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Probe: Feb. 21, 2002

February 21, 2002

QUESTION: County Animal Control messed up when it confiscated Ruben Carrillo's animals. All I did was agree to take care of the animals when Animal Control Officer Frank Dyson asked me to do it. He said he would provide the feed and pay me for my trouble.

I told him if he took Carrillo's animals, Carrillo was going to go bezerk.

Dyson sent 10 bales of hay to feed 57 goats, one llama, one sheep, six pigeons, eight chickens and two horses. It was gone in a week. I called him and he said he would send more. It was 10 days before he sent another 20 bales of hay and half a sack of mash.

When Carrillo got back, Dyson said, "Don't give these animals back to Ruben."

Carrillo broke my gate and let the animals out. The sheriff arrested him and now he's in the hospital.

Dyson never paid me or gave me any more feed.

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When I asked him what he was going to do with the animals, he said I could keep the animals, give them away or sell them.

I sold the two horses, one for $275 and the other for $100, to pay for my expenses in keeping them. Carrillo has his goats back. I still have the llama.

The county messed this up. I didn't do anything wrong so why does that man want to sue me? Why doesn't he sue the county? — Innocent Bystander, Niland

We haven't heard Dyson's side of this. Efforts to reach him failed. When he returned our call, he left a message on our voice mail saying he could not talk to us while criminal proceedings against Carrillo, now in Patton State Hospital, are pending.

If you haven't been keeping up with this, it started when Carrillo's wife left him in September and Carrillo went to New Mexico. Carrillo said he paid a man to feed and water his animals while he was gone.

Apparently the caretaker also left. Animal Control entered the picture when someone reported the animals had not been fed or watered.

Carrillo was arrested after he allegedly cut Andy Quiroz's fence to retrieve his animals. After an outburst in court, Judge Joe Zimmerman stopped the December court hearing until after Carrillo underwent a psychiatric evaluation. Carrillo is still in the hospital.

QUESTION: My mother can't drive so she votes by absentee ballot. I called about getting an application. They said the applications were included in the sample ballot that will be mailed Tuesday. The ballots must be returned by Feb. 26. By the time we get the application, it will be too late to mail it back.

I can manage to do this because I know, but other people don't know! Can you help? — Anxious Voter, Brawley

Your mom should have her sample ballot and her absentee ballot application by the time you read this, according to county Registrar of Voters Delores Provencio.

She said the ballots were put in the mail last Tuesday by a printer, and she alerted local post masters that the ballots were on the way.

If you are still antsy, you can stop by the county election department and pick up an application.

YOUGOTTA TRUST — After the Sept. 11 attacks, and now the Enron mess, can we trust anybody? Give me one good reason to trust. — Shaken, Holtville

That's easy. When you get a green left turn light, you have to trust that two lanes of high-speed traffic will obey a red light so you can safely make your turn.

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