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Posts Tagged ‘US 59

Newspapers hide content; Shelby County constable bugs city offices while selling drugs

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It says a lot about a community when their local newspapers don’t want to be accessed by outsiders. Following other East Texas “news” agencies, the Jacksonville Daily Progress and Rusk Cherokeean Herald now require readers to pay and subscribe to their propaganda, in order to stave off outside scrutiny. Only a snippet of their articles will be viewable online to those linking to these papers, based upon the editors’ discretion and pressure from the Rusk, TX courthouse. The fact is small East Texas towns employ law enforcement and their familial informants to illegally tape record phone conversations, bug opponents’ offices, hack emails, and even steal drugs to plant on innocent people. The reporters at the local newspapers are coddled with front row seats to every trial and grand jury, and some even get the chance to help monitor the lay population. Cherokee County papers know to tow the corrupt county line, or be culled from the district attorney’s most favorite list.

Shelby County, TX:

Federal authorities out of Washington D.C. have cracked one of those deposed in the ongoing Tenaha, TX civil rights/”forfeiture scam” law suits. Shelby County Constable Precinct 4 Fred Walker has admitted in a federal affidavit that he and former City Marshal Rod McClure routinely bugged municipal offices as cover for their ongoing drug dealing. (Source: Longview News Journal  Feb. 15, 2012) Walker admits in the statements to the FBI that he and McClure were stealing confiscated drugs from evidence lockers and staging fake break-ins at the City Marshal’s office. McClure and company were eventually blackmailed by one of their local drug dealers. Constable Walker and his Houston attorney denies the admissions were made. (Source: Houston Chronicle Feb. 15, 2012)

Shelby County constable accused of bugging offices

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(Courtesy: KYTX CBS 19 Feb. 16, 2012)

Small town law enforcement agencies have responded to the exposure in Tenaha and have apparently begun to cut off the phone services they are illegally monitoring. The Tyler Paper quickly reports non-existent Verizon phone outages are affecting “911 services” in the 2 most corrupt counties in greater East Texas, Cherokee and Rusk counties. (Source: Tyler Paper Phone Outages Affecting Some East Texas 911 Systems Feb. 16, 2012)  The Daily Progress also reports that “Verizon wireless” outages somehow affect local landline phone services; Consolidated Communications, formerly the Lufkin Conroe Telephone Exchange, is the provider of landline (copper) residential phone service in Cherokee County and surrounding areas. Are they too currently dismantling their bugs?

Verizon is a wireless provider and does not offer landline service other than digital Voice over IP (fiber Internet) in areas of East Texas “reporting” outages. Secondly, it has no effect on 911 services provided by DETCOG. (Source: DETCOG Regional 911 Program) Embedded reporters should do a little fact checking when these sheriff departments are the spokesmen for local phone companies. There are no fiber optics for residential service in these small towns. They are however now under Federal scrutiny for the illegal phone drops, the ongoing drug trade and violation of civil rights. Corrupt law enforcement agencies are in direct control of all phone systems in their jurisdictions. Party lines are the method of choice for Cherokee County investigators; the goings on down the road in Tenaha, TX are just a drop in the bucket.

As we stated at the inception of this blog, travelers and businesses should never set foot into corrupt backwoods East Texas. Law enforcement, prosecutors and tenured public officials in this area openly violate Federal law and work hand-in-hand with their family members to rob and steal anything they can get their hands on. Those running for office who aren’t part of the family clique’ will have their personal phone calls, postal mail and email hacked. Those who whistle blow against the corruption will be vilified in the local newspapers covering up the generational highway robbery. Some will be brought before a planted jury and accused of made-up crimes; some will be driven out of town by sexual blackmail and/or harassment. Others wind up dead in the nearby National Forests.

Travelers forfeit their privacy and safety in Cherokee County; they lose their wallets and their cars in neighboring Shelby County.

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The Shelby County, TX corruption is a microcosm of what Federal authorities covering East Texas are aware of. Rural phones have been tapped by those holding the purse strings since the day they were installed by Ma Bell, from the payphones at the corner market, to Farmer Brown’s at the end of dirt road. USPS mail is opened with complete impunity by those assigned to do so. Now, even emails on county servers are hacked into as fodder for political rivals. What are people to think of prosecutors, investigators and judges who are not only cognizant of the systemic criminal activity going on in their neck of the Piney Woods, but who actively participate in it? –Who have benefited from it for decades and intend to pass it on to their political successors?

US 59, which runs through Shelby County, is known as a national drug corridor. US Route 69, another major drug trafficking route, runs north from Port Arthur through Angelina and Cherokee counties, to Tyler, TX and the DFW metroplex — all the way to Minnesota. It is monitored by federal agencies and every Tom, Dick and Harry pseudo-cop along the way. The later are not just targeting drug traffickers; they are after innocent people’s belongings.

Shelby County law enforcement is an example of how things operate in East Texas. Newspapers and reporters covering Cherokee County and surrounding areas will continue to do their best to convince their dedicated readers and advertisers the same has not been occurring for decades under their noses. When word begins to leak out about the criminal activity of public officials, these papers bury any reports by backdating and archiving the details, hiding them from the sunlight. They will only print what ‘good Christian folks’ they all are, with no knowledge that their own constables work as drug mules, a la’ Cherokee County’s Randall Thompson –sentenced to 10 years in 2006 for intent to distribute meth. (Source: Tyler Paper Aug. 23, 2006)

Heck, in Cherokee County, the district judges and local newspapers didn’t even know their own bailiff had been indicted in federal court –the same day they removed him from office for not showing up to work…never mentioning on the record Thompson had been busted by federal agents months earlier. (Source: Jacksonville Progress Court Date Set for Constable Removal Trial Jan. 11, 2006)

Shelby County District Attorney Linda Kaye Russell is also under DOJ investigation for allegedly offering bona fide drug runners leniency for forfeiture of their cash on hand to prosecutors. Under this practice, Shelby County collected over $800,000 in less than one year. Innocent motorists were also threatened with money laundering charges if they didn’t turn over their property. Russell pleaded the 5th during an August 2, 2010 deposition in Nacogdoches County according to KTRE. (Source: Shelby County district attorney pleads fifth Aug. 3, 2010) The Tenaha civil rights class action suits still sitting on the Federal dockets are in response to the illegal search and seizure procedures of these county officials. The longer the cases are drawn out, the more revealing they become to those out of the region. You barely get a peep out the local newspapers.

