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    2 men arrested after police find 3,100 lbs. of pot
    By Jannise Johnson, Staff Writer
    Article Created: 01/17/2008 09:27:06 PM PST

    FONTANA - Two people were arrested Tuesday night after, authorities say, they were caught with a ton and a half of marijuana in a truck.
    The bust was the result of an effort between Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Fontana Police Department, police said.

    Medardo Lopez, 38, and Esteban Pinzon, 33, were arrested in a truck yard in the area of Live Oak and Slover avenues, said Fontana Sgt. Jeff Decker.

    The arrests were made around 7:30 p.m., he said.

    The marijuana was, "in a truck that came across the border to us," Decker said.

    One of the men arrested is in the country illegally, Decker said. He did not specify which man that is.

    The marijuana was found in a truck that had compartments inside to hide the drugs, Decker said.

    Immigration agents and Fontana officers arrested both men on suspicion of being in possession of 3,100 pounds of marijuana, said Virginia Kice, spokeswoman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

    Pinzon and Lopez, "are being brought up on state charges," she said. "We believe they are both potentially deportable."

    If the men are convicted of a crime, they will have to serve their sentences in the United States first before they are turned over to immigration officials for deportation, Kice said.

    "This is another example of the extraordinary importance of federal and local law enforcement cooperation," Kice said.

    The investigation is ongoing, she said.
    Law enforcement officials made a similar discovery over the summer.

    In August, a CHP officer discovered an abandoned trailer at 12:10 a.m. in a parking lot on Milliken Avenue near the 210 Freeway.

    In the August bust, when an officer approached a white Ford F-250 hauling a white 20-foot trailer, he smelled a strong odor of marijuana. He notified the Sheriff's Department.

    Investigators discovered more than 800 pounds of pot. No arrests were made.

    Lopez and Pinzon were booked into West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga. Lopez was booked on suspicion of unlawful transportation or importation of marijuana. Pinzon was booked on suspicion of possession of marijuana for sale.

    (909) 483-9318
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  • #2
    Published: 01.18.2008

    Burglars strike home of Sierra Vista mayor, cars found in Mexico
    SIERRA VISTA – Burglars broke into the home of the mayor of Sierra Vista, stealing valuables and two cars from the garage.
    The cars were recovered in a ditch near Naco, Mexico on Thursday and returned to the U.S.
    "Probably waiting to be loaded up and driven back north, but they didn't get that far," Mayor Bob Strain said of the cars.
    Strain said he returned home from vacation on Sunday and found his home had been searched and a GMC Envoy sports utility vehicle and a Honda Element were missing from the garage.
    He said the thieves were thorough and "had gone through everything, hunting for, principally, money, and they were somewhat careful not to destroy things like pictures in frames."
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    • #3
      A Hawarden, Iowa, man was sentenced to jail and one year of probation Monday for falsifying his identity to get work.

      Marciano Montes-Acuna, 52, received a suspended five-year prison sentence for two counts of felony identity theft from District Judge James Scott and a 77-day jail sentence for three misdemeanor forgery charges, Sioux County Attorney Coleman McAllister said.

      Montes-Acuna was arrested Oct. 29 by Hawarden Police for not having a valid driver's license or vehicle insurance. Police found he had falsified Resident Alien and Social Security cards. He used the documents to work at Premium Iowa Pork in Hospers and Advance Services in Sioux Center.

      Because he served his jail term, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement will start the deportation process.
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      • #4
        San Francisco Chronicle
        Daly City police seeking suspect in pry-bar beating of elderly woman

        John Coté, Chronicle Staff Writer

        Friday, January 18, 2008

        (01-17) 18:29 PST DALY CITY - Police are searching for a 28-year-old South San Francisco man suspected of savagely beating a 78-year-old widow inside her Daly City home and leaving her for dead after she surprised him during a robbery attempt.

        The woman was upgraded today to critical condition at a local hospital after she suffered life-threatening injuries from being beaten in the face and head with a metal pry bar Saturday, Daly City police said.

        They identified the suspect in the attack as Jose Perez-Gonza***, 28, an illegal alien originally from Guadalajara, Mexico, who has been living in South San Francisco.

        Perez-Gonza*** may be employed as a house painter in the San Jose area and may frequent exercise gyms in San Francisco during the early evenings, police said.

        He has tattoos of a black-and-red Harley Davidson motorcycle emblem and a black dragon band on his right arm. He may also have "Mexico" tattooed in large letters running up his inner right forearm, police said.

