By Hugh Holub, Inside Tucson Business Inside
Recently Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry stuck his nose into a proposed annexation by the City of Tucson at River and Craycroft roads.
The Arizona Daily Star reported: City studies annexation at River, Craycroft
“Neighbors might be surprised,” Huckelberry says of 40-acre project
In the real world counties are happy to see cities annex territory because the county can keep taxing the land and provide virtually no service.
But Pima County’s Huckelberry has appointed himself the guardian of growth and development all over the region….
Posts Tagged ‘Pima County’
Those who oppose a copper mine southeast of Tucson obviously hate the idea of digging a big hole in the ground.
There are lots of important issues to deal with regarding how that mine could be developed and minimize its negative impacts on the area’s groundwater and scenery.
From first hand experience I know for a fact that the Rosemont people are willing to deal with mitigation issues honestly and effectively.
I negotiated, on behalf of over 100 Sahuarita Heights residents, a mitigation program to eliminate the impact of the mine’s wells on private wells in that area.
No mine in the history of the state previously had stepped up and agreed to the measures Rosemont did.
Mine opponents whine about the impact of Rosemont’s wells on the groundwater levels in Green Valley. But they conveniently ignore the well protection program Rosemont agreed to.
And more shockingly, mine opponents are actually trying to block the best solution of all…having Rosemont recharge CAP water in Green Valley so there would be zero impact of the mine’s pumping of groundwater.
How can they claim the mine is going to negatively impact the groundwater and then turn around and try and block a really good solution to the problem?
In Tucson the mine’s opponents believe they can get away with this two-faced approach because they have the Arizona Daily Star and the Pima County government acting like campaign headquarter for mine opposition.
Mine opponents have lied to Tucsonans about a lot of issues relating to the Rosemont project.
They have created the mistaken impression the people in Green Valley and Tucson would be able to see the mine.
What that tells me is there is really little substance behind all the whining about the mine and mine opponents cannot stand anyone calling them out on their lies.
Interestingly, Pima County Supervisor Ray Carroll, a vehement opponent of Rosemont, has threatened newspapers for running ads for Rosemont and attacked individuals who have spoken out in favor of the mine.
Tucson is dominated by a kind of environmental fascism where only one side…the environmentalists’ side…is allowed to be heard.
The Tucson Citizen is an opportunity to level the playing field and try and make sure the people in the region get both sides of the story.
Tony Davis has an interesting article up at the Daily Star June 19, 2011:
By Tony Davis
The U.S. Forest Service’s recent draft environmental-impact statement on the proposed Rosemont Mine has something for both sides when it comes to economic and social impacts.
The statement agrees virtually dollar for dollar with an earlier report, financed by Rosemont Copper, that foresees large local, state and national economic benefits from the project.
Like the 2009 Arizona State University economic analysis of the mine, the Forest Service’s preliminary statement predicts billions to tens of billions of dollars in economic benefits locally, regionally and nationally.
It also says the mine’s presence in the Santa Rita Mountains southeast of Tucson wouldn’t discourage tourism.
But the new statement also echoes a key point from critics: that the expected increase in employment and tax revenue will be small, compared to the region’s overall economy. That was the theme of a second Rosemont economic analysis, produced last year by a University of Montana economist, Thomas Power, who was hired by mine opponents living near the site.
COMMENT: The identification of negative impacts…whether exaggerated or not…serves as the baseline for the Forest Service to negotiate use permit conditions.
Contrary to the claims of mine opponents, the Forest Service is not going to say “no mine” because federal law doesn’t have that option for a mine. They have based their whole effort on killing the mine instead of trying to mitigate the impacts of the mine on the environment.
Many may not like the 1872 Mining Law…but until Congress changes it…that’s the law.
Pima County has sided with the opposition and its strategies, backing them with taxpayer funds… instead of trying to be an “honest broker” between economic concerns and environmental concerns to find a “win-win” path.
Thus the question…who will sit at the table with the Forest Service arguing for the environmental mitigation aspects of the use permit?
Certainly mine opponents will be there trying to get conditions that would kill the mine. Pima has already staked out the position they want billions in restoration efforts including filling the pit back up.