The recent Associated Press article on Shelby County, Texas in its entirety:

Affidavit: Texas constable admits ordering bugging
DANNY ROBBINS, Associated Press
Updated 05:23 p.m., Wednesday, February 15, 2012

DALLAS (AP) — A small-town Texas constable told the FBI he secretly bugged other officials’ offices after they were accused of illegally forcing motorists to forfeit their cash, according to a search warrant affidavit.

The affidavit, based on interviews conducted by FBI agents and Texas Rangers, quotes Shelby County Constable Fred Walker as saying he authorized the installation of hidden surveillance cameras and digital recorders even though he didn’t have legal authority. It also includes a statement from a witness who claims Walker helped organize a scheme to sell drugs seized from suspects.

It’s just another chapter in a longtime drama in Tenaha, a town of 1,160 near the Louisiana border, where nearly $800,000 in cash seized from motorists stopped for traffic violations along U.S. Highway 59 has led to lawsuits and a federal criminal investigation of the county’s former district attorney and other officials.

Walker, 53, was Tenaha’s city marshal at the time the alleged bugging occurred. He was elected constable in 2010.

In a brief phone interview, Walker said he knew nothing about the affidavit, filed in U.S. District Court in Lufkin on Feb. 6. When asked if he arranged to have offices bugged, he hung up.

Walker’s attorney, Bassey Akpaffiong of Houston, said prosecutors have told him to expect an indictment. Akpaffiong said Walker was never involved in selling drugs and never told the FBI he authorized the installation of secret listening devices.

Malcolm Bales, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Texas, declined to comment.

The search warrant affidavit was filed as part of a federal case against the owner of a computer repair business in Tenaha. The business owner, Roderrette McClure, pleaded guilty Tuesday to being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Authorities found the firearms after obtaining the warrant last August to search for hard drives and other computer devices on McClure’s property.

According to the affidavit, McClure told authorities that Walker had him install surveillance cameras disguised as smoke detectors and hidden voice-activated digital recording equipment in the offices of Tenaha Mayor George Bowers and deputy city marshal Barry Washington. Walker said he wanted to “cover” himself over the traffic stops, most of which were conducted by Washington, McClure said in the affidavit.

Walker acknowledged in an interview the same day that he had authorized the installation of the devices in Washington’s office and at City Hall, the affidavit states.

Washington and Bowers are among the defendants in a class action lawsuit asserting that authorities in Tenaha and Shelby County threatened innocent motorists, most of them black, with money laundering charges if they didn’t forfeit the money they were carrying. Walker has been deposed as part of the suit, initiated in 2008, but isn’t named as a defendant.

The Associated Press reported last October that the forfeitures, directed by District Attorney Lynda Kaye Russell, also allowed motorists who genuinely fit the description of drug runners or money launderers to receive light sentences or escape criminal prosecution altogether. Russell left her post at the end of 2011.

U.S. Highway 59, which runs from the U.S.-Mexico border to Canada, is one of the country’s best-known drug-trafficking routes.

FBI agents have interviewed many of the motorists, and a federal grand jury in Tyler also has interviewed witnesses and collected evidence, according to individuals who have been questioned as part of the probe. The investigation is being headed by the Department of Justice‘s civil rights division in Washington.

The search warrant affidavit says the FBI and Texas Rangers began investigating Walker and McClure in August 2010 after Walker reported that 500 pounds of marijuana and other drugs were stolen from his evidence room. Investigators later thought the robbery had been staged, according to the affidavit.

In November 2010, Walker and McClure asked authorities to investigate extortion letters they received in which someone identified as “Jack Frost” sought money to keep quiet about selling drugs from the evidence room, the affidavit says. Investigators located a man who admitted writing the letters, and he said he had been recruited by McClure to sell marijuana and ecstasy, according to the affidavit.

The letter writer told authorities that McClure said he and Walker were stealing marijuana, cocaine, ecstasy and hydrocodone from the room and selling it through other individuals, the affidavit says. The document quotes the man as saying McClure and Walker replaced the stolen marijuana with “fire bricks” and that the burglary was staged to cover for the missing drugs.

McClure’s attorney, Lori Mack, did not respond to phone messages.

(Courtesy: Houston Chronicle via Associated Press 2012)

Paroled felon with gun turns State’s evidence; has criminal record expunged. Molester pleads to 24 months for raping Jacksonville TX boy.

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Rusk, Texas:  In January 2004, death row inmate Richard Aaron Cobb was convicted of capital murder in Cherokee County’s 2nd Judicial District Court, CAUSE NO. 15054. According to a TDCJ summary of the September 2, 2002 incident in Rusk, Texas, Richard Cobb and codefendant Buenka Adams abducted a man and two women during a convenience store robbery. They fatally shot the man, sexually assaulted and shot the two women. The three victims’ bodies were left in a field near Alto, Texas. The two female store clerks survived. Both Richard Cobb and Buenka Adams were convicted of capital murder in Cherokee County, Texas and sentenced to death.

 Information based upon Richard Cobb’s direct appeal to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals indicates that Cherokee County District Attorney Elmer Beckworth dropped felony gun possession charges on a habitual criminal, named W.T., for his jail cell testimony against Cobb.  W.T. was strategically placed in the Cherokee County jail cell (in Rusk) with Richard Cobb during the Appellant’s trial and testified he overheard Cobb implicating codefendant Buenka Adams. W.T., a convicted felon, was incarcerated in Rusk, TX for felony possession of a firearm. Appellant Richard Cobb also argued in his Motion that Elmer Beckworth’s office failed to disclose to defense attorneys one victim’s financial arrangement to have her story/testimony broadcasted on the syndicated “Montel Williams’ Show.” The witness was also in the process of writing a book detailing her ordeal.

