Dentist appeals ruling by judge

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					SATURDAY, JANUARY 5, 2008
                                                                                                                        CRIME & MORE                                                                                               LAREDO MORNING TIMES | 5A




   Feds say Laredo                                                                                           Dentist appeals ruling by judge
   man a smuggler                                                                                                     By JASON BUCH
                                                                                                                  LAREDO MORNING TIMES
                                                                                                                                                   day. “It’s difficult to read, diffi-
                                                                                                                                                   cult to understand and written
                                                                                                                                                   in very broad terms.”
                                                                                                                                                                                          prosecutable offense.
                                                                                                                                                                                             By attempting to regulate
                                                                                                                                                                                          which surgeries certain sur-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              tution that limits states’ abili-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              ties to regulate interstate com-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              merce, does not apply to the
               By JASON BUCH                       crime, however, it would not have                        Attorneys representing a den-             Morales-Ryan is qualified to        geons are allowed to perform,       regulation of medicine when
          LAREDO MORNING TIMES                     resulted in any loss of revenue for                  tist accused of practicing medi-           perform oral and maxillofacial         the state code is attempting to     such regulation applies to pub-
                                                   the United States, Sosa said.                        cine without a license have said           surgery, or cosmetic surgery on        regulate interstate commerce as     lic safety.
    A Laredo man arraigned in                          Immigrations and Customs En-                     they will appeal a judge’s ruling          the face. Prosecutors contend that     well, the brief claims. Morales-        Salinas Ender agreed with
federal court Friday is accused of                 forcement and Mexican Customs                        about the constitutionality of the         he was not qualified to perform        Ryan uses tools from other states   Treviño and denied the writ. Os-
violating a 2006 law that pertains                 conducted a joint investigation that                 statute their client is charged un-        the breast augmentation, ab-           and practices outside of Texas      car O. Peña filed a notice of ap-
to smuggling goods out of the                      resulted in Cantu’s Dec. 27 arrest,                  der.                                       dominoplasty and liposuction           on patients who are not Texans,     peal on Dec. 2, alerting prosecu-
United States.                                     according to a media release from                        In November, 341st District            operations several women say he        making his business interstate      tors and the court that Salinas
    Gerardo Cantu, 45, is charged                  the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Hous-                  Judge Elma Teresa Salinas Ender            performed on them in his clinic.       commerce, Peña said. Interstate     Ender’s decision will go to the
with 46 counts of fraudulently and                 ton. The two agencies are part of a                  denied a request for habeas cor-              The statute Morales-Ryan is         commerce can only be regulated      Fourth Court of Appeals in San
knowingly facilitating the trans-                  Joint Task Force, initiated last year                pus by attorneys representing              accused of violating is part of the    by the federal government, he       Antonio.
portation, concealment and sale of                 in accordance with the Customs                       Carlos Morales-Ryan, a Laredo              Texas Occupations Code, not the        said.                                   Assistant District Attorney
merchandise from the United States                 Mutual Assistance Agreement                          dentist.                                   Code of Criminal Conduct.                 In his answer, Assistant Dis-    Melinda Vidaurri-Galvan said
to Mexico. Prosecutors allege that                 Mexico and the United States                             Morales-Ryan is charged with              Prosecutors abandoned four          trict Attorney Jorge Treviño ar-    Friday that the case is on hold
Cantu used a false North Ameri-                    signed in 2001, the release states.                  nine counts of practicing medi-            of the counts against Morales-         gued that Morales-Ryan was not      until the appeal is resolved.
can Free Trade Agreement Certifi-                      “Textile transshipment fraud in                  cine without a license. Oscar O.           Ryan related to rhinoplasty or a       licensed to perform cosmetic            If Salinas Ender’s ruling is
cate of Origin that identified fabric              Mexico continues to be a major                       Peña and Oscar J. Peña Sr.,                “nose job.”                            surgery beyond what is consid-      overturned, Vidaurri-Galvan said
he was shipping into Mexico as hav-                concern since Mexico entered the                     Morales-Ryan’s lawyers, in Sep-               His attorneys argue that the        ered maxillofacial surgery and      her office would have to re-eval-
ing been manufactured in the Unit-                 new world economy of global com-                     tember filed a writ of habeas cor-         statute, which they say defines        had violated the law by doing so.   uate the indictment.
ed States when, in fact, the fabric                merce,” Mexican Customs official                     pus, which is a civil action, claim-       surgeons as physicians and physi-      Furthermore, Treviño wrote,             (Jason Buch may be reached
had been manufactured in China.                    Jesus Fernandez stated in the me-                    ing that the statute Morales-Ryan          cians as surgeons, leaves too          the dormant commerce clause,        at 728-2547 or by e-mail at
    A Dec. 18 indictment lists 46                  dia release. “High import duties                     was charged under is too vague             many questions about what is a         an interpretation of the Consti-    jbuch@lmtonline.com)
transactions last year in which                    and quotas for Chinese textile im-                   and violates the dormant com-
Cantu allegedly made shipments                     ports are a big incentive not only                   merce clause of the U.S. Consti-
totaling tens of thousands of rolls                for corrupt businessmen, but or-                     tution.
of Chinese-made fabric to Mexico.                  ganized crime. Every year Mexi-                          Based on that argument, the
  Cantu’s attorney, Fausto Sosa, said              can Customs authorities seize hun-                   attorneys asked Salinas Ender to
the allegations are not true, and his              dreds of truckloads of merchandise                   prohibit Morales-Ryan’s prose-
client entered a plea of not guilty.               to include rolls of textiles.”                       cution.
Cantu was forwarding merchan-                          If convicted, Cantu would face a                     “The law under which he’s be-
dise he received to Mexico, Sosa                   maximum prison sentence of 10                        ing prosecuted is seldom-used,
said, and had no knowledge of any                  years and a $250,000 fine. He was                    poorly written and woefully am-
crime. If someone had committed a                  released Friday on a $100,000 bond.                  biguous,” Oscar O. Peña said Fri-