But who will sit there trying to balance economic interests and environmental interests on behalf of the people in the region?
Opponents of the mine have attacked anyone and everyone who tries to find a balance because they cannot tolerate anything but achieving their goal of no mine at all.
There is a similarity to the national debates on the deficit, border security..every issue is polarized by extremes and there is no middle ground. It is all about the fight and not about solving problems in a collaborative fashion that recognizes all side have some “right” to where they come from and the solution must recognize all sides do have good points.
Instead the Rosemont fight is characterized by an evil foreign company wanting to destroy pristine wilderness. Read the comments from some of the anti-Rosemont people in previous posts here.
For example the following comment from Michael Smith to Request that Pima County work with Rosemont is probably dead on arrival
As a representative of the county government, and involved in the issue of approval/disapproval of the Rosemont operation, whom would you expect to pay the bills?
I dislike using any Obama quotes, but in this case, the used-to-death one about putting lipstick on a pig doesn’t alter the fact that a pig is still a pig, seems appropriate; And no amount of lipstick can make an open pit mining operation anything other than what it is – forever destruction of the environment in which it is located and the depletion of our most precious resource – water.
We know as well, by experience, that if the price of copper should fall, the mine would be shut down without regard to all the promises made by its operators, and that all those pie-in-the sky projections would be as meaningless as the words used to make them.
This is not an environmentally-conscious operation – it is a for-profit operation and, if the enviroment has to be sacrificed to achieve profit, then it will be.
It is true there would be beneficiaries – those who actually work in the mines, their families and, to some extent, the communities in which they live – but the greatest benefit would be to the foreign-owned business enterprise which plans to use archaic US laws to plunder and destroy American soil. They have no emotional stake in the mine, only financial. It is not in their back yard.
Note: Smith is way off base on the water issue…Rosemont is trying to recharge CAP water in Green Valley and is being opposed by Pima County and mine opponents such as FICO. Now there is a story you likely will not read in the local print daily.
Meanwhile… I am fascinated by how quickly the draft EIS..which was not for public circulation and which was sent exclusively to various government agencies…ended up being posted by the Star to fuel the fight. I think it was within 2 hours the DEIS had been released by one of the original recipients so that th negative findings in it could be used to fan the flames of opposition.
As Davis’s article notes…there was also positive findings. But you won’t see a word about those in press releases from the Center for Biological Diversity or Save the Scenic Santa Ritas or Pima County in their continuing efforts to kill the mine.
My bet is a Pima County employee released the DEIS in violation of the embargo…probably with a wink and a nod from Huckelberry’s office. In the real world, if a Pima County employee released the DEIS they should be fired.
Davis got his story and was used as a tool by mine opponents so they could hammer away on all the negative envionrmental findings in the DEIS.
Whomever released the DEIS has a cynical view of the integrity of the DEIS process and demonstrated a value system that raises serious questions about the ethics of the government officials involved. I am sure the Forest Service was not amused by the DEIS public release….unless one of their staff is responsible.
Davis will obviously protect his source as a journalist must.
But he is inadvertantly sitting on a whole other story…the role some governement around here is playing to fight the mine.
Maybe a “whistleblower” in the County ought to release all the correspondance between Huckelberry and Ray Carroll and mine opponents so we can see just how cynical Pima’s role is in the fight and who really is the driving force behind it. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org. I will protect the confidentiality of any “whistleblower”.
The following press release was issued by the Metropolitan Pima Alliance asking Pima County to collaborate with the Rosemont mining company:
by Hot Off The Press (Release) on Jun. 16, 2011, under Press Release
TUCSON (June 8, 2011) – The Metropolitan Pima Alliance (MPA) is dedicated to advocating for responsible development in the Pima County metropolitan area by collaboratively working through various public processes. As active participants of the community, the MPA Board of Directors (Board) performed its due diligence in becoming educated on the various issues surrounding the Rosemont Copper Mine. First, MPA hosted a breakfast in which both Rosemont Copper Mine and its opponents presented their respective positions. Following this meeting, members of the Board and staff toured the mining site, viewed the County mine model, and separately met with Rosemont Copper Mine representatives as well as Pima County staff members.