During a motion for a new trial, Richard Cobb’s attorneys argued the fact that Cherokee County District Attorney Investigator Randy Hatch had made calls to W.T.’s parole officers asking for leniency on their star witness’ behalf. Felony gun charges were completely dropped against W.T. for his cooperation. To date, W.T.’s Cherokee County record has been expunged. District Attorney Elmer Beckworth denied making ‘deals’ with the felon W.T.; however Beckworth told the TXCRIMAPP charges against W.T. were “just not prosecutable” because W.T. was stopped on a four-wheeler on his way to “target practice” in the woods. The fact is W.T.’s testimony was never needed to convict the Cobb/Adams duo of murder; forensics and material evidence were overwhelming against them both. Plus the two surviving victims’ testimony.

W.T’s unecessary testimony was merely a ruse to bolster the district attorney’s case. And let’s not forget who W.T. is related to in Rusk, Texas…an easy ploy to get a friend’s son off of parole altogether. Former DA Investigator Randy Hatch vouched for a convicted felon on parole caught with an illegal firearm, despite the State having ample testimony from the two surviving victims at trial. There never was a TDCJ Parole Revocation Hearing to determine W.T.’s felon gun possession charges. In fact, W.T. was released early from his parole and his identity wiped clean with the help of the district attorney’s office, for being a supposed jailhouse snitch.

District Attorney Elmer Beckworth’s statement (in the Appellant’s brief) to the court regarding dropping his State witness’ felony gun possession charge:

“My experience in over 20 years of felony prosecution the citizens of Cherokee County and East Texas generally are not real fond of weapons offenses, very difficult to get a jury in a felon in possession with a firearm. And in situations where someone is hunting the weapon is in their home or something like this where it’s target practicing and there is no other crimes involved or activities indicating a danger situation it is very difficult to get a conviction and most of those cases are not prosecuted and are declined on the basis of insufficient evidence.”

Quite the opposite stance Elmer Beckworth and the local Cherokee County media takes when probationers have their community service revoked for “target practice” during ‘slow news daze.’ The Jacksonville Daily Progress even reports in a convenient article the fact that Texas state law prohibits felons keeping a firearm even within their home, until five years have passed after their parole or probation is over. Texas law in 2002 appropriately applied to Mr. Beckworth’s star witness W.T. states it is “unlawful for a convicted felon to possess a firearm outside of their residence at any time.” Deals to strike the arrest record of a convicted felon are also beyond the pale, except in Cherokee County, Texas.

Attorneys for Richard Cobb produced letters written by W.T. to Elmer Beckworth and his office referencing W.T.’s meetings with Beckworth and investigator Randy Hatch, stating: “At our meeting in Mr. Hatch’s office on 12-19-02 you agreed to completely clear this charge as well as try to have the parole hold lifted so I could get released.” Another letter was written by Beckworth on January 10, 2003. Although it was addressed “to whom it may concern,” Beckworth testified that it was sent to [W.T.'s] parole officer, Roy Shamblin. The letter stated: “Please be advised that this office will not seek prosecution on [W.T.] for the offense of Unlawful Possession of Firearm by Felon. If anything further is needed please contact this office.” Signed Elmer C. Beckworth, Jr. and Randy Hatch.

Apparenlty District Attorney Elmer Beckworth did make a sweet deal with convicted felon W.T.  We can always count on local media to avoid reporting actual court documents and prosecutors to lie about actual proceedings. The ends always justify the means.

Richard Cobb’s capital murder conviction was affirmed by the appeals court and Cobb remains on death row in Huntsville. The Appellant’s arguments were predictably immaterial to the Court of Criminal Appeals; however they shed light on how effortlessly Cherokee County’s district attorney office lies about the deals they cut, when it is politically expedient. Especially when felons are used to bolster their cases. A more progressive court of appeals may have released these murderers back into society and agreed with the Appellant’s points of error made by the Cherokee County, TX prosecutor. Cronyism with unreported and nondisclosed felons is a common Cherokee County district court tactic. And when the judicial errors are revealed, the local newspapers report a crackdown of the exact same crimes ignored prior, complete with embellished police reports. Why? Because Cherokee County is corrupt.

And innocent rail-roaded defendants in the region can expect even the most egregious prosecutorial misconduct, collusion between State Witnesses and Investigators, a la the jailhouse snitch and Randy Hatch, and complete baldface lies to be sanctioned by the higher appellate courts.

The argument is not that Richard Cobb and/or Buenka Adams were obviously guilty of murder and should be put to death. The question is why would the Cherokee County District Attorney deliberately risk putting the trial jury’s verdict in jeopardy by swearing in a convicted felon (who they made deals with) on the stand. Why rely on a jail house snitch to testify when two surviving witnesses would have presented unimpeachable evidence against the defendants? Why? Because Cherokee County is corrupt.

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Richard Cobb, death row

Jacksonville, TX:

Cherokee County District Attorney Elmer Beckworth blames another rape victim for being “too embarrassed to go to trial” during an interview in the August 19, 2008 issue of the Jacksonville Daily Progress. During June and July, Beckworth’s office offered probation and a 24 month prison sentence to Jacksonville, TX resident Stephen Oliver. Oliver, age 48, pleaded guilty to repeatedly sexually assaulting a local teenage boy for over a 2-1/2 year period.

Beckworth, pleased with the light sentence of the child rapist, stated to the Daily Progress the victim would “recant his story” if the case went to trial. Of course Cherokee County residents, voters and readers of the Daily Propagandist are too stupid to realize even teenage minors don’t take the stand in cases of sex assault; their statements are enough to convict offenders for life. Stephen Oliver will spend less time in prison than he did sexually assaulting and ruining the life of a innocent youth.