        Perez-Gonza*** - who has used the names Antonio Perez, Moses Omar Lopez-Padilla, Jose De Jesus Perez-Gonza*** and Juan Arellano - is also a suspect in the Dec. 21 burglary of a Pacifica home, Daly City police Lt. Jay Morena said.

        Police did not say how they had focused Perez-Gonza*** as a suspect.

        The Daly City attack came after the burglar had apparently telephoned the victim earlier in the day and posed as a package deliveryman in an effort to determine when the woman was going to be home, police said.

        "This was not a random burglary," Morena said. But he added that police suspect the burglar tried to strike when no one was home.

        "It was not a home invasion-type of burglary," Morena said. "The phone call was to find when she wouldn't be there."

        E-mail John Coté at
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        • #5
          $863,000 in Cocaine Seized by CBP Officers at Nogales Port of Entry
          SENTRI Participant Arrested

          Nogales, Az. Wednesday, January 16, 2008 – U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers arrested a SENTRI participant yesterday morning after discovering almost 52 pounds of cocaine hidden inside his vehicle.

          "This program is designed for low-risk border crossers, and we have a zero-tolerance policy toward smugglers," said Port Director James Tong, "If someone attempts to use this program to smuggle contraband, we will take every step possible, working with the US Attorney's Office to have that person prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law."

          At a little past 9:00 yesterday morning, a 45-year-old U.S. citizen from Nogales, Arizona attempted to enter the country through the SENTRI (Secure Electronic Network for Travelers Rapid Inspection) lane at the Dennis DeConcini port of entry. A CBP officer screening travelers became suspicious after noticing discrepancies with the vehicle, a 2001 Ford F-150, and referred the driver in for a thorough inspection. ( SENTRI )

          During the inspection, officers discovered 19 packages of cocaine, weighing almost 52 pounds, hidden inside a compartment built into the vehicle.

          The man was immediately arrested and turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement for further investigation and prosecution.

          Estimated street value of the cocaine is in excess of $863,000.

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          • #6

            Feds Bust Major Check-Cashing Stores In So. Fla.

            The U.S. Attorney's office said on Friday it cracked a major operation, involving construction companies and check-cashing stores that defrauded the government of close to $50-million.

            The investigation lasted at least nine months, and involved at least twelve people and a well-known check-cashing company known as La Bamba, which federal agents raided today.

            "The charges," according to U.S. Attorney Alexander Acosta, "range from conspiracy and cause or attempted cause to filing of materially false currency transaction reports" totaling about $50-million.

            Acosta explained that it worked in which a large number of construction companies in South Florida and a number of contractors and subcontractors wanted to do their transactions in cash.

            Officials said those construction companies would write checks to a shell company which did not exist.

            According to the investigation, the company would then present the checks to a check-cashing store called Cash Flow which would then take the checks to La Bamba, a much larger check-cashing store which would exchange the checks for cash and give it back to the construction companies.

            "At each stage, Cash Flow, La Bamba and others associated with these types of transactions would collect the fee," added Acosta.

            "Importantly, when La Bamba would file the currency transaction reports, La Bamba would in essence hide the true source and true destination of the cash," he added.
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            • #7
              ICE arrests former Juarez, Mexico, public safety director on drug, bribery charges
              Mexican entrepreneur had made arrangements to continue smuggling drugs to El Paso

              EL PASO, Texas - U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) special agents Wednesday arrested the former Ciudad Juarez public safety director on drug and bribery charges here.

              Saulo Reyes-Gamboa, 36, was arrested about 8 p.m. in a parking lot in Central El Paso after he allegedly paid a person who he believed to be a corrupt federal officer to facilitate the smuggling of drug loads through the international ports of entry.

              Reyes-Gamboa was appointed by the past city mayor in January 2007 to supervise operations for the municipal police department. Reyes-Gamboa is an entrepreneur who owns several businesses in Ciudad Juarez, including some U.S. restaurant chain stores and a radio station.

              After taking Reyes-Gamboa into custody, special agents conducted a search of a house located in the 12100 block of Sunbridge Place in Horizon City, Texas, where agents discovered 985 lbs. of marijuana in the garage. At that location, special agents also arrested Karina Tarango, 27, who was storing marijuana that Reyes-Gamboa had allegedly arranged to be smuggled into the country earlier in the day.

              Reyes-Gamboa and Tarango are charged with possession with intent to distribute, and conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute. Reyes-Gamboa is also charged with bribery of a public official..

              "It is most troubling and disheartening to discover that individuals who are charged with enforcing the law and protecting the public may themselves be involved in criminal activity," said Roberto Medina, special agent in charge of the ICE Office of Investigations in El Paso. "Importing illegal drugs into the United States is a serious crime. ICE is committed to enforcing the law without prejudice or preference, which includes pursuing individuals and drug organizations that operate in our area of responsibility."