Knowing the Mine will create jobs and generate millions of dollars annually during its 20-year life, the Board insists that the years beyond the Mine’s lifespan are just as important as the immediate benefit the Mine will have on our community. Recognizing that Rosemont Copper Mine presented a reclamation plan, the Board believes the Mine is making a good faith effort to be good stewards of the environment. Furthermore, the direct revenue to the County, and the number of jobs created, is significant for our community.
After careful consideration of the economic benefits and possible environmental implications of the Mine, the Board of Directors votes to support the mining operations as proposed by Rosemont Copper Mine. However, as an organization that works to facilitate collaborative processes, we urge representatives of the Mine and Pima County to work together in creating a reasonable and balanced reclamation plan in which the concerns and issues of both parties are carefully considered.
Copper mining has always been one of our State’s core industries while also establishing itself as a necessary commodity for our everyday lives. The County has the opportunity to embrace the economic benefits of the Mine while constructively engaging with Rosemont Copper Mine representatives to ensure the environmental and residential concerns of the Mine are addressed. We encourage Pima County to partner with Rosemont Copper Mine and work towards a mutually beneficial resolution.
MPA welcomes the opportunity to assist in reaching common ground.
Please contact Executive Director Amber Smith for additional information.
Mission: “Metropolitan Pima Allianceis dedicated to advocating responsible development in the Pima County metropolitan area and furthering the interests of the real estate and development industry through education, public policy advocacy and networking.”
COMMENT: Pima County and espcially County Supervisor Ray Carroll and County Adminstartor Chuck Huckelberry and his staff have made it their life mission to block the Rosemont mine project.
The chances of Pima officials now sitting down and trying to work collaboratively with Rosemont are right up there with peace breaking out between Israel and Palestine.
The folks in the region should be asking several questions right now about the vehemence of Pima County’s fight against Rosemont:
How much taxpayer money has Pima spent to date fighting Rosemont?
What is the relationship between Ray Carroll and mine opponent Nan Walden, the Center for Biological Diversity and Save the Scenic Santa Ritas? Like disclose all letters and emails Carroll has sent or received relating to Rosemont.
What is the relationship betwen Chuck Huckelberry and his staff with Walden, CBD and SSSR? Same thing…disclose all letters and emails sent and received relating to Rosemont.
What about meetings between County officials and staff with mine opponents?
And…before I forget…someone really needs to look at all the threats Mr. Carroll has made to folks who support the mine or even dare to publish the mine’s ads…like the Green Valley News.
I strongly suggest if some paid newspaper type dug around deep enough in the relationship between Pima County officials and staff and the opposition to the mine, it would stink to high heaven.
Pima County is nothing more than a branch office of the Center for Biological Diversity, Save the Scenic Santa Ritas and the Walden family in pursuing the anti-mine agenda….and Pima taxpayers are footing the bill.
From the Arizona Daily Star June 5, 2011:
Marana, with its visions of growth, wants to build out across the valley and into neighboring Pinal County. But to control its own destiny, it must control its own sewage.
Only in Arizona can one town’s destiny be inextricably bound to sewage.
“The reason they want the plant is because in Arizona, the law is the treater of the wastewater owns the effluent,” Huckelberry told me.
And effluent has value. It can displace the use of drinkable water for irrigation. It can replenish aquifers and generate state credits. It can help to assure water supplies for the development Marana craves.
And there is lots more about this story…..
Some historical context…I was directly involved in some of this…
Back in the 1970′s there was a lawsuit between city of Tucson and Pima County Sanitary District # 1 whereby Tucson was challenging Pima’s ability to be in the sewer business outside the city limits to the northwest.
As a general rule in Arizona cities provide both water and wastewater service inside and can do this outside their city limits.
Tucson, through a series of condemnation and purchases, was headed in the direction of being the regional water provider in eastern Pima County…with as much water service area outside its city limits as inside. Tucson was building a water empire as it were.
