South Texas Crime/Court News

John Parks is missing in Matamoros

BROWNSVILLE–A Rio Grande Valley man who lives in Matamoros has been missing for more than a month now.

John Parks, 40, used to call his mother in Harlingen and his business partner from McAllen on a regular basis, but hasn’t been since November 4th.

It’s believed he was in an area where there was violence and gunfire in Matamoros before he went missing in early November. His family and business partner are concerned about him and his safety.

The U.S. Consulate in Matamoros is aware of case and they are working to find him in the Mexican border city. 


PORTLAND–Five more people are arrested for their roles in a human smuggling case out of San Patricio County in the town of Portland, Texas.

Ana Martinez, April Stevens, Alejandro Hernandez, Pedro Vargas and Jesus Alcala-Mendoza are accused of helping four others, including a Portland firefighter, smuggle immigrants, take them to stash houses and transport the undocumented immigrants to other cities.

Federal authorities raided a home three weeks ago and busted an operation that had been going on for nearly 20 years. Peter Jones, 26, a Portland firefighter, Lorena Martinez, 36,  Beatriz Rodriguez, 39, and Josesantos Zacarias, 42, were arrested in the human smuggling case. 

They also charged Jones, Martinez and Rodriguez with money laundering and failing to report the income to the federal government.

Investigators seized $21,000 in cash and financial documents that showed evidence of the operation.

Peter Jones, 26, a Portland firefighter, Lorena Martinez, 36,  Beatriz Rodriguez, 39, and  Jose Santos Zacarias, 42, were indicted for running an immigrant smuggling operation. Jones, Martinez and Rodriguez were also charged with failing to report income and try to hide it from the U.S. government.

In the indictment, prosecutors filed paperwork to seize the properties raided at 4654 Dodd in Corpus Christi and 1101 Polaris in Portland because they believe the residents used the proceeds from this criminal operation to buy the homes.

A domestic disturbance in Corpus Christi leads to an arrest of a 28-year-old for causing damage to her husband’s work van.

Police said Monica Lopez was in an argument with her partner when she grabbed a hammer and started smashing his van’s windows with a hammer. It caused about $2,000 in damage.

They also said she broke into the house and smashed a flat screen tv with the hammer.

Lopez claimed she was a victim of domestic violence and was hit in the face by her husband.

The company who owned the van told officers they wanted to file charges. So Lopez was charged with felony criminal mischief.

–Manuel De La Rosa, South Texas Tribune,

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