After serving a few months of his prison term, Stephen Oliver can join the following list of registered Cherokee County Texas sex offenders given probation by Elmer Beckworth, whose names were released in 2006:

• Frank Birden Guinn, age 82, Alto TX, indecency with a child by contact of a 12-year-old female;

• Michael Morrison, 48, Alto TX, aggravated sexual assault of a 12-year-old female;

• Gary Mark Hayles, 43, Bullard TX, indecency with a child by contact of an 8-year-old female;

• Wesley Boyd Mohr, 60, Bullard TX, indecency with a child by contact of a 10-year-old female;

• William Barry Travis, 54, Bullard TX, aggravated sexual assault of a child of an 8-year-old female;

• Matthew Isaiah White, 17, Bullard TX, indecency by exposure involving a 15-year-old female;

• Christopher Steven Goleman, 33, Gallatin TX, aggravated sexual assault of a disabled 39 year-old female;

• Tommy Junior Allen, 54, Jacksonville TX, indecency with a child by contact of a 11-year-old female;

• William Tracy Arnold, 42, Jacksonville TX, burglary and felony involving a 34-year-old female;

• James Travis Baker, 22, Jacksonville TX, indecency of a child by contact of a 6-year-old female;

• James Isaac Barnett, 18, Jacksonville TX, indecency with a child of a 14-year-old-female;

• Brian D. Black, 19, Jacksonville TX, aggravated sexual assault of a 10-year-old female;

• Vernon Willis Blackshire, 29, Jacksonville TX, sexual assault of a 14-year-old female;

• Anthony Eugene Boone, 38, Jacksonville TX, aggravated sexual assault of a 6-year-old male;

• Cole Joseph Brooks, 22, Jacksonville TX, aggravated sexual assault of a 13-year-old female;

• Christopher Lee Calley, 25, Jacksonville TX, aggravated sexual assault of a 3-year-old female;

• Gark Michael Clark, Jacksonville TX, 52, sexual assault of a child of a 16-year-old girl;

• Arturo Allen Cochran, 26, Jacksonville TX, aggravated sexual assault of a 12-year-old female;

• Carlos Jerome Conner, 37, Jacksonville TX, aggravated sexual assault of a 13-year-old female;

• Steven Daille, 58, Jacksonville TX, sexual assault of a 15-year-old female;

• James William Dennis, 64, Jacksonville TX, agg. kidnapping/sex assault of a 38-year-old female;

• Jose Ramon Galan, 53, Jacksonville TX, indecency with a child by contact of a 9-year-old female;

• Jonathan Keith Glenn, 23, Jacksonville TX, aggravated sexual assault of an 8-year-old female;

• James Henry Golden, 52, Jacksonville TX, aggravated sexual assault of a 36-year-old female;

• Nathan Wayne Grimes, 61, Jacksonville TX, indecency with a 9-year-old female;

• Ollie Ray Grogan, 62, Jacksonville TX, indecency with a 5-year-old male and 7-year-old female;

• Nickolas Noel Harwell, 31, Jacksonville TX, two counts of aggravated sex assault of a 12-year-old female;

• Kevin Lyn Hawes, 42, Jacksonville TX, aggravated sexual assault of a 15-year-old;

• Christopher Michael Hennessy, Jacksonville TX, 25, sexual assault of a 15-year-old female; absconded.

• William Lee Hershiser, 48, Jacksonville TX, aggravated sexual assault of a 15-year-old female;

• Roger Hunter, 72, Jacksonville TX, indecency with a child by contact of a 14-year-old female;

• Aaron Lee Joslin, 25, Jacksonville TX, two counts of sexual performance of a 7-year-old male;

• Robert Michael Lane, 33, Jacksonville TX, indecency by contact of a 10-year-old female;

• Jackie Neal Locke, 46, Jacksonville TX, indecency with a child by contact of a 13-year-old female;

• Ben Mallard, 47, Jacksonville TX, indecency with a child by contact of a 11-year-old female;

• James Donald McClain, 56, Jacksonville TX, aggravated sexual assault of a 20-year-old female, and 11-year-old female;

• Leroy Edward McCuen, 56, Jacksonville TX, aggravated sexual assault of a 9-year-old female;

• Kenneth Ray Messick, 59, Jacksonville TX, sexual assault of a 14-year-old female and 16-year-old female;

• Stacy Bernard Mills, 39, Jacksonville TX, aggravated sexual assault of a 11-year-old female;

• Tracey Dewayne Moseley, 33, Jacksonville TX, indecency by exposure, of a 15-year-old female;

• Jamie Lee Newburn, 28, Jacksonville TX, two counts of attempted sexual performance of a 14-year-old female;

• Sammy Carroll Newman, 54, Jacksonville TX, indecency by contact of a 12-year-old female;

• Patrick Brian Norsworthy, 43, Jacksonville TX, indecency by contact of an 8-year-old female;

• Derrick Wendell Owens, 34, Jacksonville TX, indecency by contact of a 9-year-old female;

• Kevin Wayne Patton, 36, Jacksonville TX, indecency by contact of a 14-year-old female;

• Glenn Durrell Pierce, 49 years of age, Jacksonville TX, sexual assault of a 15-year-old male;

• Bruce Townsend Powell, 48, Jacksonville TX, attempted sexual assault of a 30-year-old male;

• Jimmy Reed, 47, Jacksonville TX, attempted sexual assault of a 25-year-old female and unknown female;

• Mandell Rhodes Jr., 43, Jacksonville TX, aggravated sexual assault of a 52-year-old female;

• Thompson Ward Stricklen, 43, Jacksonville TX, indecency by contact of a 11-year-old female;

• Paul Arlen Taylor, 51, Jacksonville TX, indecency by contact of a 13-year-old female;

• Terry Lawrence Taylor, 48, Jacksonville TX, indecency by contact of a 12-year-old female;

