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1 US TX: Border Patrol Agent Fires Round At Alleged DrugTue, 20 Dec 2011
Source:Brownsville Herald, The (TX) Author:Martinez, Laura B. Area:Texas Lines:48 Added:12/21/2011

A U.S. Border Patrol agent fired his service weapon at several alleged drug smugglers who were throwing rocks at him and another agent.

The incident happened at around 7 p.m. Monday near the B&M International Bridge in Brownsville, said Border Patrol spokeswoman Rosalinda Huey.

The agents were patrolling when they encountered several people who appeared to be carrying bundles of marijuana, authorities said.

When the agents confronted the individuals, they began throwing rocks at the agents, Huey said.

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2 US TX: Officers Fired For Failing Drug TestMon, 19 Dec 2011
Source:Brownsville Herald, The (TX) Author:Taylor, Jared Area:Texas Lines:68 Added:12/21/2011

EDINBURG - Five Hidalgo County Sheriff's Office employees are no longer employed after an internal investigation.

Hidalgo County Sheriff Lupe Trevino announced the four terminations and resignation in a news release Monday morning.

The dismissals come after a round of drug tests at the Sheriff's Office.

Citing privacy concerns, Trevino would not confirm the five employees failed drug tests. Sources familiar with the situation said the deputies had failed their drug tests.

Deputy Amando Guerra resigned amid the internal investigation. Deputy David Ortiz was terminated.

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3 US TX: Column: Prison Gangs Enforce Brutal ReignSun, 18 Dec 2011
Source:Brownsville Herald, The (TX) Author:Buckley, Madeline Area:Texas Lines:204 Added:12/21/2011

Sentenced to several years in state prison for a drug conviction, Graciano Castaneda instinctively knew he needed to belong to a group to survive the prison system, which he described as a dangerous society for those that enter alone.

Castaneda, who spent eight year in prison in the 1990s for two drug convictions, had an older brother in the Mexican Mafia, a notorious prison gang.

Later in his life, he would lose the mother of his children to the Mexican Mafia. A high-ranking member of the gang ordered her murder.

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4 US TX: Hurd's Co-Conspirator Worked In CoppellWed, 21 Dec 2011
Source:Coppell Gazette (TX) Author:Roth, James Area:Texas Lines:70 Added:12/21/2011

Former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Sam Hurd was arrested last week on federal drug charges for dealing a large amount of drugs in the Chicago,Ill., area. One of Hurd's contacts, who met with informants, was employed at a business in Coppell.

Hurd's contact, who goes by the name of T.L., is a co-conspirator, according to U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Immigration and Customs Enforcement. According to court documents, T.L. was employed at a repair shop in Coppell and conducted deals with informants multiple times in Coppell over a five-month period.

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5 US TX: PUB LTE: Drug War Is The ProblemThu, 15 Dec 2011
Source:Austin American-Statesman (TX) Author:Walker, Martha J. Area:Texas Lines:34 Added:12/15/2011

Re: Dec. 8 Suzanne Wills commentary, "We lost the war on drugs."

This commentary is a wonderful summation of all the ills caused by the so-called war on drugs. I am a Christian, a retired prison chaplain and the mother of a son who has had a long battle with drugs. I can speak from very close and personal experience. It is bad enough when a loved one is already a victim of what he thought was something good, but to be treated as a criminal because of it adds insult to injury. Between 85 and 90 percent of Americans claim to be Christians. When are those people going to wise up and realize that the drug war is destroying our youth far more than the drugs? We have created the drug cartels just as Prohibition created the mafia. Please keep running this kind of article. Maybe bit by bit some will listen.

Martha J. Walker

Mjreklaw@aol.com

Leander

[end]

6 US TX: PUB LTE: War On DrugsThu, 15 Dec 2011
Source:Austin American-Statesman (TX) Author:McCool, Colleen Area:Texas Lines:38 Added:12/15/2011

Re: Dec. 8 Suzanne Wills commentary, "We lost the war on drugs."

