Welcome to Cherokee County, Texas the Official Site on Corruption

Former Cherokee County Probation Director sentenced 50 years for child molestation.

The Perfect Storm

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The duly elected President of the United States is accused of secretly doing exactly what rogue politicians and law enforcement do in plain sight. The incestuous media repeats every lie fed to them while Silicon Valley tech giants actively participate in the inversion of reality. A large chunk of the population eagerly goes along with it, politically cheering on even what negatively impacts their own families. Government corruption is written off as unique circumstances that require more government to fix, i.e. a “perfect storm” of unfortunate but unrelated events that only they can solve – but never do. NO ONE IS EVER HELD ACCOUNTABLE.

Sound familiar Cherokee County?

Entrenched government employees illegally wiretap their political enemies. There are so many willing participants of in-your-face corruption that they can frame a 5-Star General and the President of the United States for something that never that never took place. They get away with it because affiliated judges allow prosecutors to bring in their allies to sit on the juries. When they get caught fabricating evidence and witness tampering, the appellate courts knowingly ignore it or make up laws on the bench to justify it. It is a perfect storm of corruption in the Deep State, the Swamp, and small town USA we all know about it. They get away with murder and silencing their critics like in China.

New York:

How did high profile sex offender Jeffrey Epstein kill himself in a federal jail cell under CCTV surveillance? The same maximum security facility where El Chapo is guarded?

Attorney General William Barr says Epstein’s ‘suicide’ was “the perfect storm” of incompetent jailer screw-ups, broken video cameras, and outdated prison procedures. Reassignments, terminations and reprimands resulted. NO ONE WAS HELD ACCOUNTABLE. (Source: Fox News)

New Jersey:

Epstein confidant Ghislaine Maxwell is under protective custody in nearby federal holding facilities where she too faces being ‘suicided.’ (Source Fox News) Her mishandled prosecution will also be written off as “too many bad things happening at once” at the DOJ.  Spokespeople for the New York Federal District Courts will claim “there’s too much chaos going on with BLM protesters and COVID-19 lockdowns…and you know it is probably Donald Trump’s Tweets causing all of this.”

Washington DC:

In the summer of 2016, Bernie Sanders staffer Seth Rich was gun downed in the wee morning hours steps away from his Washington DC apartment. He is reported to be the link between WikiLeaks and the release of Clinton campaign manager John Podesta’s emails. His drinking buddies Democrat Congressional IT staffers Imran Awan and brother Abid had complete access to Democrat computers and email servers. Even though the brothers are tied to Pakistani Intelligence, they were hired and coddled by Democrat Party Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Awan was sentenced to 3 months probation for bank fraud after trying to flee the country, their crimes swept under the carpet and barely mentioned in national media. (Source: Washington Examiner)

Seth Rich had been at a local Washington DC bar with the Imran Awan brothers the night he was murdered. Rich was shot twice in the back and spoke to police before dying 2 hours later at the hospital. The attack was caught on unreleased surveillance cameras; he had not been robbed.  Julian Assange offered a $25,000 reward for information leading to an arrest. (Source: People’s Pundit Daily) Hillary Clinton’s and Congressional Democrat email servers have never been handed over to the FBI to prove any foreign hacking. The media says Seth Rich was “at the wrong place at the wrong time” and continue the Russian collusion delusion.

Operation Crossfire Hurricane: the license to illegally spy and lie under oath.

The NSA, CIA, and FBI in concert with media outlets illegally spied on the 2016 Trump campaign and continued after he took office. Multiple federal laws have been broken, including lying to the FISA courts. Top FBI officials are on record routinely leaking classified information to the media and lying about it under oath. Even though Inspector General Michael Horowitz’ report spells out the fabrication of evidence in order to obtain multiple FISA surveillance warrants, NO ONE WAS HELD ACCOUNTABLE.  (Source: DOJ)

Acting Attorney General Rod Rosenstein testified he didn’t even read the FISA Warrant applications he was signing for, the bulk of which the FBI outsourced to Clinton lawyers at Fusion GPS (Source: AMP) Like Jeffrey Epstein’s jail crew, reprimands, reassignments, and terminations are touted by lily-livered politicians as being sufficient punishment. NO ONE IS BEING HELD ACCOUNTABLE.

It’s all Donald Trump’s fault.

For over 3 years US Attorney John Durham has been investigating the Obama administration’s basis for illegal wire taps on Trump campaign staffer Carter Page and the genesis of the FBI’s Operation Crossfire Hurricane Russian collusion probe. NO ONE IS BEING HELD ACCOUNTABLE.

Meanwhile, Trump has been impeached for allegedly working for both the Russians and the Ukraine, along with being the cause of every natural disaster, pandemic, and murder of every black person on the planet since the beginning of time. The Deep State slow walks prosecuting members of the Swamp while it works double-time to frame, financially ruin, and lock up members of Trump’s presidential transition team.

After Trump’s 2016 win, incoming National Security Adviser General Michael Flynn’s phone calls to world leaders were intercepted by Obama officials and illegally leaked to media outlets. Gen. Flynn was unmasked 53 times by 39 different Obama officials including VP Joe Biden. Even though Republicans run the Senate Judiciary Committee and are supposed to provide oversight, NO ONE IS BEING HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR FRAMING A 3 STAR GENERAL.

Granted, it would be nearly impossible for Deep State prosecutors to bring Federal charges against former Obama officials in the Democrat run District of Columbia, especially during a presidential election. Democrat appointed judges oppose anything that may benefit Donald Trump. But they can lock up Trump supporters for “lying” about things that never took place.

FBI Director James Comey told the world in his infamous 2016 Press Conference (about Hillary Clinton’s private email servers) that even though she broke multiple laws mishandling classified information, no Washington DC prosecutor would have the cojones to bring charges. No Washington DC judge would hear the case and no Washington DC jury would ever convict a Democrat for violating National Security. On the other hand, low tier Trump allies face pre-dawn FBI raids, stacked juries, and Obama appointed judges.

Will the biggest hoax of the Trump/Russia collusion probe be that no one will be held accountable for the attempted coup of the President of the United States?

Illegal spying on presidential campaigners, the collusion with Russian assets, the framing of innocent Americans, and the colossal waste of tax dollars during the Mueller Probe will all be written off as THE PERFECT STORM of anti-Trumpers just doing what they thought was right at the time. The inevitable conclusion of the Russian Hoax probe will end in hand-wringing and promises by politicians “to try to do better in the future.” Had any single one of these crimes even been alleged against any member of Trump’s team, Republicans and Democrats alike would be demanding heads to roll and traitors to be locked up YESTERDAY.

Meanwhile, they have set the precedent to do it again and keep the public from finding out. They’ve accomplished swaying the 2018 midterm elections with Russian propaganda paid for with taxpayer dollars they ran 24-7 on cable news, regaining the House of Representatives and impeaching the President.

What are they covering up? Just the illegal wiretapping of private citizens to affect the outcome of a presidential election.

“You did everything by the book, right?…”

The American people will continue to be fed the lie that James Comey, Andrew McCabe, James Clapper, John Brennan, et al were simply “overzealous” in their duty to expose Russian interference in the 2016 Presidential election. That they made simple mistakes and multiple misjudgments along the way that were the “perfect storm” of mishandled classified information, unmasking and accidentally leaking phone calls, and that they were beguiled by Clinton opposition research (and their understandable hatred for Donald Trump).

The Attorney General of the United States knows that a federal grand jury would scoff at the fact the entire Trump/Russian Collusion narrative was fabricated and perpetuated by the same rogue FBI agents who covered for Hillary Clinton’s illegal email server. He understands the entire story of the truth will be rewritten by a handful of traitors waiting for him to toss in the towel. The American people have to accept that a Democrat campaign can pay foreigners for made up dirt on opponents, the FBI can use Russian disinformation to obtain FISA warrants, and FBI agents are political hitmen.

Whether it is the federal government in Washington D.C., or the corrupt county courthouse in Podunk, USA, they will always lie and collectively cover their asses to stay in power. They not only need you to repeat their lies, they need you feel good about it.  It happens at the highest offices in the land, and it doesn’t happen by accident or the mismanagement of “unforeseeable events.” The cabal attacks in unison anything and anyone who exposes its criminal activity and threatens its existence. Murder for hire, blackmail, the sexual abuse of children, illegal interception of phone calls and emails; framing people and the misapplication of the law is how the unscrupulous few stay in power.

“Know your place, peasants.”

A corrupt government breaks its contract with the people when it spreads Fake News, spies on its citizens, and fabricates criminal charges against political enemies. We are at the point in our history that many in the federal bureaucracy think the citizens are slaves to the State. Hopefully the Washington Deep State will face a storm of patriots come November.

Report: Murdered Jacksonville, Texas woman was to testify against cop

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Shunte Coleman (Courtesy CBS News, August 24, 2014)

Jacksonville, TX:

Authorities say they are treating the death of a Jacksonville, Texas woman whose remains were found earlier this year as a murder investigation, reports CBS affiliate KYTX.

Before her disappearance eight years ago, 26-year-old Shunte Coleman was expected to testify against Jacksonville police officer Larry Pugh, who was being investigated on sexual assault charges.