• James L. Wells, 52, Jacksonville TX, aggravated sexual assault of a 5-year-old female and 6-year-old female;

• Johnny Decole Wells, 25, Jacksonville TX, sexual assault of a 15-year-old female;

• Larry Wayne White, 45, Jacksonville TX, aggravated sexual assault of an 8-year-old female;

• Timothy Kevin Zweck, 32, Jacksonville TX, sexual assault of a 15-year-old female;

• Robby Lee Buffalo, 32, Rusk TX, prohibited sexual assault (incest) of a 11-year-old female;

• Richard Dean Davis, 47, Rusk TX, indecency with a child by contact of a 14-year-old female;

• Nile James Dean, 39, Rusk TX, indecency with a child by contact of a 8-year-old female;

• James William Hammons, 45, Rusk TX, aggravated sexual assault of a 13-year-old female;

• Jason Aaron Husband, 29, Rusk TX, sexual assault of a child of a 15-year-old female;

• Elbert James Patton, 90, Rusk TX, indecency with a child by contact of an 8-year-old female and 9-year-old female; deceased.

• Delian Brenanard Session, 43, Rusk TX, sexual assault of a 34-year-old female and 11-year-old-female;

• Troy Gibbs Sutherland, 31 years of age, Rusk TX, attempted sexual assault of a 15-year-old female;

• Aubrey Thomas Taylor, 48 years of age, Rusk TX, indecency with a child by contact of a 10-year-old female;

• Dale Joseph Tylich, 51, Rusk TX, indecency with a child by contact of a female less than 16 years of age;

• Charles Clifton Bruner, 45, Troup TX, indecency with a child by contact of a 6-year-old female;

• Michael Servetus Childs, 31 years of age, Troup TX, sexual assault of a 14-year-old female;

• Tommy Robert Husband, 46 years of age, Troup TX, indecency with a child by contact of a 16-year-old female;

• Michael Sean Lee, 33 years of age, Troup TX, indecency with a child of a 13-year-old female;

• Timmey Martin, 41 years of age, Troup TX, aggravated sexual assault of a 14-year-old female;

• Michael Ryan McMichael, 34 years of age, Troup TX, indecency with a child of a 12-year-old female;

• Martin Otis Pitts, 51 years of age, Troup TX, two counts of aggravated sexual assault of a 7-year-old female;

• Bryan Thomas Toombs, 31 years of age, Troup TX, aggravated sexual assault of a 13-year-old female.

• Alisha Arriola Corley, 36 years of age, Wells TX, sexual assault of a 15-year-old male.

 

That’s your Cherokee County Texas district courts hard at work. The District Attorney’s office makes sure assault arrests of their grand and petite jury foreman never sees the light of day, either. Do a county by county comparison.

 § 22.01. ASSAULT. (a) A person commits an offense ifThe offense is a third degree felony if the offense is committed against an arresting officer or a victim of family violence.

the person:

(1) intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causes

bodily injury to another, including the person’s spouse;

(2) intentionally or knowingly threatens another with

imminent bodily injury, including the person’s spouse; or

(3) intentionally or knowingly causes physical

contact with another when the person knows or should reasonably

believe that the other will regard the contact as offensive or

provocative.

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
Palestine, Texas:

Anderson County Sheriff candidate Steven Quick, age 46, was arrested on a domestic violence charge on Wednesday, July 16, 2008 for allegedly assaulting his girlfriend at their Palestine, TX residence. Both Quick and his girlfriend are Anderson County Jail employees; Mr. Quick being the former Chief Jailer and Democratic candidate vying for Anderson County Sheriff in November’s general elections. The assault appears to be isolated to a domestic dispute involving the dog kennels at their trailer house.

 Photobucket

Steven Quick, Palestine TX

 

 

Texas Occupational Code

CHAPTER 53. CONSEQUENCES OF CRIMINAL CONVICTION

§ 53.002. APPLICABILITY OF CHAPTER. This chapter does

not apply to:

(1) the Supreme Court of Texas, a person licensed

under the court’s authority on behalf of the judicial department of

government, or an applicant for a license issued under the court’s

authority on behalf of the judicial department of government;

(2) a peace officer or an applicant for a license as a

peace officer described by Article 2.12, Code of Criminal

Procedure; or

(3) a person who:

(A) is licensed by the Texas State Board of

Medical Examiners, the Texas State Board of Pharmacy, the State

Board of Dental Examiners, or the State Board of Veterinary Medical

Examiners; and

(B) has been convicted of a felony under Chapter

481 or 483 or Section 485.033, Health and Safety Code.

Under Title 3 of the Texas Occupational Code and the Medical Practice Act, autonomous state agencies regulate the licensing of doctors, dentists, pharmacists, acupuncturists and other health providers. Such as the Texas Medical Board and Board of Dental Examiners. It is this dichotomy of legal statutes that allows arrested and convicted offenders to continue to practice their licensed professions unnoticed within the county. Normally, the arrest of Cherokee County professionals and subsequent dismissal of charges goes unreported. Especially those members of the local Chamber of Commerce or related to the county’s ‘Politico.’ The district attorney’s office doesn’t want anyone to spill the beans.

The Texas State Board of Medical Examiners and the Texas State Board of Dental Examiners (TSBDE) compiles public databases to review license holders’ disciplinary actions. The Texas State Pharmacy Board also reviews its members. And these professional boards don’t look kindly at license holders not reporting their assaultive offenses and continuing to operate in health related services. Because the local Cherokeean Herald and Jacksonville Daily Progress take their marching orders from the Rusk Texas courthouse (and refuse to print articles when prosecutor’s cousins are arrested), readers can be informed of Cherokee County inmate bookings via the online VINELink. Anderson County jails, however are routinely offline. Crime victims may choose to register with the service: The Texas Statewide Automated Victim Notification System (SAVNS) that gives offenders’ county jail custody and case status. The Texas SAVNS hotline is available 24/7 at 1-877-TX4-VINES (1-877-894-8463).

