"To Protect and Serve the People of our South Texas Communities"
La Salle County
Sheriff's Office
Sheriff Miguel A. Rodriguez
La Salle County Courthouse, 101 Courthouse Square, 
Cotulla, Texas 78014; (830) 879-3044
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February 27, 2017

Citywide
warrant
roundup
set for
Tuesday,
Feb. 28

Officers of the Cotulla Patrol Division of the La Salle County Sheriff’s Office will make arrests Tuesday, February 28, on warrants for failure to make court appearances or to pay fines in municipal court.

All those who have had citations for traffic and other misdemeanor violations that were handled by the municipal court and who have failed to appear before the municipal judge or have failed to meet their obligations will be subject to immediate arrest.

Tuesday’s warrant roundup will include arrests at home, in the workplace or in the course of routine traffic stops.

Arrest warrants have been signed by Municipal Judge George Trigo; all those with outstanding citations should contact Terri Gonzalez at City Hall to make court arrangements before they are arrested. A phone call to City Hall does not constitute a court appearance.
The La Salle County Sheriff’s Office will host its annual Easter Egg Hunts for children in Cotulla and Encinal during April and is looking for donors and sponsors to help make the events successful for the benefit of local youngsters.

The events will be held at 2 p.m. on Sunday, April 9, at Encinal Veterans Park; and at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, April 13, at Cotulla Veterans Park. Children will be allowed to hunt for eggs by age groups; prizes and treats will be awarded and will include Easter gift baskets, tricycles and bicycles.

Children ranging in age from infant to age 12 are invited to attend.

The sheriff’s office hopes to gather donations from area businesses, families, elected officials, local government offices, community groups and other sponsors to cover the cost of the Easter baskets and bicycles.

All those interested in making contributions should contact Esmeralda Gonzalez or Rosario Morales at the La Salle County Sheriff’s Office by calling (830) 879-3044.   

Support for the annual Easter Egg Hunts

February 23, 2017

The way we do things

La Salle County Sheriff's Deputy and Courthouse Bailiff Eddie De Leon (photo, right) traveled to Crystal City on Thursday, February 23, to meet Zavala County Bailiff Joe Flores for an analysis of the facility's security measures and means by which law enforcement may enhance protection for public safety in the building and in the courtroom itself. The La Salle bailiff's visit was made in a renewed spirit of cooperation between neighboring law enforcement agencies and to share resources in training and experience. La Salle County Sheriff Miguel Rodriguez and Zavala County Sheriff Eusebio Salinas Jr. arranged the meeting.

February 21, 2017

"We want to warn people of the dangers..."

Scam artists target victims through social media, prey on vulnerable internet users

Prize offers and income opportunities are fake, investigators say

By Marc Robertson
The La Salle County Sheriff’s Office is issuing an alert this week to area residents who may be contacted by callers or through social media with offers of prize money or opportunities to earn extra income.
A company calling itself Global International has contacted a number of La Salle County residents in recent days to announce that prize winnings of between $3 million and $10 million can be claimed immediately.

The story, according to La Salle Cpl. Anthony Zertuche, is entirely fictitious, and leads promptly to a request that the potential prize recipient send $500 to a distant address in order that “identity and address may be confirmed” and the prize money claimed.

Cpl. Zertuche said he investigated the apparent scam and contacted a number that he was given by a potential victim, to find that the call led to Calgary, Alberta, Canada. An internet search, he said, subsequently revealed that the number belongs to a company by the name of Distributel, which operates in Canada.

“The person reporting the attempted scam told me that the caller was very persistent and demanding,” Cpl. Zertuche said. “We want to warn people of the dangers of these scams. This is a trick to get you to give up your money. There is no prize waiting for you.”

The sheriff’s office is reiterating a reminder to all area residents never to give banking information, social security numbers, or any personal information to callers, by email or over social media, when those callers are not known personally.

“Do not fall for a trick like this,” the officer said. “No one should ever have to pay up front to claim a prize or to become eligible for an award of any kind.”

