Washington Siblings Help Stop Younger Brother’s Kidnapping
Mar11

Washington Siblings Help Stop Younger Brother’s Kidnapping

Special to the Laredo Sun   A 22-month-old Washington boy is safe after a kidnapping thanks to the quick thinking reaction of his older brother and sister. The toddler, Owen Wright, was playing in a park in Sprague, Washington, on Sunday with his older brother, 10-year-old Brenden, and sister, 8-year-old Delicia. The siblings were playing unsupervised in a park next to their babysitter’s home while their father, Michael Wright, was at work, according to local ABC affiliate KXLY. Surveillance footage from a nearby grocery store shows the suspect running off with Owen in his arms. As the suspect fled with Owen, the toddler’s siblings began chasing after him. “This little girl come running around the corner screaming her head off,” witness Dorothy Giddings told KXLY. Delicia’s screams alerted passersby, including two teenage boys who joined the pursuit. “I didn’t really care. There was a kid’s life in danger,” said one of the teens, Andrew Crane. “I don’t consider myself a hero. I consider myself a person doing the right thing,” said another, Isaac Yow. The suspect eventually abandoned Owen in an empty lot before continuing to flee. “I told that little girl, I said, ‘Honey, you did exactly what you needed to do scream your head off,’” Giddings said of Owen’s sister. “That’s what saved that baby. Her screaming and us running.” The suspect in the alleged kidnapping remains at large. Police in the small community of Sprague, population 500, are asking anyone who recognizes the suspect to contact the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office at 509-725-3501. The siblings’ father, Michael Wright, says he “can’t explain” what happened after hearing his son had been kidnapped. “I can’t explain the feeling, the anxiety and everything that goes into finding out your children is missing or something has happened to them,” Wright told...

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Seven Handed Sentences For Cocaine And Meth Trafficking
Mar10

Seven Handed Sentences For Cocaine And Meth Trafficking

Special to the Laredo Sun Seven people were sentenced this week for their roles in a drug conspiracy involving the shipment of cocaine and methamphetamine from Laredo to Dallas and Houston, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson. U.S. District Court Judge George P. Kazen ordered Nuevo Laredo attorney Rolando Ariel Salinas-Apac, 34, to a term of 180 months in federal prison. Juan Manuel Reyes, 37, a commercial truck driver from Nuevo Laredo was sentenced to 121 months. Christian Abundez, 23, of Laredo, recevied 110 months, while his sister Blanca Abundez, 29 also of Laredo, was ordered to serve an 84-month-term of imprisonment. Francisco Javier Garza, 55, Abraham Bruno Ortiz, 49, and Gabriel Munoz Solis, 40, all of Laredo, each received individual terms of 92 months. The seven were charged in two separate federal indictments with conspiracy to possess and possession with intent to distribute in excess of five kilograms of cocaine and heroin and  more than 500 grams of methamphetamine. The indictments were returned in July 2013 and were the last of seven indictments relating to a long term Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation dubbed Operation Ultimate D. These indictments charged several drug trafficking cells operating out of the Laredo area engaged in a conspiracy to distribute bulk quantities of marijuana, heroin, methamphetamines and cocaine from the Laredo area to distribution venues such as Dallas and Houston. The investigation has thus far yielded 23 convictions with all but two defendants pleading guilty to various conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute various narcotics to include marijuana, heroin, cocaine and methamphetamines.  The remaining two defendants were convicted indiviually in seprate jury trials. Laredo businessman Marco Antonio Marchan was convicted by a federal jury in December 2013, while Juan Manuel Reyes, a Mexican commercial truck driver, was convicted in January 2014. The remaining two defendants – Ahmed Alejandro Plascencia, 33, of Laredo, and Ilmar Sierra, 35, of Dallas – will be sentenced March 13, 2015. OCDETF Operation Ultimate D was spearheaded by the Drug Enforcement Administration with the assistance of Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation, Webb County District Attorney’s Office, Webb County Sheriff’s Office and the U.S....

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CBP Laredo Field Office Rolls Out First In the Nation Videos To Familiarize Bus Passengers with CBP Processes, Entry Requirements
Mar10

CBP Laredo Field Office Rolls Out First In the Nation Videos To Familiarize Bus Passengers with CBP Processes, Entry Requirements

Special to the Laredo Sun U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Laredo Field Office today announced the rollout of the first in the nation bilingual videos designed to familiarize arriving bus passengers with CBP processes, and entry requirements.                                                             “We have been processing a steadily increasing volume of bus passengers, including more than 1.4 million within Laredo Field Office alone in FY 2014,” said Director, Field Operations David P. Higgerson, Laredo Field Office. “By rolling out these first-ever bilingual videos in the bus environment, we will better acquaint the arriving bus passengers with our processes, thereby allaying any fears, concerns and increasing efficiency and compliance with customs, immigration, agriculture law and laws of other agencies.”   Sharing the podium with CBP LFO senior managers at the bus video rollout event were City of Laredo Assistant City Manager Horacio de Leon, Omnibus Express President and CEO Carlos Casillas and General Manager Liliana Aguilar. Also participating in the event was Laredo Convention and Visitors Bureau (A) Director Veronica Gamboa. The event also featured a demonstration of the bus video pre-loaded in an actual bus at the Laredo Port of Entry.   Produced jointly by Laredo Port of Entry and Laredo Field Office, the video walks bus passengers through CBP processes, including presenting entry documents to CBP officers when disembarking from the bus, non-intrusive imaging of the bus itself without passengers, screening of passenger luggage, and obtaining tourist permits. Throughout the video, the narrator explains relevant CBP entry, customs and currency declaration requirements, prohibited and permitted agriculture and wildlife items and passenger safety tips.   Through partnership and coordination with bus industry stakeholders, the videos will be distributed to international bus lines arriving at Laredo Port of Entry and all South Texas ports of entry that process international bus traffic....