Police said they aren’t ruling out Pugh as a potential suspect.

Coleman’s remains were found in March, in a wooded area of San Augustine County, not far from where the body of another woman, Terri Reyes, was found in 2007.

Reyes was also expected to testify against Pugh. He was sentenced in 2007 to 12 years in prison for rape and other charges.

Courtesy Tyler Morning Telegraph, June 14, 2014

The remains of a woman who disappeared eight years ago after making outcries of sexual abuse against a former Jacksonville police officer have been found, officials reported on Friday.

Skeletal remains of Shunte M. Coleman, who was last seen July 3, 2006, were found on March 12 by a forester in a thickly wooded area in San Augustine County, east of the “T” intersection of Farm-to-Market Road 1196 and County Road 347, officials said Friday in a news release.

In 2007, Alvin Boykin talked to the Tyler Morning Telegraph about the day his friend, Ms. Coleman, left his Jacksonville home on foot. He said then that his home was an ad hoc shelter, offered to anyone needing a place to stay.

Ms. Coleman, a mother of two, had freely come and gone from his residence — but so had a handful of other women needing a boost. So when Ms. Coleman said she was leaving for a while, Boykin watched her go.

She didn’t come back. Neither did another frequenter, Terri Renee Troublefield Reyes, who disappeared around the same time as Ms. Coleman. The 38-year-old Athens woman was last seen alive on May 21, 2006, and was found dead and unclothed in Angelina National Forest in fall 2006.

The women knew each other from Boykin’s home, and both were pinpointed as potential witnesses to testify against former Jacksonville police officer Larry Pugh.

In 2006, Pugh was sentenced to 12 years in prison for the sexual assault of women while on duty and retaliating against a woman for reporting the crime.

Ms. Coleman and Ms. Reyes both went missing while Pugh was out of jail on bond — between February 2006 and August 2006.

In 2007, Pugh pleaded guilty to perjury for lying about sexually assaulting women while on duty. The next year, he was sentenced to 18 months for perjury. He was sued in two additional lawsuits by eight women claiming they also were sexually assaulted by him while he was an officer.

According to the Federal Bureau of Prisons, Pugh, 41, is incarcerated in Marianna, Florida, in a medium-security federal correctional institution with an adjacent minimum security satellite camp. His release date is listed as May 13, 2018.

Shortly after Ms. Reyes’ remains were identified through DNA testing in 2007, attorney Curtis Stuckey told the Tyler Morning Telegraph that he might have used Ms. Reyes as a witness in the civil trial, but he never had an opportunity to talk to her because she disappeared.

“She had made an outcry” to law enforcement, like several other women, he said.

Stuckey represented a 43-year-old Jacksonville woman who was raped and retaliated against by Pugh in a civil lawsuit against the former officer.

Stuckey said he also would have been interested in talking to Ms. Coleman as a possible witness against Pugh if she had not disappeared.

San Augustine Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Gary Cunningham said Friday that at this point, law enforcement cannot connect Pugh to Ms. Coleman’s disappearance and death, but officials are not ruling out any potential suspects.

He said an active investigation is being continued by the San Augustine County Sheriff’s Office, the Texas Rangers and the FBI.

The San Augustine County Sheriff’s Office, with assistance from the Angelina County Sheriff’s Office, the Texas Rangers and the FBI, recovered the remains, which were examined by a forensic anthropologist at Sam Houston State University and then delivered to the University of North Texas Center for Human Identification, where DNA extracted from the remains were entered into the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS), officials said.

On Thursday, the San Augustine County Sheriff’s Office and the Jacksonville Police Department were notified that the remains belonged to Ms. Coleman.

The woman who won the civil lawsuit against Pugh in 2007 testified in federal court that she was walking one night in March 2005 when Pugh offered her a courtesy ride in his police car. Instead of taking her where she wanted to go, he took her to a dark, empty trailer house.

“He raped me,” she said crying. “I was too scared to do anything.”

She said Pugh drove her back to the neighborhood and dropped her off.

In August 2006, after Pugh had been indicted on federal charges, the woman was again walking at night when a man in a van who was wearing sunglasses approached and offered her a ride. She said she recognized Pugh’s voice and declined.

As she walked away, Pugh got out of the vehicle and took his belt off. The two struggled and the victim tried to fight him, but he put his belt around her neck, she said. Pugh began dragging her toward his van and “by the grace of God,” the belt snapped and she escaped.

The woman admitted she had a criminal record and was fighting a crack addiction, she said.

Pugh pleaded guilty to the charges but denied ever having sex with her or any of the other women.

Joe Evans, an investigator for the Cherokee County District Attorney’s Office, testified at the time that the plaintiff was the first of many women who made outcries claiming they were sexually assaulted by Pugh.

Evans said he talked to 25 to 30 witnesses, including women who claimed they had been raped by Pugh and people they had told, including ministers and police officers, who substantiated their claims. He said the witnesses were from Athens, Tyler and other areas.

Evans said Pugh preyed on vulnerable women who lived on the street and had drug or legal problems. One-third of them had pending charges, one-third of them were on parole or probation and one-third of them had no criminal charges, he said.

(Courtesy KLTV)

Questions still loom for the grandmother of a woman’s remains found in E Texas 

June 21, 2014

Tyler, TX:

The grandmother of an East Texas woman whose body was identified Friday says she always feared the worst had happened to her granddaughter. Shunte Coleman went missing in July of 2006. In March, skeletal remains found in San Augustine County were confirmed to be Shunte Coleman.

Shunte’s grandmother says almost eight years later, the family’s questions still haven’t been answered. Pictures of Shunte fill the walls of Margaret Anderson’s home.

“She was a very charming person, a good-hearted person. Most of all, Shunte loved to discuss the bible,” said Anderson.

Just two days before Anderson learned Shunte was missing, she says Shunte called her.

“She wanted to go to put some flowers on her mother’s grave. [She asked if I would] go with her and I told her yes. I never heard from her since,” she said.

Anderson says she always knew something bad had happened to her beloved granddaughter.

“I didn’t have hope. I knew after a few months. I felt like she was gone. I felt like I would have heard from Shunte, one way or another, if she was alive,” said Anderson.

When she heard that remains found in March had been identified as Shunte, she says she felt her prayers had been answered.

“Wednesday, that was the last thing I asked of God, to reveal what had happened to Shunte,” she said.

Although she finally knows Shunte is gone, Anderson says she still has so many questions.

“Of course I don’t know how she died, what she went through with this death. I don’t know that, but I know now she is really gone and there is no coming back,” she said.

Written by Cherokee County, Texas

06/18/2020 at 8:05 AM

Hogtied and beaten in Cherokee County custody, circa 2006

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Michael Clyde Jones, “allegedly” beaten up by Cherokee County, TX Sheriff Deputies (courtesy Smith Co. 8/3/2006)

March 15, 2010

Jacksonville Daily Progress
“Case against White dismissed”
Lauren LaFleur CNHI

JACKSONVILLE, TX — Charges against Cherokee County Sheriff’s Department Capt. Chris White were dismissed Monday.

White was accused of kicking Michael Jones of Jacksonville in the face on the night of Aug. 3, 2006, after Jones was restrained in handcuffs.

White had no comment Monday afternoon about the matter.

“We are pleased with the Court’s decision,” said Chad Rook, one of the attorneys representing White. “The Court clearly made the correct ruling in dismissing all claims against Captain White, as not a shred of evidence exists that he did anything to Mr. Jones.”

Jones initially filed a suit against Cherokee County because of his alleged attack. However, the county was dismissed by the court on summary judgment.

Jones was charged with evading arrest for the night in question — witnesses said they saw Jones hitting a woman in his car that night. When a Bullard police officer tried to pull Jones over to investigate the matter, Jones fled.

He was found about five hours later behind a convenience store in Troup, after abandoning his vehicle and fleeing on foot.

Ted Garrigan, Jones’ court-appointed attorney, said Jones was subdued and laying on the ground, cuffed at wrists and ankles, when Texas Department of Criminal Justice officers turned him over to Cherokee County officers.

“By the time he got to the Smith County Jail, he had six teeth knocked out and his nose was broken,” Garrigan said in a previous interview. “He said he remembers lying on the ground face down completely restrained. A Cherokee County deputy vehicle pulls up, a deputy steps out of it and kicks him in the face until he blacked out.”

According to Rook and Robert Davis, the other attorney representing White, Jones could provide a physical description of his alleged attacker — approximately 5 feet, 8 inches tall and 150-180 pounds.

But the claims that he was kicked in the face and subsequent description of his attacker didn’t come for a while.

“He never made this claim at the scene or for months following his arrest,” Rook said, via an e-mailed response to questions sent by a Daily Progress reporter. “He only started making such a claim at some point during his criminal proceedings months later.”

Rook said only three Cherokee County officers were on the scene, and White was only named because he fit the description of the man Jones claimed kicked him.

Statements were filed by officers on the scene, including those by seven TDCJ officers, all dated between Aug. 15, 2006, and Aug. 18, 2006. Six of those seven ended their written statements by stating they did not see anyone kick, hit or mistreat Jones after he was cuffed. While the wording among the six statements vary, they each express that they did not witness Jones being mistreated by any officers on the scene.