The Western Union money transfer organization repeatedly reminds its customers never to wire money to strangers and not to wire money in advance for products or merchandise that they have been promised. Funds sent by wire transfer cannot be reclaimed and are often untraceable.

In a further scheme, scam artists have been advertising income opportunities on social media sites, including the popular Facebook network, offering to pay for a program in which privately owned cars are wrapped in vinyl advertising. That program, according to the sheriff’s office and several nationwide media sources, is a money transfer trick that involves cashing one check and paying with a second.

Callers who respond to the advertisement are told in a congratulatory email, phone text or social media message that they have been approved for the special program and should shortly receive a check that they may deposit in their bank account.

One of the organizations advertising on Facebook goes by the name of Imflash Technology Company, whose representative uses the name of Collins Anderson.

“Please confirm that you did receive this message so that we can process funds that would be sent to you for the Wrap Program,” the company notes in its email to potential scam victims. That email is then followed by another approximately three days later, including the message “Your silence has been giving me hard time at work because my boss has been raising eye up on me. Please feed me back about the check you deposited, so we can get your vehicle wrap this week.”

The messages include faulty English grammar and spelling, and indicate an unfamiliarity with the language. References are made to opportunities for income of $500 a month with advertising for products such as Subway, Coca-Cola and Red Bull. There is no regard for the age or condition of the client’s vehicle. 

A check is mailed to potential victims in the amount of $1,850 or more, and recipients are encouraged to deposit the money in the bank, keep their portion of the funds as payment and then to make a withdrawal to pay a company that will place advertisements on cars.

The checks are mailed from out-of-state companies, including Aurveda Wellness Corp. in Boonton, New Jersey, and are written on non-existent accounts, among them JP Morgan Chase Bank. When recipients deposit the checks and make withdrawals, they are held responsible for the funds. The money they have drawn from their accounts cannot be retrieved.

In most cases, scam victims are lured by potential prizes, easy income, or calls for help, according to investigators. Persistent calls and messages add urgency and indicate that deadlines are approaching, that such offers may not be made again, or that the person managing the prize money or business deal is under pressure to complete the transaction.

“You have to be vigilant and you have to trust your instincts,” Cpl. Zertuche said. “Be aware of what kind of tricks are being pulled out there, and remember the rule that if it looks too good to be true, it probably isn’t true.”    

"No one should ever have to pay up front to claim a prize"

"The trick is to get you to give up your
money"

"If it
looks too good
to be
true, it probably isn't true"

February 16, 2017

Wild animal alert:
Construction near North Baylor
opens undeveloped ground

By Marc Robertson
The La Salle County Sheriff’s Office, the City of Cotulla and Cotulla ISD are issuing a caution to local residents this week in advance of groundbreaking and land clearing along North Baylor Street, where wildlife may be disturbed and animals could move into populated areas.

The ground is being prepared for construction of Cotulla’s new elementary school. Heavy equipment should be moved into the area this week and brush clearing will begin shortly in order that survey crews may assess the property’s topography.

According to Cotulla ISD Superintendent Dr. Jack Seals on Thursday, wildlife that has already been identified in the hitherto undeveloped area includes deer, wild hogs and snakes.

North Baylor Street runs between Medina Street and the IH-35 access road and was built less than ten years ago for commercial and residential development related to the energy industry over the Eagle Ford Shale. The proposed development area lies directly to the south of the Las Palmas business park, between North Baylor and Main Street. Portions of the territory earmarked for the school construction project have never been developed and have been left to grow wild since the road was built.

“There is some thick brush in the area beyond the acreage that was used for RV hookups,” Supt. Seals said Thursday. “We know that there are animals in that area and that these may be displaced by the development. We don’t want people to be alarmed, and we hope that drivers and pedestrians will be watchful.”  

“We want people to be aware that wildlife will be on the move, and that animals may wander onto private property in that area,” Sheriff Miguel Rodriguez said. “This includes the Madison Pointe apartments and areas along Medina Street.

“Some wild animals have already been seen in the area,” the sheriff said. “We want people to be on the lookout and to take precautions for the safety of their own children and pets during this first stage of the construction, which will be land clearing.”

