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Hard times cost O.C. jails $2 million

May 31, 2010 Leave a comment

Orange County Register
May 26th, 2010
By Mary Ann Milbourn
A decline in the Orange County jail inmate population — which started about the time the recession began — has cost a handful of jobs and forced jail officials to draw nearly $2 million from reserves.
The Inmate Welfare Fund provides services to inmates that are not mandated by law. It gets its money from commissary profits, commissions on inmate telephone calls and reimbursement for GED and other educational programs.
But since peaking at 6,700, the county’s inmate population has dropped to 4,600 to 4,800 and officials don’t know why, said Sharron Gibson Casler, who oversees the Inmate Welfare Fund.
Even with commissions from inmate telephone calls topping $2.4 million and commissary profits at nearly $416,000, revenues were way down last year.
"If I don’t have inmates to go to the commissary, make phone calls or attend classes, I don’t get the money," Casler said.
During the 2008-09, that translated into a nearly $1.3 million shortfall in the fund. She expects revenues to decline another $600,000 this year before leveling out in 2010-11.
Casler has covered the shortfall by reducing staff primarily through retirements and reassignments. Three people were laid off. She is also working to get more inmates into education programs which are reimbursed by the state.
Still, the decline in inmate population has many sheriff’s officials scratching their heads.
"We’ve had the population decline before maybe for the holidays when judges may not want to send them to jail, but it always bounced back," Casler said. "Every time the economy has gone down in the past, the jail fills up and (inmates) will come back."
Neither happened this time.
Casler thinks it may have to do with deported immigrants not coming back into the country because there are no jobs.
She also speculates that some people who may have been headed for trouble and the legal system may have ended up in the military instead.
In addition, there are also more programs now like drug court to keep people out of the jail system.
"For one year we tried to absorb (the shortfall) thinking it would just be a short blip — but it wasn’t," Casler said.
She said the fund is solvent and not in any danger of overspending.
"By 2010-11 we should be in pretty good shape," Casler said.
http://economy.freedomblogging.com/2010/05/26/hard-times-cost-o-c-jails-2-million/33249/

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CBP Officers, Border Patrol Agents Recover Five Stolen Vehicles During Outbound Enforcement Operations Four Mexican and Two U.S. Citizens Arrested

May 27, 2010 Leave a comment


(Wednesday, May 19, 2010)

contacts for this news release

Brownsville, Texas – U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers and Border Patrol agents working outbound enforcement operations at the Brownsville port of entry southbound lanes recovered five stolen vehicles and arrested four Mexican and two U.S. citizens.

The first of the five stolen vehicle recoveries occurred at Gateway International Bridge in the early morning hours of May 1, when CBP officers and Border Patrol agents came in contact with a blue southbound 2003 Chevrolet Avalanche as it attempted to exit the U.S. to enter Mexico. After a routine examination, the vehicle, driver and a male passenger were referred to secondary for an intensive examination.

The driver, identified as a 27-year-old Mexican citizen and resident of Matamoros, Tamaulipas, Mexico and his passenger, a male identified as a 24-year-old Mexican citizen from San Fernando, Tamaulipas, Mexico both were arrested and placed in a holding cell after an intensified examination of the Avalanche revealed a stolen vehicle status from the Brownsville, Texas area.

Both males were turned over to the Brownsville Police Department, and the vehicle was returned to its registered owner.

The second case took place late afternoon on May 7, at Gateway International Bridge when CBP officers encountered a maroon 2003 Mercedes Benz driven southbound by a 23-year-old male identified as a Mexican citizen from Campo Verde, Coahuila, Mexico. CBP officers stopped the Mercedes; checks of a CBP database revealed the Mercedes Benz had been reported stolen. CBP officers arrested the driver and subsequently turned him and the vehicle over to the custody of the Cameron County Sherriff’s Office.

In a third case, occurring on May 10, CBP officers approached a red 2005 Chevrolet Aveo being driven by a male identified as a 39-year-old U.S. citizen from Albertville, Ala. as he attempted to exit the U.S. and enter Mexico. CBP officers’ interview of the driver resulted in the discovery that the Chevrolet had been stolen from South Padre Island, Texas. CBP officers arrested the driver, and both vehicle and driver were turned over to the Cameron County Constable’s Office.

The next vehicle recovery happened at the Gateway International Bridge on May 11, when CBP officers and Border Patrol agents working outbound enforcement operations came in contact with a male driving a gray 2006 Nissan Maxima. CBP officers and Border Patrol agents referred the Nissan to CBP secondary for further inspection.