But the control of growth density is more a function of sewer service…without a sewer system an area can only be developed at 1 home per acre or larger lots…to get 4 homes per acre you must have a sewer collection and treatment system.
Thus the northwest area was growing like mad because Pima was expanding its sewer system out there…which at the time was served by 3 private water companies–Metropolitan Water Company, Canada Hills Water Company and Rancho Vistoso Water Company.
Neither Marana or Oro Valley had taken on the role of being municipal water providers.
As noted in the Star article, under Arizona case law (John F Long case) he who owns the wastewater treatment plant owns the effluent it produces.
In 1977-79 Tucson negotiated an intergovernmental agreement with Pima (finalized in 1979) whereby Tucson turned over its sewer system inside its city limits to Pima, dropped its lawsuit against Pima Sanitary District #1, and pushed for and got an amendment to state law allowing counties (only Pima) to go into the wastewater business. No other county in the state has this authority and never will. I handled the wrap-up of the lawsuit between Tucson and Pima and wrote the language that became state law giving Pima sewer authority.
The 1979 Intergovernmental Agreement between Tucson and Pima County was concentrated on the ownership of the effluent…Tucson kept ownership and control of 90% of the effluent in Pima County wastewater treatment plants…whether the wastewater originated from Tucson Water or elsewhere.
Pima subsequently got peeved over Tucson’s control of the effluent…because Tucson was allowing large amounts of effluent to be discharged into the Santa Cruz River triggering ADEQ and EPA mandates to upgrade the Ina Road and Roger Road wastewater treatment plants at a cost of hundreds of millions….and Pima could not sell the effluent to help pay for these upgrades.
Tucson refused to budge on effluent control.
Tucson has constructed one of the country’s largest reclaimed water systems and has been moving strong for decades in reuse of effluent.
In the 1990s both Marana and Oro Valley had elections and their voters empowered the towns to go into the municipal water utility business. Marana promptly bought out the Cortaro-Marana municipal water system, and other private water companies. I represented Marana in the negotiations to buy out CMID.
Oro Valley bought Canada Hills and Rancho Vistoso Water companies. I represented the two water companies in their sale to Oro Valley.
Metropolitan Water Company was initially bought by Tucson and then they sold it to the newly formed (then) Metropolitan Domestic Water Improvement District.
So…by the end of the 1990′s Tucson’s ambition of being the regional water provider had been broken by Marana and OV going into the municipal water business and taking control of their water destinies. Tucson gave up a portion of its empire in the Northwest Area when it sold Met Water to the district.
Meanwhile Tucson had gotten control of the Continental Ranch water service area and agreed to serve what is now called Dive Mountain…both now inside Marana’s town limits.
Marana has been fussing with Tucson in an effort to buy out Tucson’s Continental Ranch and Dove Mountain water systems so Marana can control all water service inside its town limits…and Tucson has fought this. Similar issue…how much does Marana pay for system which were built with money from developers…not Tucson ratepayers.
Legally Marana has the authority to condemn Tucson Water’s utility systems inside Marana’s town limits.
Back to Pima….there are lots of frustrations with Pima’s decisions about wastewater plant locations and effluent access. For example, in Vail that development wanted its own wastewater treatment plant in Vail so the effluent could be used to irrigate the golf course there. Pima County said no and forced the developer to connect Vail to the regional system…thus wastewater from Vail ends up at the Pima treatment plants on the northwest side of Tucson under Tucson’s control.
In Sahuarita Pima County demanded that wastewater from that project (Rancho Sahuarita) be put in a pipe through or around the San Xavier Indian Reservation so that effluent would also end up on the northwest side of Tucson and under Tucson’s control.
Sahuarita fought this and managed to get an EPA 208 plan amendment and went into the sewer business…the only city or town in Pima that has this authority.
Sahuarita is now moving towards an election to empower that town to be in the municipal water business and buy out Rancho Sahuarita water company. If that happens Sahuarita will be the first town in Pima with both control over water and wastewater. Obviously Marana is headed in the same direction and you can bet OV will follow.
Note…it is the norm in Arizona for cities and towns to have their own wastewater systems…Pima is the exception.