February 3, 2017

By Marc Robertson
Organizers of the annual La Salle County Fair weekend’s Wild Hog Parade have confirmed that a route for the floats and marching entries will travel along residential streets and Main Street on Saturday morning, March 11.

The theme for this year’s county fair and cook-off is ‘Piggies in Paris’; entries are likely to include a French theme and may feature live music, participants on trailers, in open vehicles and on horseback. The La Salle County Sheriff’s Office will deploy its deputies to supervise roadblocks at key intersections to protect the convoy.

Participants in the parade will have registered with the La Salle County Fair Association in advance and will be instructed where to position themselves in the line-up, which takes place before 9 a.m. Judges will view the line-up before the parade begins; trophies in several categories are presented to winners when they pass the reviewing stand.

Line-up for the parade will be on Tilden Street between the Frank Newman Middle School and Ramirez/Burks Elementary School campuses. The parade route begins at the corner of Tilden and Baylor streets and will travel north on Baylor as far as Leona Street, where it will turn east. The route then follows Leona Street as far as North Main, where the convoy turns south for its procession through the middle of Cotulla.

The parade will travel past Cotulla Veterans Park downtown and then turn west on Carrizo Street, between the Alexander Memorial Library and the Brush Country Museum, before ending in the parking lot of the Newman Middle School.

Traffic control will remain in place until parade entries have finished traveling on the city’s principal thoroughfares. Non-parade traffic will be directed to an alternate route on Front Street through downtown Cotulla for the duration of the parade.  

'Piggies in Paris' Wild Hog Parade
covers downtown Cotulla, March 11

January 30, 2017

La Salle welcomes new DPS sergeant

By Marc Robertson
Area law enforcement agency representatives met in the La Salle County Courthouse Monday, January 30, to celebrate the promotion of Texas Highway Patrol Sergeant JD Rodriguez, who has taken command of the Department of Public Safety’s Cotulla office.

(L-R) La Salle County Lt. Mike Bostwick, USBP Watch Cdr. Rey Enriquez, DPS Highway Patrol Sgt. JD Rodriguez,
La Salle County Sheriff Miguel Rodriguez and USBP Patrol Agent in Charge Sammy Posada
Rodriguez is a 2003 graduate of Dilley High School and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in criminal justice with an emphasis on law enforcement from Texas A&M University at Corpus Christi in 2007. He joined the Texas Department of Public Safety the following year by attending the law enforcement academy, from which he graduated in 2008. He was promptly assigned to patrol duties as a trooper headquartered in the Cotulla station and has remained there his entire service career. For the past three years, he has operated as a trooper for the Commercial Vehicle Enforcement branch of the Highway Patrol.

Sgt. Rodriguez’ principal duties in the DPS Cotulla office include supervising all of the troopers assigned there and overseeing their investigations as well as the day-to-day operations of the law enforcement department. His promotion became effective Wednesday, Jan. 25.

“I’m looking forward to working with the troopers here and with all of the law enforcement agencies in the area, including the sheriff’s office and the US Border Patrol,” the sergeant said. “I believe that we have a commitment to serve all of the people of the local community, the region and the state in law enforcement for the protection of lives and property and for the safety and wellbeing of the people who depend on us, both in their neighborhoods and on the highways and byways of Texas.”

Sgt. Rodriguez added that he expects to work in close collaboration with county, state and federal agencies. He was joined in a brief welcoming ceremony in the La Salle County district courtroom by La Salle County Sheriff Miguel Rodriguez and Lt. Mike Bostwick, and by US Border Patrol Cotulla Station Patrol Agent in Charge Sammy Posada and Watch Commander Rey Enriquez.

January 26, 2017

New certificates

A team of newly hired correctional officers graduated Thursday, January 26, at the Alamo Area Council of Governments jailer certification course in San Antonio and is employed by the La Salle County Sheriff's Office to serve in the Regional Detention Center at Encinal and in the La Salle County Jail at Cotulla. Those earning their certification as jailers after training in the AACOG course in La Salle County during January include (L-R) Rose Rodriguez, Kaitlyn Bevel, Ruben Cruz, Eric Luna, Hank McKinney, Joel Deleon, Jose Fernandez, Edgar Herrera and Jose Sanchez.

