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El Paso Legal Blog

Should Texas Modify Its Child Support Policies?

A recent article authored by a pair researchers at The University of Texas at Austin – one of them a professor, one of them a PhD candidate – raises the question of whether our state’s child support policies are unfair to fathers.

Simply put, the article asks whether noncustodial fathers are forced to pay too much. It’s noted that, at present, there are more than 14 million open child support cases in the U.S., and that in the majority of these the fathers are behind on payments. And the authors concede that in many situations the men deserve legal punishment. “After all,” they write, “there are definitely fathers who…are shirking their responsibility, mad at their exes, or believe that they have been mistreated by the court.”

Woman with two kids facing aggravated DWI charge

At about 6:30 p.m. on June 2, police were sent to conduct a welfare check in a remote desert area that is east of Interstate 25. When the authorities arrived, they found an El Paso woman and her two young children in a Chevy Trailblazer that was described as inoperable. The woman claimed that she was on her way to Santa Fe and had decided to take a shortcut through the desert.

The officers believed that the driver was under the influence of alcohol and conducted field sobriety tests. She reportedly did poorly on the tests and was taken into custody. Afterward, the woman was taken to Doña Ana County Detention Center and charged with an aggravated count of DWI and two counts of child abuse. The children were treated for dehydration and were given to a relative.

Representative charged with DWI following car accident

On May 6, it was reported that a first-term Texas state representative was taken into custody on suspicion of drunk driving after she crashed her vehicle into a tree. The representative, who was identified as 36-year-old Victoria Neave, reportedly refused to participate in a field sobriety test.

The incident occurred at about 11:30 p.m. When officers arrived, it was reported that the politician had a strong odor of alcohol surrounding her. She was also reportedly unsteady on her feet, had slurred speech and refused to cooperate with the responding officers. Neave also allegedly told officers that she was invoking her 5th Amendment rights.

Texas man arrested with over 100 grams of Fentanyl

A man was arrested on Monday, June 5, after he picked up a package from one Texas post office. The package contained 102 grams of Fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid drug that is 50 to 100 times stronger than morphine. Fentanyl is often combined with other drugs, including heroin, to give a more powerful high. The prescription drug is also used legally as a painkiller and is available in United States pharmacies.

The man allegedly ordered Fentanyl from China, and he is being accused of supplying the drugs to young adults in the Katy area. It is not clear how police apparently learned of the contents of the man's post office package or why police believe that the drugs were for distribution rather than personal use.

Life in prison possible for 7 people accused of meth distribution

A pair of indictments announced by a U.S. attorney's office in Texas resulted in the arrest of seven people accused of drug trafficking. Raids conducted by law enforcement from multiple agencies apprehended six of the suspects in the area of Lubbock. Authorities caught the seventh person out of state.

The first indictment named five people ranging in ages from 20 to 36 and charged them with conspiracy to possess and distribute methamphetamine. In the second indictment, investigators accused a man and woman, ages 51 and 37, of conspiring to possess and distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine. If convictions result from these charges, the people could face maximum sentences of life in prison as well as hefty fines.

Members of criminal organization indicted on drug charges

Drugs are viewed as a major issue in Texas and throughout the nation. Law enforcement personnel are constantly seeking out those who are believed to be involved in drug trafficking or manufacturing. One investigation yielded indictments of 37 alleged members of the Texas Mexican Mafia .

Twenty-six of the members were arrested in one large sweep in late May. They joined eight others who had already been arrested and three who have been declared fugitives. According to the indictment, the organization was involved in distributing heroin and methamphetamine. In addition, the defendants allegedly demanded a 10 percent tax on those who distributed drugs but were not part of their network. Those who did not pay were confronted with violence.

2 facing misdemeanor and felony drug charges

On May 18, Texas authorities reported that two people who were accused of misdemeanor and felony drug offenses were taken into custody after police armed with a warrant searched their home. The two people were identified as a 21-year-old Nacogdoches woman and a 23-year-old Nacogdoches man.

Authorities executed the search warrant on May 17 at a residence located on East Main in Nacogdoches. After the search, the man was accused of being in possession of more than five pounds of marijuana. The woman, who was also at the residence when the search warrant was executed, was accused of being in possession of a variety of other drugs, including cocaine, methamphetamine, Tramadol and Hydrocodone.

Border Patrol says the number of drug busts have increased

U.S. Customs and Border Protection said that there has been a noted increase in the number of cocaine and heroin seizures in the South Texas region in the past year. For example, the South Texas Corridor had a 177 percent increase in heroin busts and 129 percent increase in cocaine busts.

According to the CBP, smugglers attempting to get drugs into the country use a variety of tactics, including hiding drugs in their personal belongings, vehicle gas tanks, special compartments built into vehicles, bags of candy and even in shipments of fruit and vegetables. To fight the crimes, the Border Patrol has multiple approaches, including K-9 units and equipment used to detect the drugs.

10 taken into custody on drug trafficking accusations

On May 10, it was reported that Texas authorities took 10 people who were believed to be involved in a drug trafficking ring into custody. Called Operation Clean Sweep, the sting began in September 2016 after authorities received a tip about potential narcotics activity occurring in Cedar Park.

Of the 10 who were taken into custody, only one person's identity was released. The man, age 28, was taken into custody on April 27 after authorities recovered 40 pounds of marijuana at his home. He allegedly admitted that he had purchased the marijuana in Oregon and had it shipped to his home in Austin. He faces multiple charges, including possession of marijuana, intent to deliver a controlled substance and a parole violation.

UNT students accused of prostitution and drug possession

Police affiliated with the University of North Texas have issued arrests warrants for three male students. Accusations against the men include promotion of prostitution as well as drug possession. One man, a former basketball player for the university, has already been arrested on charges of possessing under two ounces of marijuana. Denton County Jail released him after he arranged for a $1,000 bond.

Authorities launched the investigation that resulted in the issuance of these warrants after someone reported an alleged sexual assault to the university on March 30. The complaint referred to the possibility of prostitution activity. The two men with warrants citing prostitution have yet to be arrested.

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