Efluent is hugely important as a water resource..either as a substitute for potable water use on golf courses or as a source of groundwater replenishment credits.
In Prescott Valley that town sold off its effluent recharge credits and raised $20 million or so to fund its wastewater treatment plant.
There are 2 sources of renewable water here…CAP and effluent.
He who controls wastewater and effluent controls growth.
Thus we have Tucson controlling effluent for its benefit and Pima controlling wastewater plant and sewer system access inside other jurisdictions…this is not the norm in Arizona.
Both Pima and Tucson have visions of being in control of growth and development in eastern Pima County…and attack Marana, OV and Sahuarita because these areas are competing with Tucson and Pima over growth control.
While there are obviously political interests behind both the Pima government and city of Tucson about growth control…this is a jurisdictional war with the emerging towns. Put directly…Tucson and Pima and residents of neighborhood activists in central Tucson are never going to control the destiny of the surround area outside Tucson’s city limits. That is precisely why new towns get formed…so local residents control their future…not someone else far away.
We’re about 20-30 years behind what happened in Maricopa county with the emergence of strong satellite cities around Phoenix which had their own water and wastewater control, annexed a lot of land for growth, and built Mesa, Tempe, Scottsdale, Chandler…etc into powerhouse communities in their own right. By 2020 one or two of the Phoenmix satellite cities will have more people than city of Tucson.
Besides the water and wastewater fights there is athird one been going on for a long time…incorporation of new towns outside Tucson…Tucson has had a state law based 6 mile “kill zone” in which they could block incorporation of new towns. Tucson has always fought against creation of new towns on its edge.
Years ago legislation was passed (at the urging of Pima County interestingly) to open the door to new town creation here…but the courts shot that down at Tucson’s urging.
New legislation was passed last session to remove the 6 mile kill zone so Vail and several other new towns could incorporate on the fringes of Tucson…besides Vail think Catalina Foothills, the Northwest area, Drexel Heights., Picture Rocks…Corona de Tucson….
Interesting the existing towns all have ambitious annexation plans and probably land on Tucson’s side of not wanting it to be too easy for new towns to incorporate.
But there is not an alliance between Tucson and the existing towns because Tucson took Pima’s side in the wastewater/effluent fight and blocked the PAG 208 plan amendment for Marana to be in the wastewater business.
Instead of creating the obvious alliance of southern Arizona cities and towns to look out for municipal interests…Tucson has gone its own strange way thinking it is the only city in the region and fighting against all the other cities and towns.
One of these days Tucson is going to finally figure out that trying to control effluent originating from Oro Valley, Marana and Green Valley/Sahuarita is not worth the political damage at the state lkevelst and take the side of the existing towns and unite to bust Pima County out of the growth control business. Tucson needs to side with Marana to and break up Pima’s regional wastewater deal in favor of town control. The only question is when that finally happens.
There are lots of interesting side effects to this fight… we have more people living in unincorporated areas of Pima than Maricopa county does…and as a consequence the cities and towns here do not get as much state revenue share as do valley cities. Pima has tried many times to get an urban allocation of state revenue share for the unincorporated areas here and failed…because the state-wide municipal interests see what happened here as an aberration and will never change state law. Instead the state response is to try and figure out a way to allow more new towns to incorporate. here.
I anticipate eventually a change in annexation laws to make it easier for existing cities and towns here to annex the surrounding urbanized areas. For example, whever a city or town is providing water service to an unincorporated area it can automatically annex that area, or charge double the water rates and connection fees. If anyone wants out…they would have to have 50% of the voters to sign and 51% of the property owners by number and valuation….that’s my guess based on a fire district de-annexation law.
Pima’s record for wastewater plant siting…and the loss of effluent from the non-city of Tucson sources…is a major problem and the towns are dug in to get that control.
And there are lots of nuances about “cost”….people in Green Valley pay a regional rate for connections to the sewer system and for user fees treatment even though they are served by a primitive lagoon system…not a huge new plant…so they are subsidizing Tucson and other Pima residents.
