Sunday, June 26, 2011

Immigration officials name suspect in Midland chase (Odessa American)

Immigration officials name suspect in Midland chase

June 25, 2011 11:12 AM

MIDLAND A man who led Midland police officers on a chase by car and foot Friday afternoon has been re-identified by Immigration and Customs Enforcement as a fugitive wanted by Interpol.

Midland police believed they had 43-year-old Francisco Lozano Baeza in custody but ICE identified him as Javier Barragan Valdez, with the same birth date. Valdez had identification on him naming him as Baeza, Midland Police Department Public Information Officer LeeAnn Dearman said.

Around 4:30 p.m. Friday, Midland police attempted to make an investigative traffic stop on Lamesa Road near Interstate 20. Dearman said she did not know why police were trying to make the traffic stop but it was not because they suspected the driver was Valdez and wanted by ICE. A Midland police news release stated Valdez headed south into county, evading officers for 15 minutes, after which he stopped and abandoned the vehicle on County Road 1130, just south of County Road 160.

A K-9 unit was called in after Valdez ran off through a pasture, the release said. The Department of Public Safety and the Sheriff’s office set up a perimeter and assisted MPD with the ground pursuit. DPS also provided an aircraft for better view of the perimeter.

One of the K-9s located Valdez in heavy brush about a quarter-mile from the abandoned vehicle. Vadez resisted arrest, the release stated, and was bitten by the K-9. He was treated at the scene and later taken to Midland Memorial Hospital for treatment.

Lilana Cabrera and their 1-year-old son were in the vehicle with Valdez during the pursuit, the release stated. Valdez was apprehended at 5:57 p.m.

He was being held Saturday on facing charges of evading officers in a motor vehicle, endangering a child and resisting arrest, and was being held without bond on an immigration violation detainer.

Valdez has an Interpol warrant from Mexico in connection with kidnapping and sexual assault, the release stated. He could not be located on Interpol’s public website, however.

Public records show Valdez as having numerous other aliases: Frank, Kike, Lozano and Quintin Baeza, as well as Jabier, Kike and Kiko Valdez-Barrigan, and Quintin Lozano. A second date of birth, Dec. 1, 1968, was given in addition to the same provided by Midland police, March 16, 1968.

Public records showed Valdez’s American criminal history goes back to 1988 in Andrews County on a charge of unauthorized use of a vehicle, according to public records, but it was unclear Saturday which identity he was accused under. Public records show Valdez serving prison time from 1988 to 1992, before being paroled, and most recently pleading guilty to failure to identify/giving false information, a class B misdemeanor.

However, the Tom Green County Sheriff’s Office website states that June 2, 1991, a “Francisco Baeza Lozano,” born March 16, 1968, was arrested by San Angelo police on several misdemeanor charges, including failure to identify. That man, who gave an Odessa address, is listed with aliases Joel Tarango Ortega, Francisco G. Ortega, and also Javier Barragan Valdez.

Confusing things even more, the identity the man supposedly first gave is apparently accused of a similar crime.

A Sept. 22, 2000, story from the now-defunct Rocky Mountain News describes a “Francisco Baeza Lozano,” then 32, as a well-known by the Border Patrol, U.S. Customs and Texas authorities.

“Special agent Michael Riebau said he's been told that Baeza Lozano is ‘a very, very violent person,’ ” the Mountain News reported at the time, claiming he was wanted on charges of murder in Mexico and attempted murder in Kansas.

A March 24, 2001, an English-language press release from the Mexican Attorney General’s office identifying a man as “Francisco Baeza Lozano,” “Isidro Lugan” and “Francisco Quintin Baeza” announced the man’s deportation and stated he was wanted in connection with “his probable responsibility in the commission of the crime of homicide of Cruz Flores Serna.” No information about this homicide could be obtained Saturday.

Then a Feb. 5, 2009, news release from the Office of the President of Mexico announces the deportation of a “Francisco Baeza Lozano” accused of the crimes of sexual assault and deprivation of freedom (“los delitos de violación y privación de la libertad”). Photos courtesy the Mexican Attorney General’s Office at the time of deportation also show a man who appears to resembles the Javier Barragan Valdez in custody at the Midland County Detention Center, although the images are somewhat small making identification less certain.

The news release also stated the person being deported had been in prison in Colorado on narcotics charges (“en una prisión en el estado de Colorado, donde cumplía una sentencia por cargos de narcotráfico”).

Dearman said more information would be available from Midland detectives following their briefings Monday.

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