In fact, according to records obtained by the Daily Progress, only one officer recorded that any sort of attack was made on Jones — former Bullard Police Department Officer Bryan Richards recorded that a single officer involved in the incident, Troup’s Officer L. Becker, referenced [the] alleged incident at all.

“While Officer Becker was at the Bullard Police Department, he advised me that he saw a Cherokee County deputy kick Michael Jones in the mouth after he was restrained with hand and leg restraints,” according to Richards’ report. “This statement was not documented in the incident report that was provided to the Bullard Police Department.”

Becker’s statement was dated Aug. 11, 2006.

(Source: Jacksonville Daily Progress March 15, 2010)

Jones attempted to appeal his excessive force case, according to the Tyler Morning Telegraph.

The 12th Court of Appeals published the vehicle traveling at 100MPH was a “deadly weapon” without reference to the illegal ass whoopin’ Jones got when Cherokee County deputies arrived.  The TDCAA also fails to mention the beating after the high speed chase. (Source: Michael Clyde Jones v. The State of Texas–Appeal from 241st District Court of Smith County)

Written by Cherokee County, Texas

06/18/2020 at 7:46 AM

Cherokee County Texas Deputy beats handcuffed black man; Cleared of excessive force

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Allegations of Brutality Investigated, April 21, 2005 by Donna McCollum

Cherokee County, TX:

The NAACP is interested in John Brown’s story. The Alto man’s account of alleged police brutality begins when he heard family dogs barking on the dark night of April 11. “I thought somebody was stealing and when I got up on the person it was the police,” recalled Brown with NAACP representative John Morrison closely listening.

Actually it was Cherokee County Sgt. Jamie Beene, a 10-year veteran with the sheriff’s department. Sgt. Beene was in Brown’s neighborhood chasing a drug suspect.

Brown said, “I seen the gun like this right here and he told me to put my hands up and I was terrified because I thought he was going to shoot me because I just ran up on him like that.”

Brown described how he was arrested in front of his uncle’s trailer where he was handcuffed and taken down a long driveway where he was allegedly beaten. “He told me to get down on my knees and I was attempting to get down on my knees and he kicked me and broke my ankle, just started kicking me.”

Brown’s father, a stroke victim in a wheelchair said he begged the officer to stop while feeling more helpless than his son. John Skinner cried as he recalled the night. “He kept doing it and he told me to shut up and go back in the house and I told him, ‘I’m not going nowhere as long as he’s kicking my son.'”

Nacogdoches NAACP spokesman John Morrison said, “Something just don’t add up and to me it’s totally a case of police brutality.”

Shortly after the organization was contacted by Brown the request for an investigation by the Texas Rangers was submitted by authorities. Brown said, “I left messages on his [Texas Ranger Rudy Flores] answering machine for almost a week and then when the NAACP got involved here they come calling me.”

Brown may be charged with assaulting a public servant, something difficult for him to understand with three plates and 16 pins in his leg. His injuries required surgery. He was taken to a hospital by an ambulance called by Alto police.

Cherokee County Sheriff James Campbell and District Attorney Elmer Beckworth are declining interviews about this case until after the investigation. In previous reports Campbell denies any wrongdoing by his sergeant in this incident. By phone the D.A. said the evidence will be placed before the grand jury in the coming weeks.

(Source: KTRE )

Alto, TX:

Cherokee County’s Sheriff Department faced another civil rights lawsuit after Deputy Jamie Beene broke the ankle of former Alto high school football player John Brown for no legal reason.

Brown lives in the small town of Alto, and unfortunately was born black in East Texas. With nothing better to do on a quiet Spring night in the piney woods, Officer Jamie Beene spotlighted the property of John Brown’s grandfather, ostensibly viewing an ongoing drug deal on the side of the road.

Even Sheriff James Campbell stands by his deputy’s strange story, that John Brown was evading arrest, even though he was knocked down, handcuffed and bound, then his ankle shattered (requiring 3 plates and 16 pins).
Whodunit?:

Cherokee County’s rising star Officer James Q. “Jamie” Beene, then patrolling the pocket change drug dealers in a rural area south of Alto, TX called the “Dope Tree.” No mention of the fact that officer Beene was trespassing on private property. I guess the drug dealers went inside for a snack. Cherokee County District Attorney Elmer Beckworth offered to charge John Brown with something, like interfering with an “official investigation” according to the aforementioned news article. Sheriff Campbell repeated the story that Brown somehow “attacked” his deputy, even though Brown was hogtied at gunpoint. Elmer Beckworth offers no comment, and no real investigation, a’ la his handling of Jennifer Hester being run down in her apartment complex.

The FACTS:
Officer Jamie Beene traveled out of his jurisdiction to the home of John Brown about 2 km south of Alto, TX. After seeing trespassers on his property in the middle of the night, John Brown goes out to check on his dogs. He was then jumped, handcuffed and beaten by officer Jamie Beene, along with members of Alto P.D. about 2 km out of Alto, TX jurisdiction, according to the news articles. John Brown’s ankle was broken in the process. Why? What was the motive for this obvious racially motivated attack? Was it that his adjudicated probation was winding down?

Officer Jamie Beene has since been promoted to Deputy Sergeant, in Cherokee County Sheriff’s so-called Narcotics Division. As of June 11, 2007 James Q. Beene is a Reserve Cherokee County Deputy by Commissioner Court approval. The Texas Rangers were called to “investigate” the beating of John Brown.

Instead of a reprimand, Officer Beene can pursue a fine career in Cherokee County. Officer Beene and the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Department are facing civil rights violation suits filed in Marshall, TX by the Brown family (at the time of writing). Local Cherokee County media refuses to publish the contents of the suit. Instead the Jacksonville Daily Progress promoted the narco-wonder cops by publishing the seizure of 4 “blunts” and 1 oz. of marijuana. Still waiting to be impressed? They also have the glorious pastime of monitoring the dank rooms at the Trade Winds Motel in Jacksonville, TX.

The brutal beating of John Brown by Alto P.D. was also reported by The BrownWatch: News for people of color. Ice Cube gets his fact skewed in this expose but the gist is the same. Beat a black guy up, break his legs while he’s hogtied, then charge him for evading arrest. That is the heart and soul of Cherokee County, read it for yourselves.

As a footnote, the Tyler Paper reports on March 29, 2007 that Sgt. Beene has been cleared of the brutality claims. Read the article carefully:

“(Sgt.) Beene was on the property searching for a suspect unrelated to their case and arrested (John) Brown on a charge of interfering with a police investigation. During the arrest, Brown said, his ankle was broken and he was beaten. Several witnesses’ statements matched Brown’s.”
Same article Cherokee County Sheriff James Campbell says:
Officer “Beene was at a high drug trafficking area enforcing the law when Mr. Brown came onto the scene and interfered with his (Sgt. Beene’s) job…”

So, according to the federal jury in Marshall, TX and Sheriff James Campbell, if get your ankle broke after being hogtied, because you have the audacity to confront a trespassing Cherokee County deputy, you deserve it. And the best thing to do is stay in your house like a frightened country Negro when you see the spotlights going across your property. Especially if you are black and you own property near a suspected drug drop. And expect to have every single phone call to and from your house to be tape recorded illegally forever.

Another charity another stolen $500,000

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Tyler, TX:

Jessica Rottab, executive director of the East Texas Center for Independent Living advocacy group for the disabled in Tyler, TX has been charged in the US Eastern District of Texas for stealing over $500,000 intended for handicapped clients. (Source: KLTV)

(Source: KETK)

According to US Attorneys, Rottab began stealing federal program funds in June 2017 through September 2018.

Rottab has been ordered to return the stolen $530,000 and is facing formal charges pending a court date. (Source: US Eastern District)

The US Department of Health and Humans Services may operate slowly in East Texas, but it typically does not look kindly to the theft of government money and/or the abuse of special needs clients. Unfortunately, members of the family cliques in the area believe they are entitled through birthright to any and all cash flowing in and out of the non-profits. They also think they can get away with abusing the handicapped and elderly residents because Adult Protective Services often looks the other way.

In March 2020, Toni Marie Rambo, a QC director at the Azleway Boy’s Ranch in Tyler was sentenced to 40 years state prison for stealing over $190,000 from the facility. (Source: KLTV)

Toni Marie Rambo

Two caregivers were caught on camera abusing an autistic teenage resident of the Community Access, Inc. group home in Tyler, TX.  On March 17, 2020, Bubacarr Ceesay, 24, of Tyler, and Auston Kile Reed, 23, of Lindale, were indicted in Smith County on multiple felony Injury to a Disable Person charges.  (Source: Tyler Paper)

Footnote:

July 7, 2020 at the Steger Federal Courthouse in Tyler, TX,  Jessica Rottab entered a guilty plea for embezzling $526,000 from the East Texas Center for Independent Living. Her deal includes 7 years in federal prison and an undisclosed fine. Sentencing is scheduled later in the Fall.