January 23, 2017

The Word is Good...

The La Salle County Sheriff's Office received a donation Monday, January 23, in the form of specially published Bibles for those serving as emergency responders and in law enforcement, courtesy of the First Baptist Church of Cotulla. The Bibles will be distributed among all of La Salle County's patrol officers. On hand for the presentation in the district courtroom were (L-R) La Salle Captain Joey Garcia, Lieutenant Mike Bostwick, Chief Deputy Malcolm Watson, Sheriff Miguel Rodriguez, FBC Minister of Music and Chamber of Commerce President Noe Rodriguez, and FBC Pastor Loren Fast. Funds for the church's outreach project were directed to the purchase of the Bibles by members of the church congregation as part of an ongoing effort to provide support to those who serve their community. The church is making similar contributions to the La Salle Fire & Rescue, US Border Patrol agents and DPS Highway Patrol troopers stationed in La Salle County. Sheriff Rodriguez thanked the ministers on behalf of his officers and said he believes the county's deputies will find comfort, encouragement and guidance from the Bibles at times of duress and when facing the everyday challenges of law enforcement.

January 13, 2017

Our Heroes will always be Cowboys...

The Cotulla High School Cowboys varsity basketball team faced the CHS Alumni team in a friendly face-off to a packed house on Friday, January 13, closing out the night with a 58-58 tied game. The event was supported by school administrators, parents and civic groups as well as the La Salle County Sheriff's Office as a means to encourage peer mentoring, community bonds and youth fitness.  
(Courtesy photo)

January 2, 2017

Oaths of
Office

La Salle County Sheriff Miguel Rodriguez took his oath of office for his second elected term as the head law enforcement officer for the county in a brief ceremony the district courtroom on Monday, January 2, in the presence of County Judge Joel Rodriguez and Justice of the Peace Vicki Rodriguez. Also taking their oaths of office on Sunday and Monday for new terms after prevailing in their respective elections during 2016 were (Photo above right) Constable Rene Maldonado, (Photos below, L-R) Constables Guy Megliorino, Oscar Tellez and Hector Ramirez (pictured right with new La Salle County Commissioner Erasmo Ramirez).

December 23, 2016

Spreading good cheer

Volunteer helpers for the St. Timothy's Christmas Cheer for Children and the La Salle County Sheriff's Office met at Jordan Hall in Cotulla on Friday morning, December 23, to begin their annual distribution of gifts to local children. Hundreds of wrapped toys and games were bundled into police cruisers and volunteers' cars for the charitable project that was made possible by contributions from area residents and customers at downtown retail stores. Children of all ages were given two gifts each. Distribution continued door-to-door throughout the day to homes in Cotulla, Encinal and Gardendale. The toy drive was organized by Esmeralda Gonzales and Rosario Morales for the sheriff's office; distribution for St. Timothy's was organized by Louisa Franklin and Cissy Allen. 

December 19, 2016

A DRIVE TO START THE SEASON -- Christmas Cheer for Children provides toys to needy children during the Christmas Season. The organization relies on donations from businesses and community members to provide these types of gifts every year.  In 2016, the organization partnered with the Salle County Sheriff's Office to help collect donations for the worthwhile cause. Christmas Cheer for Children organizers have collected hundreds of donations from boxes that were placed at local businesses and government offices during December, including (Photos this page) the Shopko Hometown Cotulla, Dollar General and Stockmens National Bank. Pictured with business managers and staff hosting the toy collection are La Salle Sgt. Investigator Esmeralda Gonzales and Investigator Homar Olivarez.

