Del Rio News Herald (Newspaper) - December 18, 1999, Del Rio, TexasTree Protester STrikes Deal See Page 3A
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El. PA30 IX 79903'374d News-Herald
DEL RIO, TEXAS
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 18,1999
7 DAYS TO CHRISTMAS
Ashley Breiann Torres, 3 1/2, reminds everyone there are only seven more days left until Christmas Day. So, children, remember.. he knows who’s naughty or nice!
Jury declines indictments against Harlingen police officers in border shooting
BROWNSVILLE (AP) — A Cameron County lirand jury has deelined to indict four Harlintien police oliicers accused of wronji-doing in the slayings of two Border Patrol agents.
Harlingen olTicer Dennis Zamarron made the allegations against poliee Capt. Robert Archer. Capt. Joseph Vasquez. Detective R.D. Moore and Lt. Jim Scheopner, the I'ormer police chief.
in documents filed with the Cameron County Sheriffs Department. Zamarron accused Moore. Si'heopner and, Vasquez of ahuse of official capacity; and Art'hcr, Scheopner and Vasquez of obstruction or retaliation.
The allegations stemmed from the July 7. 1998. slayings of U.S. Border Patrol agents Susan Lynn Rodriguez and Ricardo Guillermo Salinas.
rh(‘ agents were gunned down by Ernest Moore, son of R.D. Moore, with an AR 15 given to the [)oli('e department for destruction. Instead. Vasquez verbally assigned the gun to R.D. Moore, according to statements made to the Texas Rangers.
Ernest Moore also died in the gunbattle at his parent’s home near San Benito. The Border Patrol agents wTre helping Cameron County Sheriffs deputies track down Moore, a suspect in a double killing earlier that day in nearby Rio Hondo.
Zamarron received a one day suspension in November for making accusations without merit.
Former Harlingen F^olice Chief Victor Rodriguez. Scheopner’s successor, conducted an internal investigation and found no evi-depce of criminal wrongdoing.
The officers’ actions were ‘more closely aligned with administra tive misconduct," he said.
Although the district atlor ney’s office can recommend whether the grand jury should indict, District Attorney Yolanda de l>eon said her office opted to make no recommendation.
Arturo Salinas, father of Ricardo Guillermo Salinas, blames the death of his .son on the Harlingen Police Department. He told The Brownsville Herald that he wasn’t surprised the grand jury did not indict.
"1 really didn’t expect her (Ms. de U'on) to recommend an indict ment." he said. “1 understand she’s a politician. She dances whenever her political contributors pull her strings.”
However, Ms. De U*on denied the process had been politicized.
“Mr. Salinas sfieaks from the
grief he feels from the loss of his son,” she said. “1 think a very thorough investigation was done. Tliis absolutely was not politically motivated.”
The murders of the Border Patrol agents had been taken to a grand jury before. The jury then had a full range of possible ( barges and chose not to indict.
Lawsuits from the agents’ families still were pending in federal court.
Archer said he did not hold hard feelings against Zamarron.
“1 felt confident that there wouldn’t be an indictment because 1 knew I had not done anything wrong,” he said. ”1 wasn’t greatly concerned.”
Moore declined to comment saying. “The way the news media has treated me. I’ve got nothing to say.”
Group to help Acuñenses in need
Court holds off on decision regarding census count
A truckload of clothes, prayers and love made its way from North Carolina to the Queen City and will travel through into Ciudad Acuña, Mexico, Monday through Wednesday, Dec. 20 -22.
Christian Temple of High Point. N.C., will be visiting Acuña with clothing, blankets, food baskets for the needy and toys for the children.
Heading the congregation, is Pastor Rob Coones. They will
accept donatiohs to add to the truckload, which is headed to Del Rio’s sister city.
Stcffany Powell, a member of the congregation heading to Del Rio, said they are already receiving help from Del Rioans.
“Linda Johnson is helping us out very much,” Powell said. “She's housing 18 members of our group and has agreed to be headquarters for our stay.”
To make donations to the cause, contact Johnson at 778-5802 or go by 809 W. 8th.
