Relatives of Tucson man missing in custodial case arrested

2013-06-22T00:00:00Z 2013-06-22T14:34:29Z Relatives of Tucson man missing in custodial case arrestedStaff And Wire Reports Staff And Wire Reports Arizona Daily Star
June 22, 2013 12:00 am  • 

Relatives arrested in custodial case

Police still haven't tracked down a man wanted for custodial interference back in 2012, but Thursday his mother and grandparents were arrested for, in part, hindering prosecution.

Virginia Palacio, 43, Leticia Romero, 62, and Jose Romero, 68, were booked into the Pima County jail and face felony charges, Sgt. Maria Hawke, a Tucson police spokeswoman, said.

In November 2012, Luis Palacio, 25, disappeared with his 2-year-old daughter. He and his wife were separated but had a verbal agreement regarding custody and visitation. At the same time, the girlfriend of Palacio, Danielle Nicole Lovemore, disappeared with her year-old daughter.

In March, Lovemore was arrested by the U.S. Marshals Service and the girls were taken into custody at a border crossing between the United States and Mexico. However, Palacio is still being sought.

"Since that time, the investigators have uncovered details regarding persons who assisted Palacio in his flight from Tucson as well as during the time that he retained custody of his daughter," Hawke said.

All three arrested are facing a charge of hindering prosecution. In addition, his mother, Virginia Palacio, and his grandmother, Leticia Romero, are facing an additional count of custodial interference.

Anyone with information about Luis Palacio should call 911 or 88-CRIME.

Kimberly Matas

2 Tucson bikers killed in Utah crash; 3rd hurt

A Tucson couple riding a Harley are dead after being struck by a 17-year-old boy's Jeep in Wayne County, Utah, authorities say.

The crash happened about 8:30 a.m. Thursday, after the Jeep overcorrected and ended up smashing into two motorcycles in oncoming lanes, Utah Highway Patrol officials say.

Troopers identified the people who died as Diane and Bill Mitchell of Tucson, both 64 years old. A third motorcyclist, 49, also from Tucson, was taken to the Sevier Valley Medical Center. The gas tank on the surviving man's bike was ruptured, and both it and the Jeep burst into flames.

The teenager was ejected from his Jeep and also taken to the hospital.

The Associated Press

Rio Rico stash house case nets 2 arrests

Two Mexican nationals were arrested Wednesday when officers raided a drug stash house in Rio Rico, federal officials said.

About 2,500 pounds of marijuana was found, along with three firearms.

Jose Luis Dominguez de la Rosa, 46, of Santa Cruz, Sonora, and Paul Chavez-Portillo, 25, of Los Mochis, Sinaloa, were taken into custody by officers with the Santa Cruz County High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Investigation Task Force, which is led by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations.

They are facing felony charges of possession of marijuana for sale and weapons misconduct, according to a news release from ICE.

Investigators learned of the stash house after the Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office received a telephone tip. Task force members began watching the house and saw Dominguez de la Rosa and Chavez-Portillo walking out the back door. The pair were quickly apprehended.

Inside the house, officers found 2,499 pounds of marijuana stacked in bales, a 9 mm semi-automatic pistol, 9 mm submachine gun, .22-caliber rifle and 57 rounds of ammunition, ICE said.

Arizona Daily Star

Border officers find $236,000 in truck tire

A Mexican man is in custody for allegedly trying to smuggle nearly $236,000 in undeclared cash out of Southern Arizona, federal authorities say.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Douglas port were conducting outbound inspections Wednesday when they referred Abelardo Acosta-Bustamante, 44, of Agua Prieta, for further inspection of his pickup truck.

He was turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations, authorities said.

During the search, officers said, they found unreported currency inside a spare tire. The vehicle and cash were processed for seizure.

The Associated Press

OV burglar sentenced for string of burglaries

A man accused in several burglaries at an Oro Valley self-storage facility was sentenced to 3 1/2 years in prison Friday.

Elmer Upchurch pleaded guilty in May to burglary and theft for stealing an estimated $60,000 worth of items from units at Arizona Self Storage, 10880 N. Mavinee Drive in Oro Valley.

He also was sentenced for probation violations on an unrelated previous conviction. He received an additional 3 1/2 years in prison for the violation.

Upchurch will serve seven years in prison. The sentences will run consecutively.

Patrick McNamara

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