KWRD News

Guatemalan National Guilty of Transporting Illegal Aliens

A 27-year-old Guatemalan national illegally in the United States, has pleaded guilty to immigration violations in the Eastern District of Texas, announced U.S. Attorney Joseph D. Brown today.



Jorge Gonzalez-Ramirez pleaded guilty to transporting illegal aliens and illegally reentering the United States. The plea was entered today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Keith Giblin.



According to information presented in court, on Feb. 12, 2019, Gonzalez-Ramirez was stopped for a traffic violation in Corrigan, Texas. During the traffic stop, it was discovered that Gonzalez-Ramirez and his six passengers were all in the United States illegally. Among the passengers, was a seven-year-old child traveling with a purported relative, without proper safety restraints. Federal immigration agents arrived at the Corrigan Police Department and took custody of all individuals and transported them to the Montgomery Processing Center in Conroe, Texas. Their investigation determined that some of the passengers, including the minor, had traveled through Mexico from Guatemala, crossed into the United States illegally, and then illegally transported to Houston. Gonzalez-Ramirez admitted that he picked up the illegal aliens from an apartment in Houston and was promised money for transporting them. Gonzalez-Ramirez had previously been deported from the United States to Guatemala in March 2011, and had reentered the United States illegally.



Under federal statutes, Gonzalez-Ramirez faces up to 10 years in federal prison at sentencing. The maximum statutory sentence prescribed by Congress is provided here for information purposes, as the sentence will be determined by the court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the U.S. Probation Office



This case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations/Immigration, Customs Enforcement HSI/ICE, and the Corrigan Police Department, and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Randall L. Fluke and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Tommy Coleman.

Mexican National Guilty of Transporting Illegal Aliens

A 25-year-old Mexican national illegally in the United States, has pleaded guilty to immigration violations in the Eastern District of Texas, announced U.S. Attorney Joseph D. Brown today.



Joel Sanchez-Guzman pleaded guilty to transporting illegal aliens and illegally reentering the United States after having been deported. The plea was entered today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Keith Giblin.



According to information presented in court, on Feb. 16, 2019, law enforcement officers discovered Sanchez-Guzman transporting eight individuals he knew to be illegally in the United States. Further investigation revealed Sanchez-Guzman had been paid to transport the illegal aliens through Texas to the northeastern United States. They also determined that Sanchez-Guzman had transported illegal aliens in this manner on prior occasions.



Under the federal statute, Sanchez-Guzman faces up to 10 years in federal prison at sentencing. The maximum statutory sentence prescribed by Congress is provided here for information purposes, as the sentencing will be determined by the court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the U.S. Probation Office



This case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations/Immigration and Customs Enforcement HSI/ICE, the Nacogdoches Police Department and the Lufkin Police Department and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Randall L. Fluke.

ARREST MADE IN HARRIS STREET PARK DAMAGE

ARREST MADE IN HARRIS STREET PARK DAMAGE

On 5/24/2019, the driver responsible for the damages to the Harris Street park in early May turned himself in to the Gregg County Sheriff's Office for an arrest warrant issued by Justice Of The Peace Talyna Carlson.

Twenty-two year old Jose Maldonado-Martinez of Kilgore was named a suspect in the case just a couple of days after the investigation began. On 5/10/2019 Maldonado met with Kilgore Police Detective John Rowe and confessed to being the person responsible.

Maldonado confessed to driving under the influence of alcohol and accidentally driving into the park. After the initial crash into the Veteran's Memorial Monument, Maldonado fled the scene without adhering to the Texas Transportation Code which required him to contact the owner of the property - in this case the City of Kilgore. After fleeing that scene Maldonado crashed again in a nearby neighborhood and abandoned his vehicle in a resident's lawn.

Judge Carlson requested a $20,000 bond when she issued the arrest warrant on 5/15/2019. Maldonado made that bond and awaits final disposition of his case. If convicted Maldonado faces a fine up to $2000 and up to 6 months in county jail. Until this incident Maldonado didn't have a criminal record.

Maldonado was insured and his liability insurance information was forwarded to the City parks department.

ALL PERSONS ARE CONSIDERED INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY IN A COURT OF LAW.

Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar Receives Bob Bullock Award for Outstanding Public Stewardship

Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar Receives Bob Bullock Award for Outstanding Public Stewardship

Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar received the 22nd annual Bob Bullock Award for Outstanding Public Stewardship at the Texas Digital Government Summit today at the Austin Club.

The Bob Bullock Award is presented each year to a Texas state executive or elected official for outstanding leadership, innovation and a career that demonstrates continual dedication to serving Texas citizens. Bob Bullock was the Texas comptroller from 1975 to 1991. He also served two terms as lieutenant governor.

“I’m truly honored to receive this award, which recognizes the efforts we at the Comptroller’s office have made to put our own love for Texas into action,” Hegar said. “Our approach to every program and every new initiative is to ask, ‘Is it good for Texas? What would make it work even better for the people of this state?’ The answers to these questions guide our work to put Texans first with every decision we make.”

Hegar was elected as the 36th Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts in November 2014. Upon taking office, Hegar reorganized the agency for quicker and more effective decision-making and reduced its administrative footprint by working with the Legislature to eliminate inefficient programs and transfer others that didn’t fit core missions. Additionally, the comptroller recommended that the Legislature repeal eight taxes, six of which were administered by the Comptroller’s office.