Cherokee County property tax appraisal – How taxpayers pay for nepotism

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State Comptroller- Those with property in Cherokee County owe the State in school taxes:

Jacksonville ISD- $1 million

Rusk ISD- $700,000

Cherokee County, TX:

For decades land owned by the Good Ol’ Boys and Biddys has been appraised at a substantially lower (almost zero) tax rate compared to property owned by those not in the clique. A quick online review of elected officials’ appraised property tax values shows the glaring discrepancies. Cherokee County appraises commercial property in Jacksonville at 15% below actual market value, and 35% below realistic estimates in Rusk according to a recent State Comptroller’s property tax audit. (Source: Daily Progress)

Local attorneys, JEDCO and Chamber of Commerce members own the most valuable commercial and rental properties in Cherokee County and have favored status with the Cherokee County Appraisal District. They own the Low Income Housing, the halfway houses, and the old folks’ homes, i.e. privately owned Section 8. They get first shot at federal housing authority grants.

Even though they own the majority of taxable properties within Cherokee County, they do not share the tax burden.

On the other hand, those who are not in the good graces of CCAD are hit arbitrarily with high taxes and lawsuits, forcing many to leave. To mitigate the loss, out of region companies are enticed to set up shop and pay into the County coffers or they too risk being sued out of existence. By hook or by crook, Cherokee County puts nepotism over the needs of its residents, regardless of the dwindling tax base loss to local school districts. Property owners living outside the county coterie can expect their Balance Due Notices in the mail first.

Why should those who run the county into the ground pay property tax?

In 2012 the State Comptroller’s Office found the Cherokee County Appraisal District “UNSATISFACTORY” in its operational procedures and ability to implement a reappraisal plan. (Source: State Comptroller) School district tax values would continue to be reported too low under the State’s enhanced Methods and Assistance Program auditing every 2 years.

School Board elections have consequences.

In 2015, Cherokee County had failed the State’s audit of Non-Farm properties along Lake Striker in the New Summerfield School District. Residential sales were “not previously available” and those they recorded were as far as 25% below actual Market Value. Kinfolks’ homesteads on Lake Striker had their unpaid tax liability limited at a 10% increase, while the rest of the county taxpayers made up the difference. (Source: Cherokee CAD) This shell game keeps the public from petitioning for a property tax rollback election and School Board members will never vote on a tax rate rollback. (Source: Texas State Comptroller)

Do you know who is on your Agricultural Appraisal Advisory Board?

In a 2015 property tax exemption workshop held in Jacksonville, TX for Cherokee County landowners, Chief Appraiser Lee Flowers blamed farmers’ excessive agricultural and timber exemptions for the low residential property values. Meanwhile, lake front property sales taxes are skirted or not recorded at all.

Cherokee County landowners fight tax break changes, March 29, 2015

Cherokee County Chief Appraiser Lee Flowers said around two-thirds of 2,900 property exemptions could be in jeopardy of failing to meet state requirements.

The district would require landowners with agriculture exemptions to provide proof of productivity and meet state production requirements. So landowners who produce hay must provide proof they are producing hay at amounts and quality levels consistent with state and regional numbers. Cow-calf operations would be required to meet per-acre head counts consistent with production requirements, he said.

A landowner claiming his property is an orchard, but only has four fruit trees on 10 acres, won’t make the cut anymore, he said.
“We’re aiming to stop abuses of what’s required by state law,” Flowers said. “So is it a qualified production operation or that ‘I just want lower taxes?'”

The same goes for land with timber exemptions. (Source: Tyler Paper, Cherokee County landowners fight tax break changes, March 29, 2015)

Two years later, the State Comptroller found in the 2016-2017 MAPS Report that Cherokee County’s Chief Appraiser had not appointed a qualified agricultural appraisal advisory board to meet once a year as required by Tax Code 6.21 (Source: State Comptroller)

TAX CODE TITLE 1

Sec. 6.12. AGRICULTURAL APPRAISAL ADVISORY BOARD. (a) The chief appraiser of each appraisal district shall appoint, with the advice and consent of the board of directors, an agricultural advisory board composed of three or more members as determined by the board.

(b) The agricultural advisory board members must be landowners of the district whose land qualifies for appraisal under Subchapter C, D, E, or H, Chapter 23, and who have been residents of the district for at least five years.

(c) Members of the board serve for staggered terms of two years. In making the initial appointments of members of the agricultural advisory board the chief appraiser shall appoint for a term of one year one-half of the members, or if the number of members is an odd number, one fewer than a majority of the membership.

(d) The board shall meet at the call of the chief appraiser at least once a year.

(e) An employee or officer of an appraisal district may not be appointed and may not serve as a member of the agricultural advisory board.

(f) A member of the agricultural advisory board is not entitled to compensation.

(g) The board shall advise the chief appraiser on the valuation and use of land that may be designated for agricultural use or that may be open space agricultural or timber land within the district. (Source: Texas Property Tax Code)

The most recent 2018 audit “FAILED” the County’s record keeping and property valuation procedures. (Source: State Comptroller)

Nepotism is a recipe for disaster.

The trend of not accurately recording real estate sales and shorting the State in property taxes continues today.

As a result, the State Comptroller’s Office audit will penalize taxpayers $1 million in the Jacksonville School District and $700,000 in the Rusk School District.

The decision is on appeal. Taxpayers can expect another School Bond election and sales tax hike on the horizon. The school districts will ask for new facility funds that will actually go to pay off the tax deficit and funnel money back to Good Ol’ Boy construction projects. Tax revenue from new construction will be excluded to solicit businesses while farms, ranches, and dairies will be hit hardest. As the State Comptroller found, Cherokee County “record keeping” does not pass the smell test.

Cherokee County Appraisal District fails state property study.

Feb 13, 2020

RUSK – Annual property study results recently released by the State Comptroller’s Office do not bode well for some Cherokee County taxpayers, said Cherokee County Chief Appraiser Lee Flowers.

According to information issued by the state Comptroller’s Property Tax Assistance Division, Jacksonville and Rusk schools could be penalized severely in state funding if a pending appeal by the appraisal district is not successful, Flowers said in a Feb. 12 release issued by his office.

“We first received notification on Jan. 31,” with amended updates arriving at his office later because “they’ve had to reissue numbers a couple of times,” Flowers said.

The state’s study indicates the local appraisal district is below market value on both residential and commercial real estate valuations in the two school districts. The effect of an unsuccessful appeal could penalize JISD a million dollars and RISD $700,000 in overall state funding, according to the CCAD release.

Flowers said he doesn’t agree with the state’s overall assessment of commercial values, based on the market information available to his office.

“They (state findings) indicate we are 15 percent low on commercial real estate in JISD and 35 percent low on RISD commercial real estate. These types of property in our county are difficult for anyone to appraise,” he explained. “However, if the state has reliable data not previously available to us, we will analyze their information and move forward accordingly.”

Data from property value studies – which “looks at our values and our at-market values” – and something called a “MAP audit” (methods and assistance program audit) alternate each year, he said.

“The most recent MAP audit was in 2018, while the value study was in 2019,” he said, explaining that a grace period is what gaps the two.

“It is apparent that these schools might have received a grace period if not for a failure in the appraisal district’s most recent state procedures audit,” the CCAD release stated. “This grace period would have held the schools harmless in state funding for one year.”

For a school to qualify for the grace period, the state requires that the local appraisal district must score a “pass” on four key questions.

In 2018, the appraisal district missed one of those key questions, the release stated.

“That question contained 15 subparts. Of those subparts, Cherokee CAD passed all but one. In order for that key question to be considered a ‘pass,’ all 15 subparts must have been a ‘yes.’ Overall, the appraisal district successfully passed 77 out of 80 questions in the audit,” it added.

“The subpart preventing grace relates to the valuation of low-income housing. I made a decision to focus our resources on other critical matters relating to 2019 values, and take up the question of low-income housing data in 2020,” Flowers said, noting that the low-income housing question was not in previous audits.

He and his staff had from December to April to correct the deficiency.

“We would have appreciated either an earlier notice of the question’s inclusion or more time to assemble the data in order to properly implement the correction,” he said.

Currently, Flowers is appealing the value study, which has a March 23 deadline.

“Originally, it was March 11. The extra time can’t hurt us, but that also delays any kind of resolution. If we think we have enough to file and feel comfortable in doing so, we’ll file sooner,” rather than wait, he said.

Meanwhile, his office is focused on looking at all the properties considered by the state in their findings, and “we’ve submitted a request to see their work files,” Flowers said.

If the appeal is successful, the potential for loss to the schools could either be eliminated or substantially reduced, he said. (Source: Daily Progress)

 

Former Cherokee County Director of Adult Supervision sentenced to 50 years for continuous sex assault of child

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Criminal Docket Case 21242 : CONTINUOUS SEX ABUSE OF CHILD – VICTIM UNDER 14

THE STATE OF TEXAS vs PHILLIPS, CARL
Filed 08/23/2019 – Disposition: 12/12/2019 Conviction-guilty plea
369th District Court, District Clerk, Cherokee County, Texas
Plaintiff:
THE STATE OF TEXAS

Defendant:
PHILLIPS, CARL DOB: 10/03/1950

The continuous sex assault of a child only gets a 3 sentence paragraph in all but one East Texas newspaper and no mention the perp was head of the Probation Department. Why? Because the Cherokee County Sheriff Department and District Attorney’s office has worked side by side and hand-in-hand with child molesters for decades. They work in the courthouse, in law enforcement, and serve on juries. That’s what Cherokee County tax dollars are paying for. The man in charge of supervising the probation of county sex offenders for over 30 years is a convicted pedophile.