See, HELP, P. 3A
BLANCA A. SANCIC
(fourth in a series)
The Val Verde County Commissioners Court decided not to decide on which law firm to hire in order to properly redistrict the county once the 2000 census is complete.
County Commissioner Precinct One. Frank Coronado said he supports quick action before all of the firms handling this type of work are already contracted.
In September of this year Coronado spon sored the law firm of Rolando Rios in its pre-.sentation to the court. A partner in the firm, George Korbel, the original lead attorney in a law suit against the county filed by Jovita Casarez involving military voting rights also helped with the presentation. Korbel told the court he would be active in the redistricting if
the firm is hired. Rios said, in September, that Korbel is an expert in the field of districting issues.
The court seemed to be confused as to which of the two law firms said it had worked with the county in the last census.
During the October session David Mendez, a lawyer with Bickerstaff and Heath, said the firm worked on the redistricting project during the last census.
Coronado made a motion that the court accept the bid of Rios whom he said had the previous contract. Musquiz corrected him reminding the court that Mendez had the previous contract.
Former County Commissioner Ricardo Padilla informed the court that he did not recall appointing a law firm to redistrict the area.
County Tax Asses.sor and Collector Wayne
Hyde said that the court did vote to hire the firm in 1990 but did its own redistricting after the 1980 census.
County Judge Mike L. Fernandez said it r(*ally didn’t matter which firm rt'ceived the contrai't but the work had to be done.
Hyde said that the court does have some time to decide because the census numbers will not be issued until next year.
Commissioner Pre(Mnct Four. Jesus “Jesse” Ortiz disagreed asking the court, "Isn t it better to hurry up and start early?” The court decid(‘d to table the issue until John Cody, commissioner precinct three, could be present.
88rd. Judieial District Court Judge Carl Pendergrass took tinu* to introduee himself to the commissioners. He informed the court
See CENSUS, P. 3A
‘Roy’ s’ sniffer nets Del Rioan jail time
A Del Rio man remained jailed Friday evening after being named in a two-count indictment on federal drug-related charges. Carlos Demetri De Leon-Ramirez, 28, of 115 Jeffrey Drive, is charged with importation of cocaine and possession of cocaine with intent to distribute.
De Leon was arrested on Nov. 22. after he attempted to smuggle more than $1 million in cocaine into the United states, a U.S. Customs official.
Ralph Sinclair, port director of
Customs, said De Ixion was arrested at the Del Rio Port of Entry after inspectors seized 24.5 pounds of cocaine.
He said the drug was seized as the result of a Customs daig detector dog.
“Detector dog ‘Roy’ was roving out in front of the primary inspection booths sweeping vehicles as they arrived from Mexico when he alerted to a vehicle,” said Sinclair. “Officers escorted the Dodge Neon to secondary and discovered 24.5 pounds of cocaine concealed in a secret compartment in the vehicle’s dashboard.”
If convicted, De Leon faces a sentence of 10 year to life imprisonment, a $4 million fine and at least five years of supervised release.
The Del Rio federal grand jury also returned a four-count indictment against Jose Cruz Reyna-lvOpez and Jose Angel Rios-Reyna, both of Piedras Negras. Coahuila, Mexico.
Reyna. 33, and Rios. 18, are charged with conspiracy to import and possess marijuana and with importation and possession of marijuana with intent
See DRUGS, P. 3AINDEX
(Vol. 71 No. 273)
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News-Herald photo by Carlos Cardenas Jr
From left, Joanna Camposano, owner of Rich’s Border Creations; Esperanza Calderon, Christmas Decorating Committee chairman; Pastor Tom Sutherland and Chayo Guerra, of Grace Community Church, celebrate Christmas by helping “Light Up Del Rio.” Winners of the contest for outstanding decorations are Rich’s Border Creations, business category, Grace Community Church, church category; and Whitehead Memorial Museum, club and organization category. Museum director Lee Lincoln was unavailable for photo. The Christmas Decorating Committee sponsored the contest, awarding a trophy and $100 cash prize to each winner.SAVE 30%, 40% OR 50% OFF DURING THE JCPENNEY BALLOON SALE. JCPennev pi°z° oei soi moh