TDCJ  also offers inmate information at their state-level facilities via their website at : http://168.51.178.33/webapp/TDCJ/index2.htm

Under Sec. 153.0045. RULES ON CONSEQUENCES OF CRIMINAL CONVICTION, the boards adopted Chapter 53 of the Texas Occupational Code requiring hearings and stiff penalties when license holders are convicted of crimes.

“The board shall adopt rules and guidelines as necessary to comply with Chapter 53, except to the extent the requirements of this subtitle are stricter than the requirements of that chapter-Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., ch. 269, Sec. 1.12, eff. Sept. 1, 2005.”

A good example from the Texas Medical Board, Fall 2006-

UNPROFESSIONAL OR DISHONORABLE CONDUCT VIOLATIONS:

GOODMAN, JOHN WILLIS, M.D., RUSK, TX, Lic. #D2437

On October 6, 2006, the Texas Medical Board and Dr. Goodman entered into an Agreed Order requiring that he have a chaperone in the room any time he performs a physical examination on any patient and prohibiting him from performing genital or rectal examinations. The action was based on allegations that Dr. Goodman conducted inappropriate genital examinations on several [Rusk State Hospital] inmates in 1998.

Sec. 153.006. CRIMINAL RECORD REPORT.

(a) “The board may receive criminal record reports from any law enforcement agency or another source regarding a license holder or license applicant. ” This is a valuable law and resource to the public when it comes to drug convictions of health professionals, that may otherwise go unreported. As in Dr. Goodman of the Rusk State Hospital in 2006. 

 

Jacksonville, Texas:

Deborah Raissi, wife of Jacksonville, TX City Manager Mo Raissi, pleaded guilty on Monday, June 9, 2008 to possession of marijuana and drunk driving from an earlier arrest in Bullard, TX. Mrs. Rassi was pulled over by Bullard PD on Highway 69, in the wee morning hours back in October 2007. She was offered 2 1/2 years probation, a thousand dollar fine and community service. And the story has been cached away from public scrutiny.
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  D.Raissi (Courtsey Smith County, TX)

Smith County, Texas:

Precinct 1 Constable Henry Jackson  recently facing 10 State charges, ranging from felony tampering with governmental records, official oppression and sexual harassment of a female deputy. Constable Jackson had his bond lowered after an alleged violation, i.e. he continue to operate his unlicensed security company. His bond was originally set at $1 million.

Constable Jackson’s criminal trials began in August, but was postponed for the more sensational “Mineola Swingers’ Club” trial in Smith County. Felony corruption charges were completely dropped during an impromptu meeting with State and County attorneys and Jackson’s defense team. According to the Tyler, TX newspaper, Jackson pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges and was fined $100. He must complete an overly excessive 6 months probation and 200 hours of community service before returning to work without a criminal record. Constable Henry Jackson runs unopposed in Smith County’s Pct.1 during November’s elections. And that is East Texas politics at its finest hour!

Whitehouse, Texas:

Timothy Adcock, age 25, of Whitehouse, TX pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography on Tuesday, July 15, 2008 in Tyler’s federal court. He is facing 10 years in federal prison. Having a cousin or two in the prosecutor’s seat at the Rusk, Texas courthouse gives Cherokee County’s variety of counterfeit Christians, wife beating sociopaths and pedophiles absolutely no culpability. Contrasted with Smith County officials who admit child abuse is on the rise in the area.

Henderson County, Texas:

Inmates within the Athens, TX jailhouse are suing Henderson County authorities on a variety of health and sanitation issues. Inmates named in the federal class action suit are seeking punitive damages for neglect.

Shelby County, Texas:

A federal lawsuit claims that Shelby County officials working out of Tenaha, TX have been targeting minorities and motorists during obvious ‘asset seizure’ practices. Innocent people have been forced to sign over their personal effects during traffic stops in the county, to avoid being charged with “money laundering.”

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  Tenaha, Texas is on a major drug route.                                                    US 59

The most recent case to make through the well-disposed US Eastern District Court is 2:2008cv00288 Morrow v. City of Tenaha Deputy City Marshal Barry Washington, et al  

The East Texas media has been approvingly quiet in the past when it came to small towns’ “Highway Robbery.” An example that barely saw the light: in 2007, Shelby County Assistant Auditor Marilyn Lout, age 70, stole nearly $200,000 from the county’s Indigent Health Care Fund. Mrs. Lout, a cancer patient and grandmother, had been funneling money to her daughter-in-law in Hardin County. The Texas Attorney General’s office seized other diverted monies and assets of unnamed individuals after a raid on Lout’s Shelbyville, TX home. Marilyn Lout quietly accepted a plea bargain with Shelby County prosecutors of 10 years probation after threatening to “tell all.” This poor East Texas grandma meant business and the sympathetic media in the region has all but buried the misappropriation and theft of taxpayer money.

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Marilyn Lout, Shelby County TX auditor

It has come to light that Shelby County officials have been supplementing their county salaries with over $3 million in seized money and property from motorists. The Shelby County officials named in the Morrow lawsuit are not part of a wider Drug Task Force. US Hwy 59, a notorious corridor for drugs from Mexico, travels through greater East Texas and downtown Tenaha.

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                         Tenaha, TX in Shelby County

The back roads of East Texas are prime sources of undocumented revenue for local law enforcement and officers of district courts. The shakedown of out-of-state travelers has been going on for decades in the Piney Woods.  And as they say, there are plenty of narcotic interdiction officers along this route willing to violate the 4th Amendment.

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US 59 between Marshall and Jefferson, TX [courtesy Wikimedia]

The best advice to motorists traveling this area of East Texas-

 Don’t go. Turn around and go home.