Cherokee County’s longest serving employee and top Criminal Justice official is a convicted child molester. 

Children living in Cherokee County, TX and neighboring areas have always been in great danger because the media down there only reports what they want you to know. They don’t dig very deep when the story involves their own next of kin. They publish cookie cutter garbage fed to them by corrupt parasites and perverts. They don’t want the public to know exactly what’s going on at the schools and daycare. On cue they scramble to the press room to give themselves fake awards after their accomplices are caught raping children.

The head of the Cherokee County Probation Department for 30+ years is a child molester. This is another reason why Cherokee County District Attorney Elmer Beckworth and the district courts have placed hundreds of local child sex offenders on probation, despite mandatory sentencing for sex crimes. Registered sex offenders are confidential informants and do what they are told when impaneled on juries.

Former Adult and Juvenile Probation Director Carl Phillips, 69 Jacksonville, was arrested in July 2019 for sexual contact / indecency with a child, quickly indicted and sentenced in record time. Before the ink could dry on the District Attorney’s press release, Phillips pleaded guilty to the sex abuse of a minor, had his almost completed probation revoked, and was sentenced to 50 years in prison. (Source: CBS 19) Apparently he violated his own Deferred Adjudication for stealing county credit cards back in the day while he was receiving county awards. During this time, Phillips also worked as a Teacher’s Aide in a neighboring Smith County Jr. High School. The reported child molestation occurred over an 18 month period. (Source: KETK)

Former East Texas corrections director molested child for more than 18 months

RUSK, Texas (KETK) – A former top employee for Cherokee County will spend the rest of his life in prison after pleading guilty to sexually abusing a child over an 18 month period.

Carl Phillips was the former director of the Cherokee County Supervision and Corrections Department and had previously pleaded guilty to spending tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars on personal purchases.

Phillps [sic] was sentenced to 50 years in prison with no chance of parole for the child sexual assault. According to the indictment, the molestation took place between January 2018 and June 2019. Court records indicated the child was younger than 14. (Source: KETK – Former East Texas corrections director molested child for more than 18 months)

Not one county “news” outlet reported Phillips was the head of the Cherokee County Probation and Community Services Department for three decades. They refer to him “a man from Jacksonville,” not a former Criminal Justice Department head. The truth is too unsavory.

A 70-year old man having sex with children while drawing a county pension doesn’t get much attention in incestuous backwoods East Texas. County officials aren’t upset that Cal Phillips was stealing probation money and molesting children, they’re pissed that a news outlet in Tyler, Texas informs the public. 

Director of Corrections Carl Phillips receiving his 35-year Cherokee County service accommodation from County Judge Chris Davis circa 2009 (Courtesy: Jacksonville Progress)

Rusk, TX:

Corrections Director Carl Phillips, 69, began working in Cherokee County government in 1974 and was awarded his 35-year service pin in January 2009. After he retired later that year, he was charged with 2 counts of Felony Theft by a Public Servant and Tampering with Evidence. His initial charge was dismissed in July 2009; a year later he was offered 10 years deferred probation. He embezzled over $60,000 on county credit cards. Phillips is the longest serving Cherokee County employee on record, working in the Probation Department and ironically heading the Juvenile and Sex Offender Bootcamps. (Source: Jacksonville Progress) Even more ironic, he was chosen to represent Cherokee County as a member of Congressman Charlie Wilson’s “Crime Task Force, ” a bible-based morality crime legislation panel in the 1990’s, i.e. the perfect cover for a homegrown pedophile.

As head of the Cherokee County Corrections Department, was Carl Phillips ever asked to recuse himself from jury duty while he was stealing probation money and molesting children?

Christmastime in Cherokee County circa 1997 (Courtesy Cherokeean Herald)

Criminal Docket Case 17638 : THEFT OF PROPERTY BY A PUBLIC SERVANT
THE STATE OF TEXAS vs PHILLIPS, CARL
Filed 11/23/2009 – Disposition: 07/29/2010 Dismissed-insufficient evidence
2nd District Court, District Clerk, Cherokee County, Texas

Criminal Docket Case 17845 : THEFT OF PROPERTY BY A PUBLIC SERVANT
THE STATE OF TEXAS vs PHILLIPS, CARL
Filed 07/26/2010 – Disposition: 10/28/2010 Conviction-guilty plea
369th District Court, District Clerk, Cherokee County, Texas

Credit card abuse by a county employee gets a higher word count in the local newspapers than the rape and murder of local children. Sex crimes committed by officials are buried in the advertisement section.

DA’s office announces conviction –Jacksonville Daily Progress Oct 30, 2010

Carl Phillips, former director of the Cherokee County Supervision and Corrections Department, was sentenced to 10 years deferred adjudication community supervision for theft and 10 years confinement in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Institutional Division for misapplication by a fiduciary Thursday.

The alleged theft and misapplication of property by Phillips took place between January 1999 and June 2009.

His actions came to light after his June 2009 retirement, when an employee of his former office alerted his successor to the theft.

Phillips was accused of using a state-issued credit card for personal expenses totaling more than $20,000 but less than $100,000.

Credit card charges made by Phillips included food, oil, gasoline, tires, household utilities, dental services, cell phone services, musical instruments, lodging, concert tickets, sporting event tickets and other services, according to the indictment.

Phillips then shredded, secreted or otherwise destroyed credit card receipts, according to the December 2009 indictment.

Phillips had been employed by Cherokee County for about 35 years

Phillips will file a motion for “shock probation” after serving 60 days in TDCJ, according to a statement from the Cherokee County District Attorney’s office.

The sentencing was part of a plea agreement between Phillips and the State of Texas, in which the Court approved. (Source: Jacksonville Progress)

Fast-forward to 2019 and the Cherokee County newspapers refuse to identify a convicted serial child molester as the former head of the Probation Department. Carl Phillips was part of the county budget decision making for over 30 years according to their own articles. What they don’t report has been going on in plain sight for decades. For example why District Judge Bascom Bentley’s signature was forged and rubber-stamped for the early release of sex offenders.  And why registered sex offenders are called for jury duty. They hide Phillips’ identity to cloak their ongoing involvement. Phillips is currently incarcerated in the Gurney Unit in Palestine, TX.

Written by Cherokee County, Texas

12/16/2019 at 6:00 PM

Stolen: $190,000 from Azleway Boy’s Ranch

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Don’t be fooled. Charities and faith based non-profits are cookie jars for Cherokee County and neighboring locals. No one cares where the money goes because of the fraudulent tax write-offs.

Troup, TX:

Azleway Boy’s Ranch QC Administrator Toni Rambo, 54, has been charged with stealing nearly $190,000 over a 5 year period. Rambo lives in Troup, TX located in northeastern Cherokee County bordering Smith County. The 50-acre child services facility housed at-risk boys ranging in ages 6 to 17 years-old and has operated for the last 40 years in the Tyler area. According to Smith County investigators, Rambo altered charity allowance records and pocketed the children’s funds beginning in 2015. (Source: KLTV)

Azleway, Inc. operates as a tax-exempt 501c3 nonprofit charity. The IRS allows donors to take a tax deduction for contributions of goods, cash and other assets. Cash pledges donated to the children living at the ranch were to be disbursed weekly based on good behavior. Cash receipts were provided to donating businesses and entities for tax purposes, while Rambo oversaw the agency bookkeeping.

One example given was a sheet showing a resident earned $7. Rambo then added $75 for an amount totaling $82 and kept the $75. (Source: Longview News Journal)

Forensic documents allege that Rambo misappropriated $48,049 in 2015, $53,546 in 2016, $42,969 in 2017, and $26,437 in 2018 (Source: KETX)

Rambo admitted to the scheme during an interview with administrators and attorneys. (Source: Tyler Paper) She is charged with 1st Degree Felony Theft and on out on a $300,000 bond.

Toni Marie Rambo, Troup TX, pleaded guilty to the theft of the nearly $200,000 on February 21, 2020 in Smith County’s 114 District Court.  (Source: KETK)

Toni Marie Rambo

On March 12, 2020 Rambo was sentenced to 40 years prison for embezzling nearly $200,000 according to KLTV (Source: Troup woman gets 40 years in prison for embezzling nearly $200,000 from Azleway

Azleway Boy’s Ranch has been under legal scrutiny after allegations of abuse and inappropriate relationships between the staff and children were reported to State Protective Services.  (Source: CBS 19) HHSC conducted 103 investigations between December 2016 and 2018 as the money poured in.

Among the documents are several allegations where residents were reported to have “sexually act out”, including an incident on November 12, 2018 where, “a child in care at the ranch was accused of raping another child.”

There’s also several claims of boys being left unsupervised, resulting in injuries to some of the residents. In one case, less than a month ago, “a child in care was able to gain access of a butcher knife in order to make threats of bodily harm.”