              -- ICE --
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              • #8
                Las Vegas does not check immigration status.

                Girl Fatally Shot; Police Accuse Ex-Boyfriend
                Police Arrest Ex-Boyfriend, 20, In Connection With Killing

                POSTED: 5:19 pm PST January 17, 2008
                UPDATED: 5:39 pm PST January 17, 2008

                LAS VEGAS -- A 17-year-old girl was shot to death at about 9:33 a.m. Wednesday, and Metro police have arrested an ex-boyfriend of hers in connection with the killing.

                Paramedics found the girl bleeding from her head. Witnesses said they saw the victim's ex-boyfriend, Omar Rodriguez, 20, near her apartment just prior to hearing shots.

                Metro police located Rodriguez at around 4 p.m. in the northeast area of Las Vegas, and he was taken into custody without incident.

                Police said Rodriguez was booked into Clark County Jail on charges of murder with the use of a deadly weapon.

                He also had two outstanding arrest warrants for attempted murder with the use of a deadly weapon and battery with the use of a deadly weapon, in connection with the stabbing of the victim's new boyfriend in November 2007.

                Anyone with information is asked to call Metro's Homicide section at 702-828-3521, or call Crime Stoppers at 702-385-5555 to remain anonymous.
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                • #9
                  TRANSLATED FROM:

                  Six members of a Hispanic family of Immokalee (Florida) were accused of enslaving Mexican and Guatemalan immigrants, forcing them to work in agricultural labor, reported American authorities.

                  Cesar, Geovanni, Jose, Villhina, Ismael and Michael Navarrete and Antonia Zuniga Vargas are accused of harvoring undocumented immigrants for commercial benefit, document fraud and robbery of identity.

                  The announcement was made by the assistant attorney general of the division of civil rights Grace Chung Becker along side the director of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Julie L. Myers, and the federal public prosecutor for the medium district of Florida Robert E. O'Neill, according to a communiqué from ICE.

                  Cesar Navarrete and Geovanni Navarrete -according to the authorities- struck, threatened and locked in the workers in trucks in order to force them to work in the fields.

                  The authorities did not specify the nationality of the defendants. Nevertheless, they are accused of paying low salaries to the workers, to impose them debts and to mistreat them physically if they left their work before canceling the debts contracted.

                  Cesar Navarrete was also accused of re-entering the U.S. after being found guilty of a serious crime and then deported.

                  José Navarrete and Ismael Michael Navarrete also face charges for re-entering the country after being deported.

                  If they are found guilty, Geovanni and Cesar Navarrete face prison sentences of more than 200 years of prison each one.

                  Antonia Zuniga Vargas and Villhina Navarette face sentences of 40 years, while José and Michael Navarette could spend 42 years in jail.

                  The human traffic has become a priority of the Department of Justice and in the last seven years the division of civil law along with the U.S. prosecutor, have increased the number of human traffic cases processed judicially.
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                  • #10

                    Speaking of thieves . . .the criminal mentality of these losers is totally mind boggling. Can you imagine what we would inherit as a result of "a path to citizenship"? *shudders at the thought*

                    Fake FedEx Trucks; When the Drugs Absolutely Have to Get There
                    Fake Trucks Used to Smuggle Drugs, Money and Illegal Aliens Across the Border

                    More Photos By BRIAN ROSS
                    Jan. 18, 2008

                    Savvy criminals are using some of the country's most credible logos, including FedEx, Wal-Mart, DirecTV and the U.S. Border Patrol, to create fake trucks to smuggle drugs, money and illegal aliens across the border, according to a report by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

                    'Fake' Vehicle -- M.O. for Transporting Contraband?Termed "cloned" vehicles, the report also warns that terrorists could use the same fake trucks to gain access to secure areas with hidden weapons.

                    The report says criminals have been able to easily obtain the necessary vinyl logo markings and signs for $6,000 or less. Authorities say "cosmetically cloned commercial vehicles are not illegal."

                    In August 2006, the Texas Department of Public Safety, on a routine traffic stop, found 3,058 pounds of marijuana and 204 kilograms of cocaine in a "cloned" Wal-Mart semi-trailer, driven by a man wearing a Wal-Mart uniform.

                    In another case, a truck painted with DirecTV and other markings was pulled over in a routine traffic stop in Mississippi and discovered to be carrying 786 pounds of cocaine.

                    Police said they became suspicious because the truck carried the markings or DirecTV and several of its rivals. An 800 number on the truck's rear to report bad driving referred callers to an adult *** chat line.