At secondary inspection, CBP officers and Border Patrol agents determined that the driver, identified as a 20-year-old citizen of Mexico and resident of Matamoros, Tamaulipas, Mexico was in fact in possession of a vehicle reported stolen from the San Benito Police Department. CBP officers and Border Patrol agents arrested the driver who was then turned over to the custody of the San Benito Police Department along with the stolen Nissan Maxima.

The fifth stolen vehicle recovery by Brownsville CBP took place mid-morning on May 18, at Gateway International Bridge. CBP officers and Border Patrol agents stopped a 2005 silver Chevrolet Tahoe driven by a 17-year-old U.S. citizen from Houston, Texas as the driver attempted to exit the U.S. to enter Mexico. A secondary examination of the driver and the Tahoe resulted in the discovery that the vehicle had been stolen from Houston, Texas. The Chevrolet Tahoe was seized by CBP officers and Border Patrol agents working the case and turned over to the Cameron County Sherriff’s Office.

The drivers in all five cases will face state auto theft charges.

“Brownsville’s CBP team working southbound intercepted these stolen vehicles and arrested the drivers. This is a result of the continued training our CBP officers and Border Patrol agents receive and an excellent utilization of our best asset, our CBP officers and agents,” said Michael Freeman, port director of the Brownsville Port of Entry. “I commend our CBP officers and Border Patrol agents for their dedication which greatly contributed to the recovery of these stolen vehicles.”

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation’s borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.

Contacts For This News Release

Eddie Perez
CBP Public Affairs

Phone:
(956) 548-2745  (956) 548-2745 Ext: 1155 or

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Border Patrol Agents Seize Load of Assault Rifles Dallas Man Charged with Unlawfully Attempting to Export Firearms

May 27, 2010 Leave a comment


(Friday, May 21, 2010)

contacts for this news release

Del Rio, Texas – U.S. Border Patrol agents, stopping to aid a stranded motorist, discovered a hidden cache of assault rifles, Thursday morning.

While conducting patrol duties near La Pryor, agents assigned to the Uvalde Border Patrol Station encountered a pickup truck stopped on the side of the road due to mechanical problems. Agents became suspicious after observing that the truck had sustained substantial damage, and the two occupants of the vehicle made conflicting statements.

A Border Patrol canine alerted to the rear of the pickup, leading agents to discover the weapons hidden in the truck.

The vehicle was transported to the Uvalde Border Patrol Station for intensive inspection. Agents recovered a total of 59 assault rifles and 49 high-capacity magazines from the pickup.

Agents from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives responded to the Uvalde Station to launch an investigation. U.S. Customs and Border Protection deployed technical assistance for further inspection of the vehicle.

The driver of the pickup, Cristobal Riojas, 29, of Dallas, was arrested and charged by criminal complaint with unlawfully attempting to export firearms. Riojas appeared in federal court, in Del Rio, this morning and was ordered detained pending a detention hearing Wednesday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Victor R. Garcia. If convicted, Riojas faces up to 10 years in federal prison and a maximum fine of $250,000.

ICE is leading the investigation in coordination with ATF and the Zavala County Sheriff’s Office.

A criminal complaint is merely a charge and should not be considered as evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation’s borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.

Contacts For This News Release

Del Rio Sector
CBP Public Affairs

Phone:
(830) 778-7050  (830) 778-7050

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CBP Officers Seize $22,154 at Douglas Port of Entry

May 27, 2010 Leave a comment

(Sunday, May 23, 2010)

contacts for this news release

Douglas, Ariz. – U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers stopped an illegal exportation of currency when officers conducting southbound operations, searched a man and found that he was attempting to conceal $22,154 in undeclared currency on his person.

On May 22 at a little past 8 p.m. CBP officers were screening pedestrians going into Mexico as part of a southbound operation. The CBP officers selected a man carrying a red bag for inspection. CBP officers discovered that the man was attempting to smuggle $22,154 out of the United States by concealing the money on his person.

CBP officers seized the undeclared currency. The man was turned over to the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement for further investigation and prosecution.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation’s borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.

Contacts For This News Release

M. Carl Robinson
CBP Public Affairs

Phone:
(520) 364-8486  (520) 364-8486

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Impostors and Suspected Narcotic Smugglers Arrested Over the Weekend

May 27, 2010 Leave a comment


(Tuesday, May 25, 2010)

contacts for this news release

San Luis, Ariz. – U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the San Luis Port of Entry arrested four impostors and seized more than 400 pounds of marijuana over the last weekend.