November 11, 2016

A celebration of service

The city of Encinal hosted a Veterans Day ceremony on Friday morning, November 11 to celebrate the service to country by all former members of the US armed forces. Present for the occasion were La Salle County Sheriff Miguel Rodriguez, Mayor Sylvano Sanchez, City Hall administrators and staff, members of the Encinal Police Department and La Salle County Fire Rescue, Justice of the Peace Frank Weikel, administrators Cody Graham and Bartley Grimes of the La Salle County Regional Detention Center, and local veterans.                                     (Photo courtesy of Encinal City Hall) 

October 28, 2016

Lessons learned...

La Salle County Sheriff Miguel Rodriguez and Encinal Elementary School Principal Louisa Franklin were among the speakers at a special presentation in the school on Friday morning, October 28, covering Halloween safety tips to ensure an accident-free celebration for the youngsters. Public Information Officer Marc Robertson addressed precautions that children should take before going Trick-or-Treating, and reminded them to have all candy and treats checked by an adult. Also present to help distribute goodie bags were Sheriff's Office Captain Joey Garcia and Lieutenant Mike Bostwick.
(For Safety Tips, see 'FEATURES'

October 24, 2016

Red Ribbon Week Messages

The La Salle County Sheriff’s Office, County Constable and the US Border Patrol joined forces Monday, October 24 to give presentations to students at Encinal Elementary School and Ramirez/Burks Elementary School in Cotulla with a focus on the meaning of Red Ribbon Week and its anti-drug message. Speaking on the topics of law enforcement and drug traffic intervention, USBP Assistant Patrol Agent in Charge Lee Allbee discussed the variety of tasks that agents carry out to prevent undocumented immigrants from entering the United States and their other duties related to smuggling intervention. La Salle Investigator Homar Olivarez introduced students to his K9 Unit, a drug-detecting dog called Ben, who is able to identify concealed narcotics. La Salle Constable Rene Maldonado gave a similar demonstration in Encinal with his K9 Unit, Ellie. La Salle Sheriff’s Public Information Officer Marc Robertson addressed the students on topics related to Red Ribbon Week and Halloween safety. Each of the presenters reinforced the anti-drug message to students and encouraged them to pledge to be drug free, to report crime, and to set examples of citizenship in their community.

October 5, 2016

We teach,
and we don't forget

Representatives of La Salle County government joined members of the Cotulla Woman's Club in the county courthouse on Wednesday evening, October 5, to display a pair of red-painted silhouettes of women representing the victims of abuse, as part of October's designation as National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. County commissioners and the county judge earlier signed a proclamation in their support of the educational effort, promoting intervention in abusive situations. The silhouettes are made available by the Wintergarden Women's Shelter in Carrizo Springs; one of those displayed in La Salle County represents Margo Davis Lann, 42, who was shot to death by her husband outside a Cotulla grocery store on May 27, 1997. Present for the display were (L-R) Candace Tetzlaff, Justice of the Peace Vicki Rodriguez, Sheriff Miguel Rodriguez, Mary Jane Treff, Amanda Menke and La Salle County Victims' Advocate Rosario Morales. The silhouettes remain on display for the rest of the month.

October 5, 2016

Proud
in Pink

La Salle County Sheriff Miguel Rodriguez is pinned with a pink ribbon by Rosie Sauceda, director of the La Salle County Nutrition Center, on Wednesday, October 5, in commemoration of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Funds raised through ribbon sales go to cancer research.                                       (Photo: Amanda Carbajal)

September 7, 2016

Our history, our government...

La Salle County Sheriff's Public Information Officer Marc Robertson hosted an informational tour of the county courthouse on Wednesday, September 7 for a group of nursing students from Texas A&M University at Laredo, giving a history of the 85-year-old building and its offices, and introducing the collegiates to the elected officers and heads of departments in local government. The students are expanding their knowledge of county offices to better provide referral and access to resources for assistance, legal advice, law enforcement and county records, among many other functions of local government, to their future clients and family members. The visit included brief interviews with County Attorney Elizabeth Martinez, County Judge Joel Rodriguez, County & District Clerk Margie Esqueda, County Tax Assessor Dora Gonzales and Sheriff Miguel Rodriguez, among others.
(Photo: Rosario Morales)