Hegar oversees an agency that processed nearly 5.5 million tax returns in 2018, with more than 2.9 million filed electronically. The Comptroller’s office also distributed 2.6 million checks totaling more than $28.8 billion in fiscal 2018 and transmitted more than 11.4 million direct deposit payments totaling more than $131.2 billion. Those funds included everything from employee payroll checks to child support payments, and from taxpayer refunds to unclaimed property payments.

The Comptroller’s website also has been overhauled since Hegar took office. Comptroller.Texas.Gov received enhanced search functions and was rebuilt to be as user-friendly as possible for taxpayers, business owners, researchers, journalists and citizens.

Before his election as Texas comptroller, Hegar served in the Texas House of Representatives and Texas Senate, where he worked on a wide range of common-sense solutions to problems affecting Texans in areas such as public education, transportation, tax reform, government transparency, Second Amendment rights, water issues and tort reform. As chair of the Sunset Advisory Commission, Hegar eliminated inefficiencies in state agencies and abolished six, saving Texas taxpayers more than $160 million. In his last session as a state senator, Hegar oversaw state and local revenue matters and helped cut $1 billion worth of taxes.

FORMER FEDERAL SUPERVISORY CORRECTIONAL OFFICER PLEADS GUILTY TO CIVIL RIGHTS OFFENSE FOR AIDING IN THE ASSAULT OF AN INMATE Yahoo/Inbox Walston, Davilyn (USATXE) May 29 at 4:59 PM The United States Department of Justice FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE WEDNESDAY, MAY 29, 2019 FORMER FEDERAL SUPERVISORY CORRECTIONAL OFFICER PLEADS GUILTY TO CIVIL RIGHTS OFFENSE FOR AIDING IN THE ASSAULT OF AN INMATE

WASHINGTON – Khristal Ford, 32, a former Lieutenant at the Federal Correctional Complex (FCC) in Beaumont, Texas, pleaded guilty today to aiding and abetting another correctional officer in his assault on an inmate.

According to the plea documents and information presented in court, Khristal Ford was a supervisory correctional officer at the FCC on June 8, 2017, when Ford opened the door of a medical observation cell where A.A., an inmate, was being held. Ford then told a senior correctional officer to “take care of it” and watched as the officer entered the cell and punched A.A. in the head three times without justification. Following this assault, Ford submitted a written memorandum that omitted any reference to the punches and included a falsified breathalyzer photo sheet, all in an effort to conceal the incident and make it appear as if the victim was highly intoxicated at the time of the officer’s assault.

“This type of behavior in our correctional officers erodes public trust,” said Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband of the Civil Rights Division. “The Department of Justice will vigorously prosecute those who violate the civil rights of inmates.”

“When correctional officers abuse their authority like this, it hurts more than the victim of the assault,” said U.S. Attorney Joseph Brown of the Eastern District of Texas. “It damages the whole system, hurting the credibility of the good officers who try to do the right thing every day. We will do everything we can to make sure these kinds of violations are prosecuted.”

Ford will be sentenced at a later date and faces a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

A former federal correctional officer faces federal charges in connection with this incident. This former officer is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

The Department of Justice, Office of the Inspector General conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael A. Anderson of the Eastern District of Texas and Trial Attorney Nicholas Reddick of the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division are prosecuting the case.

Texarkana Felon Convicted of Firearms Possession

A 31-year-old Texarkana, Texas, man has been convicted of federal violations in the Eastern District of Texas, announced U.S. Attorney Joseph D. Brown today.



Kendall Ray Gray was found guilty of being a felon in possession of a firearm on May 29, 2019, following a two-day jury trial before U.S. District Judge Robert W. Schroeder III.



According to information presented in court, on Nov. 9, 2018, Gray’s vehicle was spotted by police as he drove to a location known for drug activity in Texarkana. Upon noticing the marked patrol car, Gray attempted to evade police by making four successive left turns and then briefly parking in a restaurant parking lot. Gray then exited the business parking lot by illegally turning directly into a center lane. Again, officers attempted to follow Gray as he improperly signaled turns and accelerated away from their marked police car. Gray drove into a residential area and parked along a public street. As police activated the lights on their car, Gray jumped out of the vehicle, locked the doors, and ran. Gray was apprehended by a police office on foot and arrested for evading detention. A search of the vehicle revealed small bags containing suspected marijuana and a loaded handgun with a chambered round was positioned under the driver’s side seat.



Further investigation revealed Gray was a convicted felon having been previously convicted of counterfeiting and forging obligations or securities of the United States in 2012 in the Eastern District of Texas and forgery in 2015 in Bowie County, Texas. As a convicted felon, Gray is prohibited from owning or possessing firearms or ammunition. Gray was indicted by a federal grand jury on Jan. 17, 2019, and charged with federal firearms violations.



Under the federal statute, Gray faces up to 10 years in federal prison at sentencing. The maximum statutory sentence prescribed by Congress is provided here for information purposes, as the sentencing will be determined by the court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the U.S. Probation Office.



This case was prosecuted as part of the Project Safe Neighborhoods Initiative. Project Safe Neighborhoods is aimed at reducing gun and gang violence; deterring illegal possession of guns, ammunition, and body armor; and improving the safety of residents in the Eastern District of Texas. Participants in the initiative include community members and organizations as well as federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies.



This case was investigated by the Texarkana, Texas Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Co

Winners of the Jim Reeves Roundup

Winners of the Jim Reeves Roundup

This year’s winners of the Jim Reeves Roundup featuring John Rex Reeves, held by KWRD Radio in Henderson are:
First place: Hannah Howard and Payton Pierce.
Second place: Anaka Grace

John Rex Reeves is pictured with the winners of this year’s contest.