CBP officers encountered four different impostors who attempted to enter the United States with documents that did not belong to them. In three of the cases the men presented the following documents: Border Crossing card, U.S. Passport Card, and Legal Permanent Resident document.

However, the fourth case was unlike the others because a woman presented a Border Crossing document which belonged to a man. Therefore, she presented herself to a CBP officer as a man in order to gain entry into the country. In all four cases officers noticed the impostors did not resemble the photos on the documents presented and arrested each person for immigration violations.

On Sunday May 23, CBP officers arrested three others on suspected marijuana smuggling charges. The first incident occurred just after 3 a.m. when an 18-year-old man attempted to smuggle marijuana concealed in the Chevy Malibu he was driving. A CBP officer noticed a package of an unknown substance on the dashboard while conducting primary cursory inspection of the vehicle. Ultimately, the vehicle inspection was continued and more packages were found within the dashboard which was confirmed to be just over 27 pounds of marijuana.

The second incident occurred approximately six hours later, when a 28-year-old man attempted to smuggle marijuana concealed in the Ford Explorer he was driving. CBP officers conducting enforcement operations found more than 93 pounds of marijuana hidden inside the doors and gas tank of the vehicle. The officers were assisted by a narcotic detector dog and an x-ray machine in detecting the contraband.

The third, and largest, case occurred just after 10 p.m. when a 46-year-old man attempted to smuggle marijuana in a Ford utility truck. A CBP officer, processing vehicles entering the United States, referred the man and his vehicle to a secondary inspection area. Upon further inspection, officers found more than 281 pounds of marijuana secreted in the external oil tank, with the assistance of a narcotic detector dog and an x-ray machine.

All three men were immediately arrested and turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The CBP Office of Field Operations is responsible for securing our borders at the ports of entry. U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officers’ primary mission is anti-terrorism; they screen all people, vehicles, and goods entering the United States, while facilitating the flow of legitimate trade and travel into and out of the United States. Their mission also includes carrying out traditional border-related responsibilities, including narcotics interdiction, enforcing immigration law, protecting the nation’s food supply and agriculture industry from pests and diseases, and enforcing trade laws.

While anti-terrorism is the primary mission of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the inspection process at the ports of entry associated with this mission results in impressive numbers of enforcement actions in all categories.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation’s borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.

Contacts For This News Release

Teresa Small
CBP Public Affairs

Phone:
(928) 627-8854  (928) 627-8854 Ext: 207 or
(928) 627-3252  (928) 627-3252

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CBP Officers at Anzalduas, Hidalgo International Bridges Apprehended 6 Fugitives in 72 Hours

May 27, 2010 Leave a comment

Individuals Wanted by State and Federal Law Enforcement Agencies
(Tuesday, May 25, 2010)

contacts for this news release

Granjeno and Hidalgo, Texas – CBP officers working at the Anzalduas and Hidalgo International Bridges in a 72-hour period apprehended six fugitives wanted by state and federal law enforcement agencies on charges ranging from aggravated assault, probation violation, cocaine possession, traffic violation charges, conspiracy charges, and failure to appear.

On May 23, CBP officers working at the Anzalduas International Bridge came in contact with a northbound male traveler. At primary, the traveler was identified as Rigoberto Rodriguez, a U.S. citizen, age 22 from Mission, Texas. A check of a CBP national database identified Rodriguez as the subject of an outstanding criminal arrest warrant and wanted by the McAllen, Texas Police Department on an alleged charge of aggravated assault. Rodriguez was transferred to the custody of the McAllen, Texas Police Department.

On May 24, CBP officers working at the northbound pedestrian lanes at the Hidalgo International Bridge came in contact with a male pedestrian. The traveler was identified as Luis Enrique Solis, a U.S. citizen, age 23 from Alamo, Texas. A check of a CBP national database identified Solis as the subject of an outstanding criminal arrest warrant and wanted by the Bartow County, Ga., Sheriff’s Office on an alleged charge of probation violation. Solis was transferred to the custody of the Hidalgo, Texas Police Department and remains incarcerated pending extradition proceedings back to Bartow County, Georgia.