Thanks American Statesman for publishing this timely, enlightened commentary.

It is morally bankrupt to punish nonviolent adults for making a safer health choice, cannabis or marijuana, compared to other legal medicinal or social drugs. Regulate cannabis like alcohol and tobacco or just reclassify it as the herbal supplement it is scientifically. The people believe in self-government and self-medication.

Less than 1 percent of Americans are actually addicted to anything illegal. Incarceration costs seven times treatment. Restore public and law enforcement safety. Change to ethical policy and show fiscal responsibility. Use resources to catch more violent and sexual predators, or incarcerate people who are morally bankrupt, selling drugs to children or driving intoxicated. Save lives instead of ruining them. Restore justice, the guardian of liberty.

Colleen McCool

info@mccoolportraits.com

Stephenville

[end]

7US TX: Unmanned US-Mexico Border Crossing Slated For SmallMon, 12 Dec 2011
Source:Herald Democrat (Sherman,TX) Author:Sherman, Christopher Area:Texas Lines:Excerpt Added:12/14/2011

BIG BEND NATIONAL PARK - The bloody drug war in Mexico shows no sign of relenting. Neither do calls for tighter border security amid rising fears of spillover violence.

This hardly seems a time the U.S. would be willing to allow people to cross the border legally from Mexico without a customs officer in sight. But in this rugged, remote West Texas terrain where wading across the shallow Rio Grande undetected is all too easy, federal authorities are touting a proposal to open an unmanned port of entry as a security upgrade.

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8 US TX: Gulf Cartel Members Guilty For Giving False StatementsTue, 13 Dec 2011
Source:Brownsville Herald, The (TX) Author:Buckley, Madeline Area:Texas Lines:70 Added:12/14/2011

Two associates of a Gulf Cartel "plaza boss" pleaded guilty to giving false statements to federal agents, according to court documents.

Francisco Javier Escalante Jimenez and German Alejandro Huizar Marroquin appeared in federal court Tuesday morning, and agreed to cooperate with law enforcement in exchange for leniency in sentencing, the plea agreement states.

Authorities arrested the men in Port Isabel this October with Rafael Cardenas Vela, an alleged Gulf Cartel leader in Matamoros.

A federal grand jury returned an indictment in November that alleged Jimenez and Marroquin lied to U.S. Department of Homeland Security agents about the true identity of Cardenas Vela, who is accused of managing drug distribution cells for the Gulf Cartel.

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9US TX: Drug Testing For DISD Athletes Is ApprovedWed, 14 Dec 2011
Source:Herald Democrat (Sherman,TX) Author:Cannon, Jonathan Area:Texas Lines:Excerpt Added:12/14/2011

Beginning next spring, all of Denison Independent School District's athletes will be tested for drug use, but district officials stressed that the purpose of the policy is not punitive.

"We want to give (students) a reason to say no to the peer pressure that they face on a daily basis," Assistant Superintendent George Hatfield said to the board on Tuesday. The board voted unanimously - with Vice President Bruce Hysmith and member Doug Holzbog absent - to approve the policy.

The policy will require all 7th through 12th grade athletes and cheerleaders and their parents to consent to testing before the students can participate in the activities. Initially everyone in the programs will be tested. Then 7th grade, 9th grade, and all new athletes must take an initial drug test. Additionally, every six weeks, a random group of students, between 5 and 20 percent, will be tested. Once a student tests positive, that student will be tested every six weeks for a year.

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10US TX: DISD To Consider Athlete Drug TestingSun, 11 Dec 2011
Source:Herald Democrat (Sherman,TX) Author:Cannon, Jonathan Area:Texas Lines:Excerpt Added:12/13/2011

The Denison School Board will likely at its board meeting on Tuesday set in motion the start of construction at Hyde Park, Lamar and Mayes elementaries.

With the drawings done, the board will at 6:30 p.m. consider guaranteed maximum prices for these schools. The meeting will be in the Board Room, 1201 S. Rusk Ave.

