Monday, October 29, 2012



Note: Local will enjoy. From the Dir. of Public Security in Naco.
"Naco is safe . . . . . "

Note: Yet another reason the the debate on if lethal force should
be used to stop chases continues. They, the smugglers, continually
endanger, injure or sometimes kill or cause the death of others.
With no regard for lives of anyone.
But maybe a stiff probation sentence for these two?

Police arrest 2, seize 240 pounds of marijuana
Posted: Saturday, October 27, 2012 10:21 am
Staff Reports

Two men were arrested and 240 pounds of marijuana, with an estimated
value of $180,000, was seized after a Friday morning vehicle pursuit
south of Casa Grande.
According to a written release from the Pinal County Sheriff's
Office, Daniel Alvarado, 27, of Eloy and Jose Juan Cantu Millanes,
19, of Mexico were arrested on suspicion of possessing marijuana for
sale, transporting marijuana and possession of the drugs and
paraphernalia. Alvarado also is accused of leaving the scene of an
accident and fleeing police.
Around 8:35 a.m., Border Patrol agents used stop sticks to stop
Alvarado, who was driving a Ford Thunderbird northbound on Indian
Route 15.
In spite of losing a tire and driving on a rim only, Alvarado
reportedly continued driving into the city limits and then hit
another auto before driving off.
Alvarado stopped the car about 30 minutes later near Alsdorf Road and
Jimmie Kerr Boulevard in Eloy and the two men ran off. A Sheriff's
Office helicopter led deputies to the men, in a carport in the 400
block of West Hinton Street.

Note: For Pima county folks, it election time.

Probation for man busted with 100 pounds of pot
October 25, 2012 4:43 pm •
Kim Smith, Arizona Daily Star

A 21-year-old man who was caught with nearly 100 pounds of marijuana
following a high speed chase in July has been placed on two years

On July 6, a Pima County sheriff's deputy pulled over a pickup truck
for a traffic violation near Twin Peaks Road, but the driver took off
as the deputy walked up, according to court documents.

The deputy gave chase and the suspect reached 70 miles an hour as he
drove up and down Silverbell Road. Eventually, the driver stopped at
a restaurant and he and five or six other people ran off.

The driver, later identified as Zenas Uriah-Lanair Johnson, got
caught when he jumped back in the truck to put it in park as it
started to roll, according to court documents.

Johnson told deputies people affiliated with his cousin offered him
$800 to pick up a truck filled with people and marijuana, court
documents state. He was given a cell phone and told to follow the
instructions given to him by the person on the other end of the phone.

Johnson, who has no prior criminal convictions, pleaded guilty to
solicitation to possess marijuana for sale. He could have received
between 1 and 3.75 years in prison.

Pima County Superior Court Judge Deborah Bernini imposed the sentence.

Note: updated. It should be noted that they deliberately chose to
put themselves in that position, situation and danger.

Trooper fatally shot Guatemalan immigrants from helicopter: DPS
A red pick up truck is moved from the scene of a incident after a
chase between law enforcement and suspected human smugglers on 7 mile
road north of La Joya, Texas, Thursday, Oct. 25, 2012. Texas
Department of Public Safety sharpshooter opened fire on an evading
vehicle loaded with suspected illegal immigrants, leaving at least
two people dead, sources familiar with the investigation said. (AP
Photo/The Monitor, Joel Martinez)

Posted: Friday, October 26, 2012 10:33 pm | Updated: 11:21 pm, Fri
Oct 26, 2012.
Ildefonso Ortiz and Jacqueline Armendariz Twitter: @ildefonsoortiz