                                                           THE BLOTTER
           WARRANTS SERVED                         MeadowAvenue was burglarized,according           reported stolen from the 1100 block of Scott
        Eladio Becerra, Jr., 25, was arrested      to a report filed with police at about 8:03      Street at about 12:50 p.m.
Thursday at about 10:32 a.m. in the 3100           p.m. on Thursday.                                    The unit’s reported value is $2,850.
block of South Ejido Avenue. He was served             Items reported stolen were some old                 A theft was reported from Holi-
with an outstanding warrant for a charge of        coins and a gold chain, with a total value of    day Inn, in the 800 block of Garden
delivery of marijuana.                             $400, and a heater valued at $20.                Street, at about 6:26 a.m. on Thurs-
     Becerra,who resides at 2335 S.Bartlett               A building in the 800 block of Aveni-     day.
Ave., was taken to the Laredo Police De-           da Los Presidentes was burglarized, ac-              Items reported stolen were a lug-
partment for booking procedures,then held          cording to a report filed with police at about   gage rack worth $70, assorted clothing
at the Webb County Jail. Bond was set at           7:39 a.m. on Thursday.                           worth $2,000 and shoes valued at
$10,000.                                               The front gate outside the building was      $400.
        Humberto Gonzalez, 34, was arrest-         ripped off its hinges, and the front door
ed Thursday at about 10:50 p.m. in the             was broken in half, according to the police               ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS
2800 block of San Salvador Street. He was          report.                                                  Border Patrol agents with the Lare-
served with an outstanding warrant, issued                Martha’s Beauty Center, in the 2200       do North station found illegal immigrants in
by a Frio County official, for a charge of fail-   block of North Seymour Avenue, was bur-          an 18-wheeler at the checkpoint on Inter-
ure to appear in court.                            glarized, according to a report filed with       state 35, said Chuck Prichard, a Border Pa-
     He was booked at the Laredo Police De-        police at about 9:17 a.m. on Thursday.           trol spokesman.
partment, then held at the Webb County                 A cash register,valued at $300,was re-            A Border Patrol canine signaled that
Jail. Bond was set at $2,000.                      ported stolen.                                   the truck contained contraband, and
                                                                                                    agents then found nine illegal immigrants
                 BURGLARY                                             THEFT                         in an otherwise-empty trailer, Prichard
       A home in the 2600 block of North                  A four-ton air conditioning unit was      said.

				
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