The prices will be the absolute most the district can expect to pay for the projects. Meeting documents state that the actual guaranteed maximum prices will be distributed at the meeting with a recommendation provided then.

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11US TX: Inmate Dies After Being Transported To HospitalSun, 11 Dec 2011
Source:Herald Democrat (Sherman,TX) Author:Farmer, Mary Jane Area:Texas Lines:Excerpt Added:12/13/2011

Grayson County Sheriff's Office is awaiting the final toxicology results regarding the death of Eric Del Hand, 26, who died at a local hospital Wednesday after being transported there from the Grayson County Jail.

Sheriff's Office Sgt. Rickey Wheeler said that Mr. Hand had been arrested by Denison police at 7:15 p.m. on outstanding warrants and taken to the Denison city jail. He was transferred to the Grayson County Jail at 8:39 p.m. Wednesday. There, he was placed in a holding cell until 9:30 p.m., when the jail corrections officers began the booking process.

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12US TX: Fannin County Sheriff's Office Seeking EscapeeSun, 11 Dec 2011
Source:Herald Democrat (Sherman,TX) Author:Farmer, Mary Jane Area:Texas Lines:Excerpt Added:12/13/2011

BONHAM - The Fannin County Sheriff's Office was still searching late Saturday for a man who escaped custody last Wednesday.

Fannin County Sheriff Donnie Foster reported that [name redacted], 33, managed to climb through the back-seat window on a patrol car after being handcuffed and placed under arrest. Foster said officials believe the suspect possibly ran to a nearby residence and may have been taken from that area in a vehicle, thereby avoiding the tracking dogs.

The Sheriff's Office narcotics investigators obtained and executed a search and arrest warrant on a home in Bonham, with the help of Bonham police, which had been the target of a narcotics investigation. Foster said the suspect, a woman, and two toddler-age children were home. The search uncovered a cache of marijuana, cash, and a handgun and a large amount of ammunition, which Foster said is indicative of drug distribution.

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13 US TX: Meth, A Growing ProblemSat, 10 Dec 2011
Source:Huntsville Item (TX) Author:Stark, Cody Area:Texas Lines:122 Added:12/11/2011

HUNTSVILLE -- The use, manufacturing and selling of methamphetamines is the latest drug epidemic to plague this country and like it is in a lot of areas, there is a growing problem in Walker County.

Meth, as it is known on the streets, is a psychoactive drug that increases alertness, concentration, energy and could enhance euphoria. It is highly addictive and easy to make, which are two of the reasons as to why it is becoming increasingly popular for both users and dealers.

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14US TX: US Man Relates Abuse In Mexican PrisonSun, 11 Dec 2011
Source:Dallas Morning News (TX) Author:Corchado, Alfredo Area:Texas Lines:Excerpt Added:12/11/2011

Ex-Inmate Describes Seeing Corruption, Killing, Beatings

A U.S. citizen from the El Paso area, recently freed from a Mexican prison in Ciudad Juarez, said he witnessed government corruption, heard the killing of a gang leader by federal police, and personally watched a controversial police chief beat inmates with a two-by-four.

The firsthand account by Shohn Huckabee, 24, provides a rare view into life behind bars and reaffirms allegations made by thousands of Mexican prisoners, whose complaints often go nowhere. The allegations also raise questions about how much Mexico has done to improve its weak judicial system, one of the goals of U.S. aid under the Merida Initiative.

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15 US TX: OPED: Time To End Endless War On DrugsThu, 08 Dec 2011
Source:Austin American-Statesman (TX) Author:Wills, Suzanne Area:Texas Lines:110 Added:12/11/2011

When President Richard Nixon created the Drug Enforcement Administration by executive order 40 years ago, the promise was a diminishing market for illegal drugs and a decrease in crime and violence. The reality has been much different.

In the early 1970s very few Americans had ever used an Illegal drug. Now nearly half of us have. Illegal drugs are available to anyone willing to pursue them.

The violence in producing countries in Central and South America and transit countries such as Mexico and the Caribbean has increased to the point that it threatens the stability of some governments.