Also among the claims investigated by HHSC are allegations into inappropriate behavior by caregivers at the ranch. Caregivers are accused of exposing the boys to drugs like marijuana and to pornographic materials. In addition to that, several reports allege inappropriate punishment, threats of physical harm, and verbal abuse by the caregivers towards the residents. (Source: CBS 19)

Executive Director Gary Duke is leaving his post in January 2019. Azleway has since transitioned to a foster care facility and changed it name to Azleway Valley View. (Source: CBS 19)

Written by Cherokee County, Texas

10/30/2019 at 7:19 AM

Repeat Jacksonville, TX sex offender pleads guilty to sex assault of a child circa 1989; gets 4 years time served

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When law enforcement, prosecutors, and investigators conduct themselves in an unlawful manner, violent criminals can get away with murder. Cherokee County sex offenders and drug addicts are paid to be the “source” of information obtained illegally by the Sheriff Department and district attorney’s office. Being a wanted sex offender puts them at the top of the Grand Jury Pool and tax dollar handouts.

Tommy Stricklen of Jacksonville fell into the good graces of his Cherokee County in-laws who used his handicapped daughter to solicit donations in the local newspapers. His name was also found routinely on the District Court Clerk’s revolving grand jury list, despite being a registered sex offender.

Rape and murder have no statute of limitations. While authorities in Ector County, TX continued to pursue justice for over 30 years, Stricklen was paraded around the Cherokee County courthouse as a model citizen.

Thomas Ward Stricklen, Jr. (Courtesy: DPS)

After molesting his underage handicapped cousin in 1989, Tommy Stricklen, Jr. moved from Ector County to Jacksonville, TX as a registered sex offender. Stricklen had remained the number one suspect in the cold case murder of a 15-year old girl in Ector County during this time period.

In 2015 Odessa authorities were finally able to match semen samples taken from the girl’s dead body to Stricklen’s DNA taken as part of his sex offender registration. Stricklen was arrested in Jacksonville and transported back to Ector County where he faced a murder trial and hung jury in 2018.

Thompson Ward Stricklen Jr., 55, [was ] accused of fatally cutting open the throat of 15-year-old Wendy Burdette in 1989. He was indicted in 2015 on the charge of murder after semen found inside of Burdette matched his DNA, but that wasn’t enough to convince the entire [Ector County, TX ] jury.

The jury deliberated for more than seven hours until District 358 Judge W. Stacy Trotter declared a mistrial. (Source: Odessa American, July 19, 2018)

 

Ector County murder trial 2018

A second murder trial was slated for the summer of 2019 while Stricklen remained incarcerated on felony bond when murder charges were dropped by Ector County prosecutors. Stricklen was offered 4 years credited jail time when Odessa Police misconduct during the investigation was raised by court appointed attorneys. The Odessa American reports:

A 56-year-old man pled guilty to sexual assault of a child from a case dating back to 1989.

Thompson Stricklen Jr. was sentenced to four years in prison after he pled guilty.

Stricklen was previously tried in July 2018 for the 1989 murder of 15-year-old Wendy Burdette, an Ector County District Attorney’s affidavit detailed. That case resulted in a mistrial with hung jury.

Stricklen’s charges of murder and a second sexual assault were dismissed due to the termination of the lead investigator for the Odessa Police Department for dishonesty and violating department policy, court records show.

Stricklen was credited with 1,458 days of jail time, court records show. (Source: Odessa American, July 19, 2019)

Which means Tommy Stricklen was given time served (1458 days = 3.99 years).  He is now under Sex Offender Supervision in Gregg County, TX.

Written by Cherokee County, Texas

09/19/2019 at 9:00 AM

Rape and murder of 10-year old girl in Cherokee County gets national coverage, short shrift from locals

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From Breitbart News Texas Aug 27, 2019:

A previously deported illegal alien has pleaded guilty to strangling and drowning his ten-year-old cousin in Cherokee County, TX after attempting to sexually assault her in 2016. He had been arrested TWICE before in Smith County for ASSAULT OF A FAMILY MEMBER.

 

Gustavo Zavala-Garcia, an illegal alien from Mexico living in Cherokee County, pleaded guilty on Aug. 22, 2019 to murdering his cousin Kayla Gomez-Orozco in 2016, after the 10-year old girl went missing, CBS Austin reports.

Kayla’s body was found Nov. 5, 2016 four days after her abduction, in a well on the property where Zavala-Garcia lived in the 22100 block of Farm-to-Market Road 2493 (Old Jacksonville Highway) in Bullard, TX. He had been living there and working in the area for 2 years after being deported on domestic violence abuse charges.

As reported in the region, Cherokee County, TX law enforcement assisted in the search for Kayla Gomez-Orozco and released multiple statements upon discovering her body. However after the indictment of Gustavo Zavala-Garcia and details of his immigration status and the sex assault was revealed, local media buried the story.

“We’ve caught this guy twice before.” 

The Cherokee County Sheriff’s Department was placed front and center during the FBI search, then dropped after the sex assault and cause of death became public. Even though the abduction, Amber Alert, and homicide all occurred in Cherokee County, TX, the case was handled in neighboring Smith County. Why? Because Zavala-Garcia returned to his Cherokee County employer after his deportation orders even though he had been charged with multiple violent crimes 20 minutes away in Tyler, TX. He had a house, a job, and transportation waiting for him in Cherokee County, supplied by a local farmer everyone knows and everyone is related to. (Source: Jacksonville Progress)

A timeline was constructed based on witness accounts, evidence located at Zavala-Garcia’s place and his cell phone records.

Investigators believe he took Gomez-Orozco in his vehicle as he left the church Nov. 1, and sometime between the time he arrived home and the time when his wife told law enforcement agents he entered their residence “is when (the) suspected party concealed the victim in the well,” the affidavit states.

Cell phone records also revealed that Zavala-Garcia contacted his employer by cell phone that evening, “requesting to borrow one of the business vehicles to assist with the search” for the girl after his wife told him she was missing from the church, the affidavit added.

Although the employer did not answer the call, he text messaged Zavala-Garcia the next morning, Nov. 2, “asking what was needed,” according to the affidavit, which added that his employer was not aware if a company vehicle was used.

However, footage from a local convenience store surveillance camera shows Zavala-Garcia and his wife on Nov. 1 at the gas pump in one of the company trucks and places them inside the store between 8:12 p.m. and 8:18 p.m., the affidavit noted. (Warrant Affidavit reaveals timeline of child’s death, Nov 12, 2016 Jackonville Progress)

 

The illegal alien’s name was widely reported as his alias “Gustavo Gonzalez,” the name he used working in Cherokee County, TX. His previous assault arrests and charges have been conveniently ignored. Cherokee County hires the cheapest ranch hands in East Texas, no questions asked.

Court records released after the murder reveal gruesome details where Zavala-Garcia kidnapped Gomez-Orozco from a church service and attempted to sexually assault her. According to Smith County prosecutors, the illegal alien struck the girl in the head with a blunt object, then strangled and drowned her.

Gomez-Orozco’s body was found days later in a water well at the home where Zavala-Garcia had been living.

As Breitbart News reported in 2016, Zavala-Garcia crossed the U.S.-Mexico border illegally sometime after 2014, when he was first deported for violent crime charges, having been arrested TWICE for domestic abuse/ assault of a family member that year.

Gustavo Zavala-Garcia arrested in June 2014 for Assault Bodily Injury to a Family (Courtesy Smith County)

Gustavo Zavala-Garcia arrested in October 2014 for Assault Bodily Injury to a Family (Courtesy Smith County)

 

Zavala-Garcia will serve a life sentence without the possibility of parole for the murder. (Courtesty Breitbart News and CBS 19)

Written by Cherokee County, Texas

08/24/2019 at 10:05 AM

Jacksonville, TX sex offender faces murder retrial in Odessa cold case

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Local papers used their news platforms for donation requests to financially help a convicted sex offender now on trial for murder.

How does a child molester get called for jury duty? First, the Sheriff Department uses drugs and taxpayer money to recruit the unemployable convicted pedophile (and family members) into the county drug informant ring. The stoolpigeons supply the dirt on their neighbors in exchange for grubby little handouts from narcotics officers. Annual sex offender registrations are ignored, while the Good Ol’ Boys and Gals promote the child rapist in local newspapers. Typically, the child molester or family member is cast as the victim of some extraordinary circumstance to make the story palatable and sympathetic; forgotten sex offender registration is buried and never mentioned in the articles. In Cherokee County, registered sex offenders have their mailing address published in the newspapers to solicit donations. Their names are deliberately misspelled on juror forms in order to be called for jury duty and law enforcement officials can deny working hand-in-hand with them. They could be disqualified on a petit jury, but on a grand jury they get a free ride to the courthouse and a free meal courtesy of District Attorney investigators.