Illegal searches are all too common in East Texas

with 4 comments

From Bad Cop News feeder:

Steve Banyai
Lyford, TX on Nov. 27, 2006
Subject:
BIGGS, LD#509,#3212, ROGUE COP ON VIDEO To:”steve bonzai” ON 11/21/06, 1PM, I WAS SOUTHBOUND ON HWY 59 IN RUSKCOUNTY, TEXAS. I WAS CRUISING ON CRUSE CONTROL AT THESPEED LIMIT. I SAW THE SHERIFF ON THE SIDE OF THE ROADPULL OFF AFTER I PASSED. HE CAUGHT UP TO ME AND PUT ONHIS LIGHTS. I PULLED OVER TO SEE WHAT HE WANTED. HE SAID THE TAIL LIGHT WAS OUT ON MY TRAILER, BUT I HADNOT USED MY BRAKES UNTIL AFTER HE STOPPED ME. IQUESTIONED HIS STATEMENT THAT THE LIGHTS WERE OUT. [IBELIEVE THAT BRAKE LIGHTS ARE NOT NEEDED IN DAYLIGHT,BUT HAD TESTED MY LIGHTS THE DAY BEFORE IN MICHIGAN.]

I MADE HIM STATE AGAIN THAT HE WAS STOPPING ME BECAUSEOF BRAKE LIGHTS ON MY TRAILER.[#1- ILLEGAL STOP.]THENHE WANT TO KNOW HOW MUCH MONEY I HAD. HE ASKED TOSEARCH MY CAR AND I TOLD HIM HE HAD NO RIGHT TO SEARCHMY CAR. HE FURTHER DETAINED ME SO HIS DOG COULD SNIFFMY CAR. THE DOG GAVE THE CAR A PASS UNTIL HE THREWSOMETHING [HIS GUM?] UNDER THE FRONT OF THE CAR.[#2MANUFACTURING EVIDENCE][HIS WIND-UP SHOULD BE CLEAR ONTHE VIDEO EVEN THOUGH HE WAS HIDING BEHIND MY CAR.]THE DOG WENT FOR IT UNDER THE PASSENGER SIDE FRONTTIRE. HE PUT THE DOG AWAY AND SAID THE DOG ALERTED ONMY TRUNK. HE CLAIMED THAT GAVE HIM THE RIGHT TO SEARCHMY CAR WITHOUT MY CONSENT. HE SEARCHED MY CAR AND BOATVERY CLOSELY, AS SEEN ON THE TAPE. [#3 ILLEGALLYSEARCH.]

HE ASKED ABOUT DRUGS BUT I POINTED OUT DRUGSGO FROM SOUTH TO NORTH. LATER I REALIZED HE WASLOOKING FOR MONEY. HE SHAKES ALL THE DOORS, LOOKS INALL THE NOOKS AND CRANNIES. GOES THROUGH ANTIQUES FROMMY GREAT-GRAND MOTHER, MY CLOTHES, KNAPSACK AND FRUITAND VEGETABLES. I STILL DO NOT KNOW IF HE STOLEANYTHING AS I AM NOT HOME TO UNPACK YET. HE WAS KINDENOUGH TO GIVE ME A WARNING THAT HAS ALL THEINFORMATION ON IT, [#4 FILING A FALSE POLICE REPORT.]AND TOLD ME HAVE A NICE THANKSGIVING. I STOPPED IN THENEXT TOWN AT- LUNDSFORD AUTO SUPPLY AND GARAGE- TOHAVE MY LIGHTS CHECKED. THE MAN BEHIND THE COUNTERCHECKED MY LIGHTS, THEN STEPPED ON THE BRAKES SO ICOULD SEE FOR MYSELF THAT THERE WAS NO PROBLEM WITH MYLIGHTS. THEY JOKED ABOUT MY HAVING MET BARNEY, SO THISMUST HAPPEN ALL THE TIME. I WILL BE IN TOUCH WITHEVERY ATTORNEY IN THE AREA TO SEE HOW MANY PEOPLESLIVES HE HAS MESSED UP WITH HIS ILLEGAL ACTIVITIES.THERE WAS ANOTHER MALE IN THE CAR WITH HIM. HE HAD A SHERIFF’S SHIRT ON.

THEY CHECKED ME THROUGH THE SYSTEM SO IT WILL NOT BE HARD TO VERIFY MY STORY. IF THEYDESTROY THE EVIDENCE ON THE TAPE THAT IS A SIGN OFRICO ACTIVITY. THE CAR, BOAT AND TRAILER BELONG TO MY DAD AND HAVE NEVER HAD SO MUCH AS A CIGARETTE INSIDE.THE DOG TOLD HIM THAT. HE STILL WANTED TO SEARCH FORMONEY SO HE MANUFACTURED AN EXCUSE. BEING OUT-OF-STATE HE THINKS JUST NOT BEING FINED IS ENOUGH TO HAVE MEFORGET ABOUT MY CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS. CHECK OUT THEFILM AND SEE HOW MANY LAWS HE BROKE. I WILL BE MORETHAT WILLING TO TESTIFY AT HIS TRIAL. TARGETINGOUT-OF-STATERS, I BET THE MEXICAN CONSUL WILL HAVEREPORTS OF HIS CRIMINAL ACTS. THIS REPORT WILL BE SENTTO EVERY EMAIL I CAN FIND IN RUSK COUNTY, THE DPS,RANGERS, FBI, EVERY ATTORNEY IN EVERY COUNTYSURROUNDING RUSK AND EVERY MEXICAN CONSUL IN THESTATES AND MEXICO AS WELL AS EVERY COUNTRY IN CENTRALAMERICA. I AM WILLING TO TAKE A POLYGRAPH, ANYTIMEANYWHERE. STEVE BANYAI TDL# 02454464.

Open response to Steve on Bad Cop News:

Steve, I can relate to your story you posted. I lived in East TX for 25 years and had to leave because of the systemic corruption coming out of the area. I have had friends go through the same ordeal. Sheriff Biggs, or whoever this guy is, does exactly what most of these small town cops do. There are a handful of decent folks up there, but often wonder how many truly honest ones are left. I would post your dealings with the Rusk Co. boys in other places.

