Bend police nab 6 illegal aliens

Thursday, March 6, 2003

Six illegal aliens are being deported back to Mexico after being apprehended in Horseshoe Bend March 2 and questioned in connection to a theft at a local store.

Horseshoe Bend Police Officer Carl Boles received a phone call of a possible theft at the Dollar General Store that day. Boles was given a description of the vehicle, a black Nissan Altima, that was possibly connected to the theft.

Boles spotted and stopped the vehicle on Highway 289 south of the North Arkansas Life Care Center. After asking the driver for his license Boles observed four more Hispanic males in the vehicle.

The driver, Reynaldo Fernandez, 31, translated information to the others because they did not understand English. Each produced Mexican identification cards when Lt. Sam Ray and Arkansas Game and Fish Officer Brian Gaskins arrived on the scene.

Ray said all the suspects denied having any stolen property. Hernandez gave officers permission to search the vehicle. No stolen items were discovered in the search but a pair of hemostats with a dark sticky residue was found in the console of the vehicle. Each suspect denied possessing or smoking marijuana, Ray said.

Fernandez gave Boles and Gaskins permission to search their cabin at Box Hound Marina. Officer Mark Long and a drug task force agent assisted in the search but no items were seized. Another Hispanic male was found at the cabin, Ray said.

Three of the five men admitted they were in the country illegally. They told authorities they were working for Osmose Tree Service and had been in Horseshoe Bend for a couple of months, Ray said.

The two men who claimed to be in Arkansas legally told authorities they had left their papers at home in Morrillton, Ark., Ray added.

Boles contacted the U.S. Marshall's Office in Little Rock who advised him to call the U.S. Border Patrol.

Gaskins called the border patrol and spoke to Agent Will Gaidosek who told officers to transport all of the suspects to the police department.

Agent Gaidosek interviewed the men by telephone. He told Boles that only one of the suspects had proper documentation to be in the United States but if he was employed without papers then he too was in the United States illegally.

Agent Gaidosek traveled to Horseshoe Bend and transported Fernandez, Feliciano Martinez, 30, Oscar Trjejo, 19, M. Rincon Navarro, 26, Magdoleno Narjnjo, 29, Jose Gesonimo, 26, to Little Rock for deportation.

Ray said, "The immigration department is conducting an investigation into the matter."

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