Also, in Cherokee County, the sex offender/informant is paraded around the schools during athletic and holiday events to keep them in constant contact with hand-picked jury pools. The district attorney enlists the district clerk to keep child predators on the revolving door jury summons. They know the Attorney General’s office would never go back decades to verify falsified jury selection questionnaires and contaminated juries. Who knows what they would unravel? 500 miles away the City of Odessa Police Department found matching DNA of a murder suspect who was also a paroled child sex offender living the high life in Jacksonville, TX courtesy of Cherokee County taxpayers. (East Texas man arrested for 1989 slaying of West Texas teen, CBS 19 TV)

Tommy Stricklen, Jr. registered sex offender circa 2011 (CBS 19)

Jacksonville, TX: 

26 years later, the 1989 cold case murder of Wendy Burdette of Odessa, TX led to a DNA match and the 2015 arrest of 58-year old Jacksonville resident Tommy Stricklen, Jr. (Source: Washington Times ) The Texas Department of Public Safety reportedly matched semen with DNA samples taken from Stricklen’s long overdue sex offender registration in Cherokee County. Stricklen and his family are well-known in local newspapers as charity cases via his handicapped daughter who attended Jacksonville ISD. With the help of local media, the Stricklen family set up donation pages for his daughter’s wheelchairs. Back in Ector County circa 1989, the underage victim Wendy Burdette was 15-years old when Stricklen admitted to having sex with her; he was 27 at the time. He was charged during the same time period for the molestation of his handicapped 11-year old relative.

Stricklen in court courtesty Odessa-American

Tommy Stricklen moved to Jacksonville, TX in 1998; his sex offender registry had not been updated since 2011. In 2015, the Odessa Police Department requested DNA results from semen samples taken in 1989 from Wendy Burdette’s body. Stricklen had remained the number one suspect after Burdette’s body was found.

She was stabbed multiple times, her throat cut and body dumped according to investigators. (Source: Odessa-American) Stricklen was charged by Odessa Police in July 2015 with underage sex assault and murder and transported back to Odessa where was indicted in October of that year. Three years later, he faced an Ector County trial jury in June 2018 resulting in a mistrial after 7 hours of deliberation. Stricklen had told police he remembered Burdette as a prostitute and sought her out for for an unpaid drug deal; he has denied killing her.

Wendy Burdette

Ector County prosecutors announced a retrial of the 1989 murder of Wendy Burdette to go forward in the 358th District Court later in 2019, 30 years later after the homicide. (Source: Odessa-American) East Texas media has dropped the story after a decade and half of lauding Tommy Stricklen and family with stories of delightful high school spirit and freebies for his wheelchair-bound daughter. When setting up donation pages for the Stricklen family, they did not include his lifetime sex offender status and parole from the molestation of a disabled 11-year old female relative back in 1989. Instead, he was encouraged to work around Cherokee County children and volunteer at schools while ignoring his sex offender restrictions.

Stricklen remains in Ector County custody on $650,000 in bonds.

Written by Cherokee County, Texas

06/25/2019 at 11:36 AM

16-year Veteran Cherokee County Deputy indicted on 5 felony counts of Indecency with a Minor

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(Courtesy KETK March 23, 2019)

You can tell it’s going to be a Pretend Slow News week when local media refuses to cover what’s under their and their cousins’ noses.  Then again the news is worse than the fiction.

Cherokee County Deputy Sergeant Jonathan Bryan Shobert, 47 of Jacksonville, TX is out on his original $50,000 bond after being formally indicted on 5 separate felony counts of Indecency with a Minor, stemming from alleged incidents occuring in the Fall and Winter of 2018 (not in early January this year as previously reported). Deputy Shobert has been ordered to stay away from the victim, his wife, and nearby schools. Deputy Shobert has been in Cherokee County law enforcement since 2002. In fact he remained employed after being arrested by the Texas Rangers in Febuary 2019.

Cuney, Texas police chief charged with falsifying police cadet form

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Cuney, TX is a town located in northwest Cherokee County, Texas.

Cuney, TX operates the 6th worst offending speed trap in Texas, generating an annual average of $319,117, or $2,279 per town resident, from speeding citations issued along a small stretch of U.S. Highway 175. Cuney was the only “wet” town in Cherokee County from the mid-1980s until 2009, when voters in Rusk came out in favor of beer/wine sales. After that result, voters in Jacksonville and Frankston have since voted in favor of beer/wine sales, and Rusk voters returned to the polls to vote in favor of liquor sales. As of 2017, there is only one liquor store remaining in Cuney. (Courtesy: Wikipedia)

Police Chief Gregory Sinkfield, booked courtesy Gregg County Jail

Cuney, TX Police Chief Gregory Sinkfield, an 18-year law enforcement veteran, has been released without bond from the Gregg County jail on tampering with a government record allegations. The charges stem from a female cadet’s admission form he falsely certified to the East Texas Police Academy, in which he claimed she had been working for the Cuney Police Department. (Source: KLTV) The Pay to Play case is being handled by TECLOE and Criminal Justice Information Services, a division of the FBI. (Source: Longview News-Journal) The East Texas Police Academy is located in Kilgore, TX.

The City of Cuney made national news in 2016 when its entire police force quit over disagreements with the new mayor over police policy they deemed “harrassing.” (Source: KLTV, Cuney police force resigns, May 31, 2016 )

Cherokee County, TX deputies speak with outgoing Cuney, TX mayor after entire police force resigns. (Courtesy: Daily Progress)

The Cherokee County Sheriff’s Department took over patrol duties until June 2016, when Chief Gregory Sinkfield was hired along with three other parttime reserve officers to watch the town with a population of 140.


[Reprinted from Daily Progress, June 26, 2016]

Cuney: Small town hires new police chief 

Gregory Sinkfield Sr., a 16-year law enforcement veteran, is now the top cop in Cuney.

Sinkfield, a 44-year-old native of Atlanta, Georgia, was sworn into office Monday as the new Cuney Police Chief after being hired June 16 to succeed Michael Trawick, who stepped down from the position on May 31.

The new chief said he’s looking forward to serving as the city’s top officer, having recently served as a lieutenant on the Coffee City police force.

“My police chief pulled me aside and said he thought this would be a good opportunity,” and so he applied, he said.

Sinkfield’s career includes stints with the Morris Brown College police department in Atlanta and the City of Pine Lake, Georgia, before moving to Texas in 2005.

Here, he served as a police sergeant in Lone Oak, as well as a field training officer and investigator with the Dallas Community College District in El Centro and Richland, before returning to Georgia in 2007 as deputy police chief with Atlanta College.

Sinkfield held that position for more than two years before becoming supervisor over the criminal investigation division at Clark Atlanta University, he said.

Having earned a doctorate in divinity, Sinkfield began pastoring full-time in 2011 at Empowering Life Christian Church in Atlanta, until his family’s return to Texas in 2013, where he subsequently joined the police force in Coffee City.

Additionally, the chief is a certified training instructor for firearms as well as a law enforcement educator.

Sinkfield and his wife, a first-grade teacher for Mesquite ISD, have five children. They will continue to live in the Metroplex, where Sinkfield is a pastor at Empowering Life Church in Mesquite.

“I’m looking for a home here, where I’ll be staying during the week,” he said, adding that he doesn’t think the arrangement will pose a challenge.

“I plan to hold a town hall meeting, where I can listen to the concerns of the citizens,” he said. “From there, we can be a more community-oriented police department, who is more (attuned) to the community’s needs.”

Along with the meeting, future plans including a back-to-school initiative featuring a backpack drive for students, participating in National Night Out and helping to ensure the safety of local children through participation in different programs.

His background as parent, pastor and police officer spurs him to focus on youths.

“It’s a combination of them all, of being a concerned parent, of being a pastor and (being married to an educator). I feel the community can benefit from that,” Sinkfield said.

He oversees a force of 11 officers, who primarily are reserves. Sinkfield is the only full-time officer, while his second in command, Sergeant Allan Richardson – a five-year Coffee City police veteran who was hired Monday – is a part-time city employee.

Other part-time employees on the force include Investigator Lamont Hughes of the Van Zandt County Sheriff’s Office and Kelan Logan, who graduates from the Cedar Valley College Law Enforcement Academy on Thursday.

Until Sinkfield’s hire, the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office provided service in Cuney after the city’s force quit in late May, leaving the town of 140 without police protection.  (Source: Daily Progress, June 26, 2016)

Written by Cherokee County, Texas

03/07/2019 at 4:00 PM

16-year Veteran Cherokee County Deputy arrested for Indecency with a Child

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Indecency with a Child: under Texas Law, the intentional exposure of genitals to a child or having a child expose themself for sexual purposes, including touching or simulated intercourse- Texas Penal Code Section 21.11 

 

 

Cherokee County Deputy Sergeant Jonathan Bryan Shobert, 46, of Jacksonville, Texas was arrested by the Texas Rangers on February 13, 2019 on indecency with a minor charges. (Source: KETK )

A long-time resident of Jacksonville, Texas, Deputy Jon Shobert formally introduced himself to the community in 2002 when he began working as a reserve dispatch officer with the Jacksonville Police Department. In 2005, Shobert became a full-time Patrol Officer with the JPD and in 2012 received a 10-year service award from the Jacksonville City Council (Source: Jacksonville Progress, Cop’s Corner Oct. 24, 2006) He later transferred to the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Department where he is still employed according to sparse reporting.

Deputy Shobert has worked in Cherokee County, TX law enforcement since November of 2002, his exploits reported on and written about since the early 2000’s; even had his engagement and wedding announcements running for months in the local papers, yet no further information is available on this particular incident. IF he were an unknown caught doing something like this, then the victim’s age and relationship would be published accordingly. Cherokee County is a haven for this kind of deviant criminal behavior because there is rarely any legal consequences for those in the Sheriff Department’s or District Attorney’s circle of friends. Then again as the political season heats up towards the March primaries, false sexual accusations are traded like Pez candy by the Good Ol’ Boys and Gals of Cherokee County.