LA JOYA — A flying state trooper who fired shots from a rifle at a
truck fleeing authorities Thursday afternoon believed the smugglers
were carrying a drug load.
Instead, they were transporting illegal immigrants.
A preliminary investigation indicates two Guatemalan nationals were
shot to death and another was injured in the gunfire, Texas
Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw told The Monitor.
The confirmation from DPS came late Friday evening — hours after
Guatemalan officials chastised state troopers, calling the incident a
"senseless murder."
"I know my people are in the wrong crossing illegally and I know
that the government of this country has to protect their border, but
to shoot at unarmed humans is beyond me," said Alva Caceres, the
Guatemalan Consul General in McAllen. "I am very concerned; we have
not received any information from them," referring to DPS.
State game wardens chased after a red pickup truck Thursday afternoon
along Farm-to-Market Road 2221 before calling in a DPS helicopter to
assist in the pursuit, the state agency said in a statement.
The pickup was transporting nine Guatemalan nationals who had entered
the country illegally and an unidentified driver.
A DPS sharpshooter opened fire on the fleeing truck — believing it
contained drugs, not people — before the chase ended with a flat tire
along Mile 7 near La Joya, west of the expansive Pueblo de Palmas
Two occupants died and a third was injured.
DPS waited until Friday evening to confirm the preliminary
investigation shows the troopers' bullets killed the Guatemalan
nationals. Other area law enforcement officials familiar with the
case confirmed to The Monitor the fatal mistake Thursday evening.
Caceres said the surviving immigrants told her office the tarp
covering them flew off the truck during the chase, exposing the
people in the bed of the truck.
No drugs were found in the vehicle. A photograph of the pickup shows
what appear to be several bullet-holes on the left rear side of the
truck, with a shredded rear tire.
"These statements taken from the survivors leave me outraged," she
said. "I can't conceive how a police officer fires at unarmed humans.
These are people from humble origins that even at first glance do not
look like hardened criminals."
The Guatemalans left their home country 19 days ago near Guatemala
City and had planned on meeting friends and relatives in Houston, New
York and New Jersey, Caceres said. The victims' identities have not
been disclosed.
Terri Burke, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union
of Texas, called for a full investigation of the fatal shooting.
"We are eager to hear the facts in this case. What we know so far
raises disturbing questions," Burke said in a statement. "Why is a
state game warden involved in enforcement of federal immigration law?
Why is a game warden in dangerous high speed pursuit of people who
were suspected of nothing more than a civil offense? And where's the
'public safety' when a trooper in a helicopter opens fire on unarmed
persons in a vehicle on a public road?"
Police chases have become commonplace in Rio Grande Valley —
especially in Hidalgo County, where nearly 13 percent of all DPS
chases between 2005 and 2010 occurred, according to an analysis by
The Texas Tribune and San Antonio Express-News.
DPS allows troopers to open fire on vehicles when defending
themselves or someone else from serious harm or death. That includes
opening fire from helicopters to disable vehicles or when deadly
force is ruled necessary.
The agency said Friday that the high speeds the truck reached while
fleeing from game wardens endangered the public.
DPS' gutsy policy contradicts common practice for all other law
enforcement agencies in the Rio Grande Valley, where deadly force may
only be used if a peace officer believes death is imminent.
Whenever a pursuit take place police officers follow a strict policy
that dictates their duties while keeping in mind the safety of the
public, said Mission Police Chief Martin Garza.
In order to fire a weapon at a vehicle, there has to be an imminent
threat to an officer or a third party and the order must be approved
by a commander or higher, Garza said.
"Under no circumstance will that order be given if there is a
passenger in the vehicle," he said.
For McAllen police, the use of a firearm in general is very
restricted matter — only in extraneous circumstances, said Police
Chief Victor Rodriguez.
Incidents involving the use of deadly force are dynamic and fast
paced in nature, said San Juan Police Chief Juan Gonzalez.
"An officer in a deadly force situation must asses an imminent threat
taking into account the actions of the suspect and the totality of
the circumstances," Gonzalez said adding that a firearm is used when
other force options are not available.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers "are trained to use
deadly force in circumstances that pose a threat to their lives, the
lives of their fellow law enforcement partners and innocent third
parties," agency spokesman Doug Mosier said.
A report presented Thursday to the United Nations by the American
Civil Liberties Union said shootings and excessive force by CBP
officers along the border have left at least 20 people dead or
seriously injured since 2010. Eight of those cases involved officers
responding to people throwing rocks and six were killed while
standing on the Mexican side of the border.
State officials' criticism of federal authorities on border security
has escalated in recent years, leaving Texas to invest its own
resources in securing the Rio Grande from what the state has called
an escalation in drug cartel activity along the border.
The contention of heightened crime along the border contradicts crime
rates that have shown double-digit drops in recent years, though
state authorities have been quick to argue that the numbers do not
show a full picture of border violence.
Texas Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples, a vocal critic of the
federal government's border security policies by claiming South Texas
ranchers are under attack by drug cartels, called Thursday's fatal
shootings a "a very tragic incident."
But he remained steadfast on his talking points about border security.
"This is a real tragedy, but the reality is that there is dangerous
activity in the border everyday as a result of a porous border and
the activity of drug cartels," Staples said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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