State Briefs

Monday October 21, 2002

Report: Border security hurting San Diego economy 

SAN DIEGO – San Diego County’s economy is still suffering from tight border security put in place after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, according to a recent study. 

A survey of more than 100 businesses in the San Diego area show that shoppers from Mexico account for a significant number of sales, said Kenn Morris, director of Crossborder Business Associates. 

Long waits at the border caused a drop in crossings, hurting businesses, he said. 

During the first six months of this year, 23.8 million crossings were recorded at the San Ysidro and Otay Mesa ports of entry, compared with 28.8 million during the same period last year, according to the Immigration and Naturalization Service. 

Morris’ group recommended making border crossings more efficient. 

The INS plans to add three scanning machines to speed up background checks, said INS spokeswoman Adele Fasano. 

It is also considering special lanes for frequent pedestrian visitors just as it has done for those crossing the border by car, she said. 


Woman puts husband up for auction on eBay 

LOS ANGELES – A woman looking for a creative way to help her unemployed husband find a job posted his resume on eBay and put him up for auction. 

But Sherri Edwards said the first and only bid was $1. 

“And that was out of sympathy,” she said. 

The posting has grabbed a lot of attention for Dean Edwards, but so far he hasn’t gotten any job offers. The marketing specialist said he was laid off three months ago from a tech firm. 

“We’ve had about 1,000 hits, but everyone just wants to vent about their own job search and how difficult it is right now,” Sherri Edwards said. 


Woman indicted for helping Aryan prison gang 

RODEO – A 51-year-old Rodeo woman indicted on racketeering charges was expected to surrender to federal authorities today, an agent for the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms said. 

Marty Laine Foakes, also known as Marty Donohue, was one of 39 people indicted in August by a federal grand jury in a massive criminal probe of the Aryan Brotherhood prison gang. 

Prosecutors believe Foakes was one of several gang associates who relayed messages between high-ranking members in different federal penitentiaries during the 1990s. 

The indictment was unsealed Thursday, when police in 12 states served 80 search warrants and arrested 38 of the suspects. Thirty of those arrested were already incarcerated for unrelated offenses. 

Foakes was not at her home when ATF agents served a search warrant Thursday morning, said Andy Traver, assistant special agent in charge of the ATF’s San Francisco office. 

Foakes’ attorney told ATF agents his client would surrender Monday in Los Angeles federal court, he said. Police will continue to search for Foakes over the weekend, he added. 

Authorities are also searching for 29-year-old Jason Lee Schwyhart of Green River, Ark., a suspected gang member who allegedly took part in the murder of two black inmates at a penitentiary in Illinois. 

The 110-page indictment charges the defendants under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act with being part of an organization that uses murder, intimidation and perjury to help the Aryan Brotherhood maintain its hold on drug-dealing, gambling and extortion in state and federal prisons. 

Foakes is accused of passing messages among members that often contained hidden messages “through coded language,” said assistant U.S. attorney Gregory Jessner. 


Man arrested in murder 

WOODLAND – A Sacramento man was arrested on suspicion of killing a Southern California man and dumping his body in Yolo County, officials said. 

Hoang Nguyen, 19, was booked on a no-bail murder warrant Thursday, said Yolo County sheriff’s spokesman Rich Williams. 

Nguyen is accused of shooting Christopher Daniel Pearson, 22, of Santa Clarita Valley in a dispute over drugs, Williams said. 

Pearson’s body was discovered Aug. 24 in a slough outside Clarksburg, he said. The victim was identified when his mother reported him missing, Williams said.