                    Trucks and vans marked as ambulances or law enforcement vehicles create the greatest concern, according to the report.

                    Fake FedEx Trucks; When the Drugs Absolutely Have to Get There

                    A fake U.S. Border Patrol van was found to be carrying 31 illegal aliens in Casa Grande, Ariz.

                    An alert agent recognized that the "H" in the van's serial number is a letter used only on U.S. Border Patrol Jeep Wranglers. It should have been a "P."

                    "Neither emergency service vehicles nor any government vehicles are exempt from terrorist or other criminal use," the report warns its law enforcement readers.

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                    • #11
                      18-Year-Old Charged With Raping Child
                      Posted: Jan 15, 2008 11:20 PM EST

                      -LA VERGNE, Tenn. - An 18-year-old Salvadoran man was arrested and charged with raping a child.

                      Authorities said he should not have been living in the United States because he emigrated illegally.

                      Police arrested Diego Francisco Escobar-Landaverde for allegedly raping a 12-year-old girl.

                      Police said he initially denied having *** with the girl over weekend. The girl told her mother what happened the next day.

                      "He then admitted having *** with a 12-year-old," said La Vergne Police Chief Ted Boyd.

                      Police are linking Escobar-Landaverde to a sexual attack on a young girl inside a vacant mobile home.

                      His charge renews an ongoing debate about how to trace illegal immigrants who are, in the eyes of some investigators, untraceable.

                      Boyd said he doesn't have a Social Security number or driver's license.

                      More and more illegal immigrants crowd county jails.

                      This leaves sheriffs and police chiefs wondering how to charge them, whether to deport them or not and how to get around an obvious language barrier.

                      "It's a problem," said La Vergne Police Lt. Stace Thompson.

                      A stumbling block, police said, is no excuse for breaking the law.

                      "I don't think that there's a clear understanding that it's not acceptable here by those people when they come from some other place," Thompson said.

                      Escobar-Landaverde is from El Salvador.

                      "Right now, it would appear that he should not be here," Thompson said.

                      Escobar-Landaverde was deported out of Rio Grande, Texas, nearly two years ago.

                      The federal government is extending a helping hand to police, offering training on how to handle such foreign offenders.

                      It is an idea the chief in La Vergne embraces.

                      "It's something we're going to look into, and if it's feasible and it's something that we can do to help our community -- then we're going to do it," Boyd said.

                      Escobar-Landaverde's relatives, who speak little English, claimed he has until this March to get out of the country.

                      He told police it was consensual ***, but the alleged victim, who is also Salvadoran, disagreed.

                      Agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement will take him into custody after La Vergne police finish with him.

                      Rutherford County Sheriff's deputies are also on-board with the government's 287-G program, a how-to course on handling illegal immigrants.

                      But a spokesman said, for some reason, ICE officials have pushed back the start date.
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                      • #12
                        Illegal alien arrested for cocaine
                        By CHANCE EDMAN
                        staff writer

                        Some quick-thinking girls avoided being lured into a stranger's car and helped lead to the arrest of a suspect on drug charges.

                        Ellensburg, Washington police officers arrested an illegal immigrant Thursday for cocaine possession after parents of two 10-year-old girls told officers the man and an acquaintance tried to lure the girls into a car in Ellensburg.

                        Heriberto Villa, 21, of Mexico was issued a $10,000 bail by Kittitas County Superior Court Judge Michael Cooper Friday and told to stay in the state. Villa admitted to Cooper through a translator that he is in the U.S. illegally.

                        A Social Security card Villa used for identification to authorities proved fraudulent and another form of ID did not belong to him, county Prosecuting Attorney Greg Zempel said in a report given to Cooper in court.

                        Officers reportedly found a small bag of cocaine on Villa while searching for ID, Zempel said. Villa is also being charged for driving under the influence.

                        Immigration officers have placed a hold on him, according to Cooper, and the Mexican consulate has been notified of his arrest.

                        Villa is not facing charges for allegedly trying to lure the girls into a car in the Hillcrest Mobile Home Park area on Cascade Court Thursday evening.

                        Police are searching for the second man whom they believe may have spoken to the girls since Villa cannot speak English, Ellensburg Police Sgt. Mike Coppin said.

                        The girls never entered the car and were not physically contacted by the two men, according to Jackie Sharp, the mother of one of the girls.

                        "By the grace of God we got lucky and our girls are still with us," Sharp said.

                        Accounts of the alleged incident given by the two girls to Sharp indicate they were sledding at about 7 p.m. in the Cascade Crest area when a car pulled out of a driveway. One man inside allegedly told them it was too late to be sledding and that they should get in the car, Sharp said.