And if the bulk of all new wastewater treatment capacity is being funded from connection fees (these are impact fees) and not from sewer user fees…Pima’s argument fails in Marana. Pima’s sewer users did not pay…the developers did.
And so what if sewer connection fees in the surrounding towns ends up higher than what Pima charges…a claim Pima makes to oppose Marana.
So what if Pima’s fees have to go up because they lost the ability to charge new development in Marana or Green Valley for the cost of upgrading the Roger Road WWTP and Pima’s fees increase? Growth must pay for itself whatever the cost.
Indeed probably over all costs will increase to new development in Pima as well as in the towns if they are in the wastewater business…so what?
The homebuilders won’t like this…but taxpayers and ratepayers should love this.
The real deal is control of the effluent for renewable water supplies…Pima does not control the effluent…Tucson does…and no one is going to let Tucson control effluent originating with town water utilities.
Tucson needs to quit aiding and abetting Chuck Huckelberry’s growth management kingdom and start thinking like a city…and recognize its future lies in working with surround cities and towns.
Huckelberry has turned into a self-appointed growth control czar and actually counties should have very little to do with growth management as this is why we have cities and towns.
That will probably happen when Rio Nuevo builds a new convention hotel downtown or when the next ice Age begins…whichever comes first.
UPDATE 6-10-11: Marana fails to get sewer-plant OK
…Thursday’s vote was 4-3, with Tucson Mayor Bob Walkup abstaining. Honea and representatives from Sahuarita and Oro Valley voted yes, while representatives of Pima County, South Tucson, the Tohono O’odham Nation and the Pascua Yaqui Tribe voted no.
Interesting Tucson abstained in the PAG 208 Plan vote, South Tucson and the two Indian nations joined with Pima to kill Marana’s amendment.
I fail to see why the Tohono O’Odahm and Pascua Yaqui Indians have any say in wastewater decisions outide their reservation boundaries.
TWO FORMER PIMA COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPUTIES INDICTED IN A CRIMINAL CONSPIRACY TO STEAL DRUGS AND DRUG MONEYFriday, June 3rd, 2011
Press Release from the US Attorney’s Office – Arizona June 3, 2011:
TWO FORMER PIMA COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPUTIES INDICTED IN A CRIMINAL CONSPIRACY TO STEAL DRUGS AND DRUG MONEY
TUCSON, Ariz. — The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Arizona announced today the unsealing of superseding indictment charging two former Pima County Deputy Sheriffs for a conspiracy to steal money that they believed was the proceeds of drug trafficking, and for the attempted acquisition and distribution of narcotics.
The superseding indictment, which was returned by a federal grand jury in Tucson on May 11 and unsealed Thursday, alleges that defendant Francisco J. Jimenez, Jr., used his position as a Deputy Sheriff to commit criminal offenses. The indictment alleges that Jimenez was on duty, in uniform and drove his patrol car during the commission of the offenses detailed in the indictment. The Superseding Indictment further alleges that defendant Miguel Arvizu was a former Pima County Sheriff’s Deputy who represented to co-conspirators that he was still employed as a Deputy, and that he knew other Pima County Deputies who could help steal money from drug trafficking organizations, and acquire and distribute controlled substances. Arvizu allegedly arranged for Deputy Sheriff Jimenez to assist co-conspirators in stealing drugs and drug proceeds (which were in fact government monies). All five co-defendants have been arrested – the last taken into custody on Thursday – and are awaiting trial.
“This Deputy Sheriff — and his co-conspirator who is a former Deputy – dove head-first into the illegal drug trade and fomented an outrageous breach of the public’s trust,” said U.S. Attorney Dennis K. Burke. “The public must be able to rely on their sworn officers of the law to protect and serve. That is why this office and our partners at the Federal Bureau of Investigation will aggressively investigate and prosecute public corruption wherever we find it.”
“The unsealing of today’s indictment is the culmination of a collective effort by the Southern Arizona Corruption Task Force and the United States Attorney’s Office,” said John Strong, FBI Acting Special Agent in Charge, Phoenix Division. “Whenever a law enforcement officer or former law enforcement officer abuses their authority for personal gain it erodes the public’s trust. Public Corruption is a top priority of the FBI and we remain vigilant in our pursuit of those who taint their badges.”