The problem is there is very little initiative for the US attorney’s office, TX Rangers or FBI to reign in the redneck mafia that wear badges. They work together, in co-hoots with each other. The later provided meaningless drug busts, and the former getting Federal grant money to do as they wish.

This only skims the surface of the corruption of East Texas law enforcement. Just last year in 2006, down in Cherokee County, TX a 60 year old veteran chief of police officer was busted by out of county law enforcement for selling meth and drugs off the steps of the Troup, TX city hall.
Read at :
http://www.news8austin.com/content/top_stories/default.asp?ArID=156663

Editor’s footnote: Chief Chester Kennedy was arrested and convicted of evidence tampering. Sgt. Mark Turner was arrested and convicted for taking drugs from the police locker. Other links verify the trafficking of crystal meth in Cherokee County by others. As of March 2009, Kennedy was appealing the theft conviction.

Why does this take place, in broad daylight and under the noses of Federal prosecutors? Some conspiracists say the feds have signed off on them and given them accomodations, so it would make those districts look bad in the eyes of Congress (follow the money). That’s one theory. Here is mine— this stuff happens because these “men” enjoy violating the law everyday and every fashion they see fit.They pull people over going “southbound” even though the city limits of the rat hole town is only on the Northbound and they have no jurisdiction on the southbound lanes. So they catch you going out of town so you are outside the city limits and away from help. They tape record the calls coming from the phone booths at the local Shop-A-Lot, pretending to put a dent in the out of state drug trade; but these lowlifes are actually just getting their jollies illegally eavesdropping on the town’s populace. And they get paid to do it.

They also have no compunction about lying under oath, fabricating evidence and will even murder people for insurance money. In neighboring Cherokee County, just south down the road from Henderson, the former District Attorney named Charles Holcomb is now a sitting Justice in the highest criminal court in TX, in Austin, on the TX Court of Criminal Appeals. He convicted an innocent man back in the 1990s on a murder for hire scheme in Alto, TX. No investigation by the authorities needed after the man Holcomb convicted was freed.

There aren’t many articles dating back to the heyday of the Hwy 59 posse that got their revenue from “drug busts” and basically holding up out of state drivers. They don’t have to prove anything during a trial, the accusation is simple enough for a conviction.

Of course, officials such as Justice Charles Holcomb portray themselves now as a privacy advocate, in Holcomb’s case even ruling against his Republican Chief Justice when it comes to drug seizures. And the remainder East Texas state prosecutors like Cherokee County’s Elmer C. Beckworth, Jr. salivate over the next small town homicide to brand themselves as “victim rights advocates.” Then they top it off by misleading their colleagues in the Texas State Bar and TCDAA about their own personal involvement. Rusk County may be heavy handed in their “war on drugs,” but at least they aren’t selling drugs to undercover federal agents, like Cherokee County’s Constable Precinct 3 Randy Thompson  or raping women during traffic stops like Larry Pugh of the Jacksonville, TX police department.

As for Sheriff Biggs of Rusk County, how bad can he be? Don’t get me wrong though, these men are extremely dangerous. As a former East Texan, I am embarrassed to see the beautiful place turn into such a cesspool of drug dealing and corruption. If traveling south, I would take I45 to Huntsville and down to Houston, and totally avoid the backwoods cretins. And make sure you bring a cell phone and log in with a loved one when traveling through the area so they know where you are periodically. And lastly, of course never use a pay phone in these small towns, unless you want Constable Billy Bob Dipshit to intercept it.

Good luck, sir.
name and address withheld on private blog.

Steve Banyai return email: 
 
withheld, THANKS FOR THE INTERESTING READING. I WILL PASS IT ALONG TO ALL MY FRIENDS UP NORTH. I LIVE IN SOUTHTEXAS NOW, PORT MANSFIELD. THE RANGERS SAID THEY DONTHELP IN SUCH CASES [BIGGS]. WE ARE IN THE BOONIES, BUT THE BORDER IS JUST A DRY EAST TEXAS. COPS THERE CAN’T RESIST THE DRUGS. STEVE BANYAI

Editor’s comment:
Even the Texas Rangers turned their backs on Banyai’s request for an investigation.
Rusk County, county seat Henderson, has had its racially motivated lawsuits and firings a’la Cherokee County in recent years. 2004 news article titled “OUTGOING RUSK COUNTY SHERIFF SUED OVER INVESTIGATOR’S FIRING” illustrates the redneck and racist mentality of East Texas law enforcement. A black District Attorney was called racial epithets by former Rusk County Sheriff after refusing to violate a citizen’s civil rights.

In the posting, Steve Banyai is describing Henderson County Narcotics/K9 officer Kenneth Biggs, who in 2005 actually pulled over a Harris County Sheriff’s Deputy and charged him possession of cocaine. Deputy Biggs gets his name in the police misconduct blogs for busting a Harris County deputy for crack and cocaine, then gets his name in the illegal search and seizure records.

As of late, Rusk County has seen its jailers busted with child porn, a deputy commit suicide and the FBI do internal investigations stemming from charges of corruption. Rusk County and the current Sheriff’s Department is attempting to clean house. Hopefully, Cherokee County will be next on the FBI’s and US Attorney’s office for house cleaning.

Footnote: Shelby County, TX constables and prosecutors working the Tenaha area and US 59 are facing federal lawsuits for illegal search and seizure practices. In the Eastern Texas Federal District Court, several class action and civil rights suits, such as Morrow v. City of Tenaha are being heard for the “money shakedown operation” of over 200 motorists. As KTRE reports on July 30, 2008, detained motorists were forced to sign waivers of forfeiture of their property and wallets to avoid being charged with “money laundering.” Shelby County has seized over 3 million dollars from traveling motorists over the last 2 years.

http://dockets.justia.com/docket/court-txedce/case_no-2:2008cv00288/case_id-111081/

Refer to case: Morrow v. City of Tenaha Deputy City Marshal Barry Washington, et al

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