On May 24, CBP officers working at the northbound pedestrian lanes at the Hidalgo International Bridge came in contact with another male pedestrian. The traveler identified himself as Erbey Trevino Salinas, a U.S. citizen, age 40 from Mission, Texas and further declared himself as a wanted person. A check of a CBP national database confirmed Trevino Salinas as the subject of an outstanding criminal arrest warrant and wanted by the United States Marshals Service on an alleged charge of cocaine possession. Trevino Salinas was transferred to the local office of the U.S. Marshals Service, McAllen, Texas.

On May 24, at almost midnight, CBP officers again working the northbound pedestrian lanes at the Hidalgo International Bridge came in contact with yet another male pedestrian. The traveler was identified as Jesus Martinez, a U.S. citizen, age 34, from Mission, Texas. A check of a CBP national database identified Martinez as the subject of an outstanding criminal arrest warrant and wanted by the Hidalgo, Texas Police Department on alleged traffic violation charges. Martinez was transferred to the custody of the Hidalgo, Texas Police Department.

On May 25, CBP officers working at the Hidalgo International Bridge came in contact with a northbound traveler. The traveler was identified as Jesus Salinas, a U.S. citizen, age 24 from San Juan, Texas. A check of a CBP national database identified Salinas as the subject of an outstanding criminal arrest warrant and wanted by the U.S. Marshals Service on an alleged ATF weapons-related offense of conspiracy. Salinas was transferred to the custody of the Hidalgo, Texas Police Department.

On May 25, CBP officers working at the northbound pedestrian lanes came in contact with a male pedestrian. The traveler was identified as Jose de Jesus Velasco Alvarado, a Mexican citizen, age 42 from South Elgin, Ill. A check of a CBP national database identified Velasco Alvarado as the subject of an outstanding criminal arrest warrant and wanted by the South Elgin, Ill., Police Department on an alleged charge of failure to appear/aggravated battery/assault.

Hector A. Mancha, CBP port director in Hidalgo-Pharr said, “Our frontline officers continue to access and utilize CBP systems at primary inspection to identify and intercept arriving international travelers listed as wanted fugitives.” Mancha further said, “These arrests are another example on how CBP works to secure our nation’s borders and our communities.”

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation’s borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.

Contacts For This News Release

Felix Garza
CBP Public Affairs

Phone:
(956) 843-5717  (956) 843-5717

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Joint CBP Operation Seizes 1,994 Assault Rifle Rounds Leaving U.S. at Brownsville Port of Entry

May 27, 2010 Leave a comment

(Tuesday, May 25, 2010)

Brownsville, Texas – U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers and Border Patrol agents working outbound enforcement operations at the Brownsville and Matamoros International Bridge’s southbound lanes seized 1,994 rounds of undeclared assault rifle ammunition hidden within a 2007 Chrysler Sebring.

click for hi-res
Some of the 1,994 rounds of ammunition discovered were wrapped in tape for packaging.

Some of the 1,994 rounds of ammunition discovered were wrapped in tape for packaging.

On May 24, CBP officers and Border Patrol agents working outbound enforcement operations at the Brownsville and Matamoros International Bridge encountered a black Chrysler Sebring as it attempted to exit the U.S. to enter Mexico. The driver, identified as a 23-year-old male, and his 19-year-old male passenger, who both were U.S. citizens and residents of Brownsville, Texas, were referred to secondary for further inspection.

In secondary inspection, further examination of the vehicle by CBP officers and agents resulted in the discovery of several packages containing ammunition that were hidden throughout the Chrysler. CBP officers discovered a total of 1,994 rounds of .223-caliber ammunition in this enforcement operation.

Both men were taken into custody by CBP officers and turned over to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement special agents for further investigation.

“Brownsville’s CBP team has stopped a significant quantity of assault-type ammunitions from being exported into Mexico in violation of federal law. I applaud our officers and agents for a job well done with the interception of close to 2,000 rounds of ammunition,” said Port Director Michael Freeman of the Brownsville Port of Entry.

"The arrest of these suspects demonstrates the BEST [Border Enforcement Security Task Force] team’s dedication to pursue those who pose a threat to public safety and the well being of our communities," said Jerry Robinette, special agent in charge of the ICE Office of Investigations in San Antonio. "We will continue to target criminal organizations, ensure compliance with our immigration and customs laws and make certain that our nation’s borders are secure at all times."

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation’s borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.

Contacts For This News Release

Eddie Perez
CBP Public Affairs

Phone:
(956) 548-2745  (956) 548-2745 Ext: 1155 or

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