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Reputed Boss Of Zetas Drug Cartel Captured In Mexico
Mar04

Reputed Boss Of Zetas Drug Cartel Captured In Mexico

CNN Mexican authorities have captured Omar Trevino Morales, the reputed leader of the Zetas drug cartel, CNNMexico reported, citing federal officials. Known as “Z-42,” Trevino was arrested near Monterrey, Mexico. For the Mexican government, it would be the second high-level arrest of a purported drug boss in a week. Servando Gomez, leader of the Knights Templar drug cartel, was captured Friday in the state of Michoacan. The capture of the cartel leaders is a victory for Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, though the Zetas and Knights Templar are not as powerful as they once were. Omar Trevino Morales has been arrested, officials say. Still, reports of violence, corruption and extortion continue to flow from the areas of northern Mexico where the Zetas operate. The U.S. State Department was offering a reward of $5 million for information leading to the arrest of Trevino Morales. The Mexican government offered an additional $2 million. Trevino Morales is believed to have been at the helm of the Zetas since 2013, inheriting the post from his brother, Miguel Angel Trevino Morales. Miguel Angel, or “Z-40,” was known as a ruthless drug lord with a reputation for burning his enemies alive and ordering mass killings. His arrest in July 2013 was praised as a turning point. But while certain cartels have been weakened after their leaders are captured, critics are quick to point out that the criminal organizations survive, and new leaders rise. Omar Trevino Morales’ arrest came early Wednesday in San Pedro Garza Garcia, a suburb of the industrial hub of...

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Boston Marathon Bombing: Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s Defense Admits ‘It Was Him’
Mar04

Boston Marathon Bombing: Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s Defense Admits ‘It Was Him’

ABC News The defense team for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev made a stunning admission at the beginning of the accused Boston Marathon bomber’s trial today: “It was him.” “We’re all going to come face to face with unbearable grief, loss and pain caused by a series of senseless, horribly misguided acts carried out by two brothers, 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev and his younger brother, 19-year-old Dzhokhar,” defense attorney Judy Clarke told the court. “We do not and will not at any point in this case sidestep or attempt to sidestep Dzhokhar’s responsibility for his actions. We think the question of ‘why’ is important.” Clarke said it was that facet, the motive behind the deadly bombing, where the defense disagrees with the prosecution. Tamerlan Tsarnaev, Clarke said, was the one “who self-radicalized” and the defense plans to show evidence that Dzhokhar was “enlisted” by his older brother. The defense team gave a hint of a similar potential strategy a year ago when they filed motions to obtain information the attorneys believed would show that between the brothers, Tamerlan was an “all-powerful force who could not be ignored or disobeyed.” Earlier today U.S. District Judge George O’Toole seemed to strike a blow to such a defense, telling the court that whether Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is more or less culpable than his late brother is not relevant. Dzhokhar has pleaded not guilty to the 30 counts against him, including charges of using a “weapon of mass destruction resulting in death.” The trial comes just under two years after twin explosions ripped through the crowd near the finish line of the Boston Marathon in April 2013, killing three people – including an eight-year-old boy – and injuring some 260 others. More than a dozen of those injured lost limbs. ABC News Boston Marathon Bombing – ABC News infographic Prosecutors say Dzhokhar and his older brother Tamerlan Tsarnaev were responsible for the death and destruction, and that the two were photographed dropping backpacks holding the bombs before the blasts. The city of Boston was paralyzed for days during an intense manhunt, during which the pair allegedly gunned down an MIT police officer. Tamerlan was eventually killed in a shootout with police days after the attack in the Boston suburb of Watertown. Dzhokhar was caught hours after that shootout, bloody and hiding in a dry-docked boat. While hiding, Tsarnaev penned an anti-American missive on the wall of the boat, saying, “The U.S. government is killing our innocent civilians, but most of you already know that.” “We Muslims are one body. You kill one of us, you hurt [unintelligible] us all,” another section of the note read. After opening statements,...

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Border Patrol Seize 10 Bundles Of Methamphetamine At Checkpoint
Feb25

Border Patrol Seize 10 Bundles Of Methamphetamine At Checkpoint

Special to The Laredo Sun LAREDO, Texas – On February 18, Border Patrol agents assigned to the Border Patrol Checkpoint on Interstate Highway 35 encountered a tractor-trailer at the primary inspection lane.  As the driver was being questioned of his immigration status, a service canine alerted to the trailer, subsequently the agent referred the driver to secondary for further inspection. While at secondary, agents conducted a closer and thorough inspection of the trailer, subsequently finding several bundles wrapped in cellophane that tested positive for methamphetamine.  A total of 10 bundles were removed from the trailer.  The contraband weighed 25.1 pounds and has a street value of $803,200.00 USD.  The narcotics, vehicle, and subject were turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration. The Laredo Border Patrol Sector is part of the South Texas Campaign, which leverages federal, state and local resources to combat transnational criminal organizations. To report suspicious activity such as drug and/or alien smuggling, contact the Laredo Sector Border Patrol toll free telephone number at...

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