                        The girls immediately ran up an icy road nearby and the two men allegedly gave chase in their vehicle, but couldn't make it to the top, Sharp said.

                        The girls found a parent who contacted EPD and gave detailed descriptions of the men based on the girls' testimony.

                        "The girls who were involved in this incident did exactly the right thing, which is run away from the vehicle and notify adults," Coppin said. "From a police standpoint, they did a really good job."

                        The incident remains under investigation as officers attempt to locate the second man. It's unknown if he's also an illegal immigrant.
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                        • #13
                          January 18, 2008

                          Border Patrol operation detains 160 in Mississippi

                          By Ana Radelat
                          Gannett News Service

                          WASHINGTON - A special Border Patrol task force has apprehended 160 illegal immigrants in the first three days of operation.

                          "Operation Uniforce" is patrolling I-20 near Vicksburg because federal agents believe the interstate highway is a new corridor for smugglers who once used I-10 to ferry undocumented workers from the Mexican border to employers on the East Coast.

                          According to a Border Patrol report on Operation Uniforce, an informant said greater scrutiny of I-10 by federal agents has prompted some alien smugglers to use I-20.

                          The special operation of 40 Border Patrol agents, which included 12 from the agency's Gulfport office, began on Jan. 13 and is scheduled to continue until Jan. 26.

                          Most of the undocumented aliens apprehended in the operation are Mexican nationals. But two are from "special interest" countries - an Egyptian and a Palestinian from the West Bank.

                          Also detained is a murder suspect from El Salvador.


                          *ITS TIME TO SEAL OUR BORDERS*
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                          • #14
                            Illegal immigrant gets probation for vandalizing cemetery
                            Saturday, January 19, 2008

                            By MATT DUNN

                            BRIDGETON -- A man described by a Superior Court judge as an "undocumented alien" has been sentenced to 40 hours of community service in connection with a 2007 act of vandalism at a city cemetery.

                            Eliseo Diaz, 22, of Washington Street, was sentenced by Superior Court Judge Richard Geiger on Friday to two years of probation and community service after pleading guilty to third-degree criminal mischief.

                            According to Diaz's plea agreement, his community service will take place at Broad Street Cemetery, where he and another man knocked over a number of tombstones in an Aug. 28, 2007, incident, causing more than $2,000 worth of damage.

                            Diaz, who was drunk when he caused the damage to the cemetery, gave police the alias of Juan Diaz when he was arrested.

                            Claudio Perez, of Church Street, the other man charged in connection with the incident, disappeared shortly after he was released from Cumberland County Jail in 2007 and was never found.

                            "If the judge wants me to pay," Diaz said in court Friday, through a Spanish-speaking interpreter, "I just want to know the amount."

                            Diaz will pay no fines for the damage he caused to the historic pre-Revolutionary War city cemetery, where about 160 Civil War veterans are buried.

                            Geiger said Diaz's community service will take the place of fines.

                            Diaz must remain sober for two years and undergo substance abuse counseling, he added.

                            Whether Diaz, who has no prior criminal record, has the opportunity to serve his sentence depends on how federal Immigrations and Customs Enforcement authorities handle his case.

                            Diaz, who allegedly entered the United States from Mexico illegally at the age of 17, has an immigration detainer placed on him by the federal government and could be subject to deportation.

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                            • #15
                              Agent reported hit, killed by fleeing vehicle in dunes
                              Comments 7 | Recommend 14

                              January 19, 2008 - 10:46AM

                              Fellow officers mourn over body of agent reported hit by fleeing vehicle in dunes

                              A U.S. Border Patrol agent was struck Saturday morning by a Hummer in the Imperial Sand Dunes as the vehicle was fleeing law enforcement officers, according to witnesses in the dunes. The body of the agent could be seen covered by a white tarp after being struck by the vehicle about 9 a.m. in the dunes near Gray's Well Road and south of Interstate 8. The Hummer and a Black Ford F-150 pickup truck were being pursued by law enforcement officers on I-8 when they turned into the dunes and fled toward Mexico, according to witnesses in the dunes.

                              "We did lose an agent today. He was killed," said Agent Jeremy Schappell, spokesman for the Border Patrol's Yuma sector.

                              Schappell said he could not release anymore information about the fallen agent until next-of-kin had been notified.

                              The agent was laying down spike strips in the dunes to stop the Hummer when he was struck, according to the reports. Border Patrol agents could be seen rushing to the scene with weapons drawn as they sought the fleeing vehicles. A Border Patrol helicopter could also be seen flying overhead.

                              More details to come.

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