Mexican man gets lengthy prison sentence for trying to move meth

A Mexican man was sentenced last week to a 210-month prison sentence for his part in attempting to smuggle more than 40 kilos of methamphetamine into the country, records show. U.S. District Judge Randy Crane sentenced Ramon Torres-Zurita on Jan. 14 to more than 17 years in prison nearly three months after he agreed to plead guilty to import of a controlled substance. The case is related to an attempt to enter the country in August 2019. Torres was arrested on Aug. 24, 2019 after attempting to enter the country at the port of entry in Rio Grande City when a U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer noted the Mexican man had been flagged in the computer system as someone known to associate with drug traffickers, the complaint against Torres stated. Read the full story at themonitor.com

Alton double homicide suspect set for court hearing

A man Alton police say fled to Mexico after shooting and killing two men following an argument is scheduled to appear in court Tuesday for a probable cause hearing. Oscar Armando Velasquez's defense attorney, Daniel Reyes, filed a writ of habeas corpus on Nov. 27 — 10 days after the man's arrest — seeking his release from jail for a lack of probable cause and bond reduction. The 22-year-old Alton man remains jailed on $2.5 million in bonds on charges of capital murder of multiple persons and three counts of criminal attempted murder. Read the full story at themonitor.com

Starr Co. child advocacy center funding stirs controversy

With the Primary elections less than two months away, allegations against current 229th District Attorney Omar Escobar and his opponent, Gocha Ramirez, have intensified with the latest focusing on the creation of a children's advocacy center in the county. Funding for the proposed nonprofit, called the Butterfly Haven, was pulled unexpectedly, according to the group trying to launch it, who also believes this happened because Escobar allegedly intervened. Dr. Daria Babineaux, a local pediatrician and a school board trustee for the Rio Grande City school district, is a member of the Child Wellness Network, the group behind the Butterfly Haven. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

FBI informant who stole from handlers gets sentenced

An Edinburg man was sentenced this week to time served for trying to steal $15,000 in cash while working as an informant during a drug operation, records show. Abdiel Pauline Sosa remains in custody at the Hidalgo County Jail on pending state charges after being released from federal custody Wednesday. Sosa, 24, was arrested in connection with federal public funds, property or records charges after he admitted to federal agents he tried to steal money that federal agents provided to him as part of his work as an informant in a drug case investigation. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

Sheriff: Burglary suspect dies after being shot by Weslaco homeowner

A person suspected of burglary of a habitation has died after being shot by the homeowner Saturday morning, Hidalgo County Sheriff J.E. “Eddie” Guerra said on social media. In a statement on Twitter, the sheriff identified the man who was shot and killed as 24-year-old Weslaco resident Eduardo Mendoza. "JP Morales has ordered an autopsy. Investigation is still ongoing," Guerra tweeted. Read the full story at theMonitor.com.

Sharyland superintendent condemns social media speculation over hazing incident

Outrage over a hazing incident allegedly involving the Sharyland Pioneer swim team prompted Superintendent Maria Vidaurri to issue a statement Friday evening condemning speculation that’s run rampant on social media since news broke this week. “Some of the information that has been published on social media has been inaccurate, based on false information, or has been reckless with regard to the privacy and well-being of individual(s),” Vidaurri said in the statement. “While the District would like to answer questions posed by members of the community and address some of the inaccuracies that have been published, the District must make it a priority to protect the privacy of our parents and students, not only pursuant to State and Federal Law, but out of respect and common decency toward those individuals. For those reasons, the District is unable to disclose much detail regarding the incident.” On Tuesday, students, parents and sources close to the matter expressed concerns to The Monitor over a fall 2019 incident in which allegations were made regarding an underclassman from Pioneer being assaulted as part of a hazing ritual. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

From Boston to the RGV: Tommy DeCarlo bringing his band to McAllen

Tommy DeCarlo has come a long way since donning a Home Depot apron. After his daughter, Talia DeCarlo uploaded a video of him singing along to a Boston song on MySpace, the North Carolina native has performed alongside the American rock band on stage. DeCarlo’s unlikely rise to fame has brought him to many stages across the country to perform in front of thousands of people, and he will be bringing his own band, DECARLO, to McAllen’s Cine El Rey theater on Saturday. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

Court defers prison time for San Juan man in deadly accident case

A court will allow a San Juan man who struck and killed a bicyclist in late 2017 to serve 90 days in jail before being released on an eight-year deferred adjudication. That decision from the court came Wednesday during Andrew Isaiah Villarreal’s sentencing hearing. The 22-year-old man’s attorney, O. Rene Flores, put some items on the record prior to the sentencing, most importantly the results of a drug test administered Dec. 17, 2019, after the last drug test came back positive for cocaine that led to Villarreal’s bond being revoked temporarily. Flores said that result was in fact a false positive; but the new result, which covers a period of 90 days going back to Sept. 17, did not account for a positive result in August, the state’s prosecutor, Andrew Almaguer, told the court. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

Convict in ‘Edinburg Massacre’ successfully has state appeal re-opened

A 40-year-old San Juan man who has spent 15 years on death row for his role in one of the Rio Grande Valley’s most heinous crimes is coming back to Hidalgo County. A federal magistrate judge ruled Monday that Rodolfo Alvarez Medrano’s capital murder case must be re-opened in state court so that the man can challenge the state’s “gang expert,” who has since been stripped of his law enforcement license after being convicted of abuse of official capacity and being arrested for having oral sex with a woman in custody for robbery. Medrano was sentenced to death in 2005 for his role in the “Edinburg Massacre” where multiple men in 2003 stormed two rural homes and shot six men to death while attempting to steal money and drugs. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

Ex-Edinburg city manager charged with assault

Former Edinburg City Manager Juan Guerra has now turned himself in to local police after defending himself against accusations of assault from his former fiance, Miriam Cepeda. Read the full story at themonitor.com.