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16US TX: DPS Arrests Tulsa Man On Money Laundering ChargeFri, 09 Dec 2011
Source:Herald Democrat (Sherman,TX) Author:Farmer, Mary Jane Area:Texas Lines:Excerpt Added:12/10/2011

For the past few days, a Texas Department of Public Safety task force has been in Grayson and Cooke counties to assist the locally-assigned troopers with traffic enforcement. One of the results is the arrest of a Tulsa man on a charge of money laundering.

DPS Trooper Mark Tackett said that troopers stopped 37-year-old Stephen Chappelle on a traffic violation. Chappelle was going south on U.S. Highway 75 about 1:20 p.m. Wednesday. During the traffic stop, troopers became suspicious, or as Tackett put it, "noticed something was not right." They asked for consent to search the vehicle, and Chappelle denied that request. So, the troopers used a specially-trained police dog who conducted an open-air search around the vehicle and indicated there was something not right.

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17US TX: Editorial: Should The DEA Play Banker To Drug Cartels?Tue, 06 Dec 2011
Source:Dallas Morning News (TX)          Area:Texas Lines:Excerpt Added:12/07/2011

The international drug trade has always had a currency problem. The more aggressive an illicit organization becomes at moving narcotics into the U.S., the more cash it accumulates. At some point, all those dollars have to be processed or the business chokes on its own sordid success.

Federal investigators for years have employed the old dictum - follow the money - but with a twist. At some point in the hunt for the really bad guys at the top, agents sometimes become custodians of the cash, picking it up in great bundles, depositing it in accounts and then watching as the drug underworld moves the millions earned on the streets.

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18US TX: OPED: US Marijuana Laws Costly FailureSat, 03 Dec 2011
Source:San Antonio Express-News (TX) Author:O'Rourke, Beto Area:Texas Lines:Excerpt Added:12/05/2011

In 1913, El Paso became one of the first cities to ban marijuana. Other communities soon followed suit, and by 1937 the drug was banned by the federal government. The drive to prohibit marijuana was not motivated by efforts to reduce dependence, improve health outcomes or alleviate criminal activity in the general population. Its prohibition has a much more dubious provenance in the fears and prejudices that accompanied growing Mexican migration at the beginning of the 20th century.

That march towards marijuana prohibition has helped create a lucrative marijuana economy. Mexican drug cartels smuggle many things into the US, but marijuana is the most profitable portion of the cartel's portfolio. Marijuana has the larger customer base with the most stable demand and steady prices. And, the Mexican cartels own the value of the marijuana from farm to market.

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19 US TX: PUB LTE: Hurrah For LykosFri, 02 Dec 2011
Source:Houston Chronicle (TX) Author:Epstein, Jerry Area:Texas Lines:59 Added:12/02/2011

Regarding "Rare public divide between police, DA" (Page A1, Wednesday), cheers for Pat Lykos and her efforts to move Houston law enforcement toward a more productive use of time and money.

National polls for decades have shown the general public wants more attention paid to violent crime, drunk drivers, child abusers and the like, as opposed to arrests of people not shown to have harmed anyone but who simply possessed minor amounts of illegal drugs.

Most of these arrests are for marijuana, a drug that is not only much less dangerous than alcohol, but one that tends to suppress the violent behavior more strongly correlated with alcohol than with any other drug.

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20 US TX: Former Mexican President Vicente Fox Inspires LocalWed, 30 Nov 2011
Source:Ft. Worth Star-Telegram (TX) Author:Smith, Diane Area:Texas Lines:92 Added:12/01/2011

FORT WORTH -- Struggling economies, drug violence along the U.S./Mexico border and immigration are great challenges vexing today's global leaders and young people must step from the sidelines to become future pioneers with solutions, former Mexican president Vicente Fox told hundreds of high school and college students Wednesday at Texas Christian University.

"Today, it's time for leaders," Fox told a crowd that included high school students from across North Texas. "You will have to build that future that is coming."

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