The Superseding Indictment alleges that Arvizu arranged for Jimenez to perform traffic stops on vehicles which purportedly contained money belonging to drug trafficking organizations, and to steal the money. On June 26, 2010, Jimenez performed a traffic stop on a vehicle which purportedly contained drug proceeds, searched the vehicle, and stole $4,000 from the glove compartment of the vehicle. Jimenez later met with Arvizu and gave him a portion of the stolen money. Again, on or about October 8, 2010, Jimenez pulled his patrol car behind a vehicle parked at the Tucson Mall which purportedly contained drug proceeds. He searched the vehicle and stole $4,000 from the glove compartment, again meeting Arvizu later and giving him a portion of stolen money.
The Superseding Indictment also alleges that on November 24, 2010, Arvizu arranged for Deputy Sheriff Jimenez to provide “security” while co-conspirators stole controlled substances and drug proceeds from a storage facility in Green Valley. On this date, Jimenez drove his patrol car near the storage facility while co-defendants, Frankie Cancannon and Emerick Rene Parra, broke into a storage unit that they believed contained drugs and drug proceeds.
The federal indictment charges Arvizu in all eight counts, which include conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States, theft of government money and property, attempted distribution of three kilograms of cocaine, attempted possession with the intent to distribute more than 100 kilograms of marijuana, and assaulting a person having lawful charge, custody, and control of money and other property of the United States, with the intent to rob, steal, and purloin said money and property of the United States.
Jimenez is charged in the conspiracy count, three counts of theft of government money, and with attempted possession with the intent to distribute more than 100 kilograms of marijuana.
The maximum penalty for theft of government money or property is five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The maximum penalty for assault with the intent to rob a person having custody of government money or property is 10 years in prison and $250,000 fine. The maximum penalty for attempted distribution of three kilograms of cocaine and possession with the intent to distribute more than 100 Kilograms of marijuana is 40 years in prison and a fine of $5 million. An indictment is simply the method by which a person is charged with criminal activity and raises no inference of guilt. An individual is presumed innocent until competent evidence is presented to a jury that establishes guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
The investigation preceding the indictment was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Tucson, Arizona. The prosecution is being handled by Eric Markovich and Gordon Davenport, Assistant U.S. Attorneys, District of Arizona, Tucson.
CASE NUMBER: CR-11-00791-TUC-DCB(HCE)
Tony Davis over at the Arizona Daily Star reports:
After two years of delays, the U.S. Forest Service plans to release a draft environmental report on the proposed Rosemont Mine near Tucson in August and make a decision on the hard-fought project in January.
The service’s announcement comes after four delays of the release of the environmental report, originally scheduled for spring 2009. It was first delayed to fall 2009, and then until April 2010. It was then pushed back to end of 2010 and then again until now.
The environmental impact statement has long been seen as one of the most critical points in the lengthy review of the copper project.
Davis’ article notes:
Gayle Hartmann, an environmentalist who has led opposition to the mine, said she was not surprised about the August release date, because “word on the street” had been that August or September would be the date.
But she said the final decision timetable seems rushed, because it won’t give the service much time to review public comments before deciding, said Hartmann, president of Save the Scenic Santa Ritas.
Anyone doubt the “delay as a form of denial” is the campaign here….
A commentary of mine from Inside Tucson Business:
By Hugh Holub,
Inside Tucson Business |
A common strategy by opponents of anything new – especially in Pima County – is called “delay as a form of denial.”
The scheme involves gumming up the decision-making process with demands for additional studies, appeals to governmental entities, lawsuits and whatever other tactic that can put off a final decision.
By stalling long enough, the backers of the project will either go bankrupt from the costs of trying to meet the demands, the market for the project evaporates or the applicant just goes away, tired of putting up a fight.
Meanwhile, the public never gets an opportunity to offer their opinions on a project.
An example of “delay as a form of denial” is the fight over the proposed Rosemont Copper mine in the Santa Rita Mountains.
And some additional comments about economic development in the region: