of driving with an expired vehicle registration; released on bond after 15 hours.

Daniela Ann Sotelo, 28, of Cotulla; arrested 10:12 p.m. Thursday, June 28, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrants issued by La Salle County Justice of the Peace for failing to meet court obligations on charges of fishing without a license, failing to maintain financial responsibility (two counts), driving with expired vehicle registration, and speeding; court-ordered release after 11 hours.

Lorenzo Alberto Sauseda, 29, of Cotulla; arrested 10:12 p.m. Thursday, June 28, 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, failure to maintain financial responsibility, and Class C misdemeanor assault; remains in jail as of July 2.

Wanda Sue Pena, 53, of Dilley; arrested 3:15 a.m. Friday, June 29, by the Texas DPS; Class B misdemeanor driving while intoxicated; released on bond after six hours.

Jessie Lee Perez, 27, of Cotulla; arrested 2:04 p.m. Friday, June 29, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrant issued in La Salle District Court for state jail felony driving while intoxicated with a child passenger under age 15; released on bond after one hour.

Ramon Nunez, 61, of Cotulla; arrested 6:52 p.m. Friday, June 29, by the Sheriff’s Office; misdemeanor public intoxication; released on bond after 18 hours.

Juan Carlos Benavidez Jr., 27, of Cotulla; arrested 9:45 p.m. Friday, June 29, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrant issued for probation violation on a charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon; released on bond after one hour. Arrested 3:51 p.m. Monday, July 2, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrant issued in La Salle County for revocation of probation; remains in jail as of July 2.

Carlos Arellano, 29, of Corpus Christi, Texas; arrested 12:12 a.m. Saturday, June 30, by the Texas DPS; Class B misdemeanor possession of marijuana, warrant issued in Nueces County for failure to appear in court; released on bond after 16 hours.

Guadalupe Sauceda, 33, of Cotulla; arrested 1:52 p.m. Saturday, June 30, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrant issued by La Salle County Justice of the Peace for violating a promise to appear in court; released on bond after nine hours.

Jose Juan Maldonado, 25, of Encinal; arrested 7:38 p.m. Saturday, June 30, by the Encinal PD; warrant issued in La Salle County Court for Class B misdemeanor failure to appear in court; remains in jail as of July 2.

Marco Antonio Chavez, 49, of San Antonio; arrested 2:37 a.m. Sunday, July 1, by the Texas DPS; third-degree felony driving while intoxicated (third or more offense); remains in jail as of July 2.

Francisco Aurelio Garcia, 35, of Edinburg, Texas; arrested 8:16 p.m. Sunday, July 1, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrants issued in Hidalgo County for probation violation and terroristic threat upon a family or household member; remains in jail as of July 2.

Rene Sanchez, 53, of Encinal; arrested 10:05 p.m. Sunday, July 1, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrant issued in La Salle County for terroristic threat creating fear of imminent serious bodily injury; remains in jail as of July 2.

*Addendum: Those previously listed as still in jail and since released or transferred include Augustine Darnell, transferred after 93 days, three hours; Adam Vitela, transferred after 55 days, 21 hours; Miguel Angel Gonzalez, transferred after 18 days, 19 hours; Nathan A. Lara, scheduled release after 12 days, four hours; John Brian Molina, released on bond after 11 days, 18 hours; Derick Ray Rodriguez, released on bond after seven days, one hour; Robert Cervera, released on bond after three days, three hours; Joel Valenzuela, released on bond after three days, three hours; and Alexandra Monique Ochoa, released after one day, two hours. 

June 25, 2018

13 arrests,
June 18-25

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 and troopers of the Texas Department of Public Safety Highway Patrol.

One man was arrested twice in a three-day period.

Those jailed between Monday, June 18, and Monday, June 25, 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:

Jose Antonio Hernandez, 23, of Cotulla; arrested 2:45 a.m. Wednesday, June 20, 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 five hours.

Joel Valenzuela, 18, of Cotulla; arrested 2:45 a.m. Wednesday, June 20, by the Sheriff’s Office; misdemeanor warrants issued by La Salle County Justice of the Peace for disorderly conduct and failure to appear in court or to comply with a court order; released on bond after eight hours. Arrested 2:30 p.m. Saturday, June 23, by the Sheriff’s Office; second-degree felony burglary of a habitation; remains in jail as of June 25.

Oscar Niavez, 28, of Cotulla; arrested 3 a.m. Wednesday, June 20, by the Sheriff’s Office; misdemeanor disorderly conduct; released on bond after seven hours.

Miriam Gamboa, 48, of Cotulla; arrested 2:50 a.m. Friday, June 22, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrant issued in La Salle County for failure to meet a court obligation on a charge of speeding; released after ten hours.

Leonardo Maldonado Jr., 51, of Cotulla; arrested 11:04 a.m. Saturday, June 23, by the Sheriff’s Department; warrants issued in La Salle District Court for hindering secured creditors, and fraudulent transfer of a motor vehicle title (two counts); released on bond after 21 hours.

Ricardo Julian Sandoval, 25, of Cotulla; arrested 12:54 p.m. Saturday, June 23, by the Sheriff’s Office; warrants issued in La Salle County for assault on a family or household member by impeding breath or circulation, and Class A misdemeanor family violence assault; remains in jail as of June 25.

Alicia Gonzalez, 43, of Cotulla; arrested 2:05 p.m. Saturday, June 23, by the Sheriff’s Office; Class B misdemeanor interfering with public duties; released on bond after 19 hours.

Derick Ray Rodriguez, 21, of Cotulla; arrested 7:07 p.m. Saturday, June 23, by the Sheriff’s Office; Class A misdemeanor family violence assault causing bodily injury; remains in jail as of June 25.

Saul Humberto Solis, 43, of San Antonio; arrested 7:33 p.m. Saturday, June 23, by the Texas DPS; Class B misdemeanor displaying fictitious vehicle registration; released on bond after 13 hours.

Robert Cervera, 18, of Cotulla; arrested 2:30 p.m. Saturday, June 23, by the Sheriff’s Office; second-degree felony burglary of a habitation; remains in jail as of June 25.
Jose Angel Benavides, 30, of Cotulla; arrested 8:50 a.m. Sunday, June 24, by the Sheriff’s Office; Class A misdemeanor violation of a protective order, Class B misdemeanor criminal mischief up to $750 in value; released on bond after 13 hours.

Alexandra Monique Ochoa, 23, of San Antonio; arrested 11:59 a.m. Monday, June 25, 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 while license is not valid; remains in jail as of June 25.

*Addendum: Those previously listed as still in jail and since released or transferred include Orlando Ortiz, transferred after 681 days, 14 hours; Rodolfo Ismael Garcia, transferred after 351 days, 12 hours; Adan Sandoval, released on bond after 89 days, 11 hours; Rogelio Gonzalez III, transferred after 33 days, 13 hours; Jonathan Elton Leal, court-ordered release after 13 days, 22 hours; and Ransley Dontrell Bailey, released on bond after one day, four hours.    

June 18, 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 [email protected]; 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.