Patrolman Jon Shobert 10-year service award circa 2012 (Source: Jacksonville Progress; Nov. 15, 2012)

Deputy Jon Shobert was released on $50,000 bond. The incident he is accused of allegedly occurred in late January 2019.

Indecency with a child by contact is a second degree Felony punishable by a fine up to $10,000, between 2 and 20 years in prison, or both. If convicted, Deputy Shobert will have to register as a sex offender for life and scratch out a living in Cherokee County, Texas with the other child molesters and pedophiles on the Sheriff Department’s dole.

Written by Cherokee County, Texas

02/14/2019 at 12:00 PM

Is there a serial killer sitting in the Rusk, TX jail for a few weeks?

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Larry Pugh

Offender Name: Larry Max Pugh, Jr.
Custody Status: In Custody
Age: 45
Location: CHEROKEE COUNTY JAIL
Race: White
Offender ID: 18051113362144
Gender: Male
Date of Birth: 10/18/1972
Aliases: Larry Pugh

Cherokee County, TX:

Former City of Jacksonville police officer and accused serial rapist Larry Pugh is back in town for the next few weeks doing a short stint in the county jail. According to the Daily Progress and reports from the district attorney himself, Pugh has completed his federal sentence and can quietly sit out Elmer Beckworth’s 2006 “assault with a deadly weapon” charge through August, courtesy of the Rusk, Texas jail.

Pugh’s “assault” crime: trying to kidnap and murder a woman in a makeshift police van before she could testify in federal court about being raped at gunpoint in the Jacksonville City Cemetery.  The deadly weapon: a belt around her neck and his service revolver. (Source: Daily Progress)

No mention of the $300,000 civil suit settlement the City of Jacksonville was facing from nine (9) different women who were also claimed to be raped on the side of the road by Officer Pugh while he was on duty. (Source: US Court of Appeals Fifth Circuit) If Pugh were brought up on actual murder charges, then the Federal Courts, the FBI and the City of Jacksonville would be proven “deliberately indifferent” to the testimony of 25 to 30 witnesses. (Source: KLTV)

The public is supposed to believe the reprinted lie that Larry Pugh tracked down his rape victims by “open records via the Freedom of Information Act” after they filed complaints. The FOIA has denied these reports according to KLTV Channel 7.  In fact, he was told by investigators the names of those who came forward to testify. They were named in his indictment and went missing before his trial. (Source: The Pugh Connection, KLTV)

Jacksonville Police Officer Larry Pugh

Are the families of missing Jacksonville women going to have closure with the release of former J’ville Police Officer Larry Pugh from federal prison?

Not according to Elmer Beckworth, even though two missing Jacksonville women’s remains have been identified as Pugh’s FBI complainants set to testify against him in federal court. Why the blasé attitude about a federally convicted rapist and the number one murder suspect? It’s simple: East Texas authorities want to protect the City of Jacksonville from more potential civil right suits and public scrutiny. Elmer Beckworth works with the same Gordon, Angle, Thrall law firm that represents the City of Jacksonville and County during Pugh’s civil rights violation cases. They want his crimes buried the same way they discard his victims. They write them off as “prostitutes” and transient “drug addicts,” while reminding us Cherokee County’s halfway homes are whorehouses frequented by law enforcement.

Remember: these women went missing AFTER Pugh’s indictment and before his trial.

According to the Jacksonville Police Department there is no connection between Pugh and MISSING FBI COMPLAINANT TERRI REYES, even though she is one of several named victims in Pugh’s original sex assault indictment. They removed her name after she went “missing” as reported by KLTV to avoid “speculation,” i.e. civil rights lawsuits against the city. The US District Court, along with every other incestuous agency in the region would rather bury civil rights violations than have the City of Jacksonville held responsible for their hiring practices. They would rather delete the names of the deceased in the Indictment than close the multiple homicide cases resulting in their cover up.

When Larry Pugh was indicted last February. One of his accusers was an unidentified woman with the initials T.R.

Those are the same initials as Terri Reyes, an Athens woman who went missing last May and whose body was found in the Angelina National Forest in September.

The original indictment against Pugh says he sexually assaulted T.R., depriving her of her constiutional right to liberty and bodily integrity, but in the subsequent indictments, issued after Reyes went missing, T.R. is never mentioned.

The Nacogdoches attorney in a recent civil lawsuit against Pugh told us by phone he would have called Terri Reyes as a witness in the trial, but she disappeared before he had a chance. (Source: The Pugh Connection: KLTV 7 Investigates)

If they wanted to charge him for the disappearance of federal witnesses, then they would. 

If they wanted to exonerate him, they could do that to.

What Larry Pugh did in 2005 only scratches the surface of the sexual misconduct going on by Cherokee County, TX law enforcement. We have a district attorney’s office that uses the wives and in-laws of investigators to blackmail political rivals and contaminate jury pools.  We have a Sheriff Department that has engaged in illegal wiretapping for decades, with the blessing of federal and DEA agents. A rapist cop is another lowlife they own. Be on the lookout when he moves back in next door to the local brothel shelter.

Pugh has remained a suspect in two missing women’s dead bodies, even though authorities have tried to keep the cases closed. (Source: KTBS) These possible homicide cases remain ‘unsolved’ solely because they were witnesses against Pugh.

Reprinted from the Tyler Paper dated June 20, 2014 “Remains identified as 2006 missing person: Woman was possible witness against former J’Ville officer

The remains of a woman who disappeared eight years ago after making outcries of sexual abuse against a former Jacksonville police officer have been found, officials reported on Friday.

Skeletal remains of Shunte M. Coleman, who was last seen July 3, 2006, were found on March 12 by a forester in a thickly wooded area in San Augustine County, east of the “T” intersection of Farm-to-Market Road 1196 and County Road 347, officials said Friday in a news release.

In 2007, Alvin Boykin talked to the Tyler Morning Telegraph about the day his friend, Ms. Coleman, left his Jacksonville home on foot. He said then that his home was an ad hoc shelter, offered to anyone needing a place to stay.

Shunte M. Coleman

Ms. Coleman, a mother of two, had freely come and gone from his residence — but so had a handful of other women needing a boost. So when Ms. Coleman said she was leaving for a while, Boykin watched her go.

She didn’t come back. Neither did another frequenter, Terri Renee Troublefield Reyes, who disappeared around the same time as Ms. Coleman. The 38-year-old Athens woman was last seen alive on May 21, 2006, and was found dead and unclothed in Angelina National Forest in fall 2006.

Terri Reyes

The women knew each other from Boykin’s home, and both were pinpointed as potential witnesses to testify against former Jacksonville police officer Larry Pugh.

In 2006, Pugh was sentenced to 12 years in prison for the sexual assault of women while on duty and retaliating against a woman for reporting the crime.

Ms. Coleman and Ms. Reyes both went missing while Pugh was out of jail on bond — between February 2006 and August 2006.

In 2007, Pugh pleaded guilty to perjury for lying about sexually assaulting women while on duty. The next year, he was sentenced to 18 months for perjury. He was sued in two additional lawsuits by eight women claiming they also were sexually assaulted by him while he was an officer.

According to the Federal Bureau of Prisons, Pugh, 41, is incarcerated in Marianna, Florida, in a medium-security federal correctional institution with an adjacent minimum security satellite camp. His release date is listed as May 13, 2018.

Shortly after Ms. Reyes’ remains were identified through DNA testing in 2007, attorney Curtis Stuckey told the Tyler Morning Telegraph that he might have used Ms. Reyes as a witness in the civil trial, but he never had an opportunity to talk to her because she disappeared.

“She had made an outcry” to law enforcement, like several other women, he said.

Stuckey represented a 43-year-old Jacksonville woman who was raped and retaliated against by Pugh in a civil lawsuit against the former officer.

Stuckey said he also would have been interested in talking to Ms. Coleman as a possible witness against Pugh if she had not disappeared.

San Augustine Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Gary Cunningham said Friday that at this point, law enforcement cannot connect Pugh to Ms. Coleman’s disappearance and death, but officials are not ruling out any potential suspects.

He said an active investigation is being continued by the San Augustine County Sheriff’s Office, the Texas Rangers and the FBI.

The San Augustine County Sheriff’s Office, with assistance from the Angelina County Sheriff’s Office, the Texas Rangers and the FBI, recovered the remains, which were examined by a forensic anthropologist at Sam Houston State University and then delivered to the University of North Texas Center for Human Identification, where DNA extracted from the remains were entered into the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS), officials said.

On Thursday, the San Augustine County Sheriff’s Office and the Jacksonville Police Department were notified that the remains belonged to Ms. Coleman.

The woman who won the civil lawsuit against Pugh in 2007 testified in federal court that she was walking one night in March 2005 when Pugh offered her a courtesy ride in his police car. Instead of taking her where she wanted to go, he took her to a dark, empty trailer house.

“He raped me,” she said crying. “I was too scared to do anything.”

She said Pugh drove her back to the neighborhood and dropped her off.

In August 2006, after Pugh had been indicted on federal charges, the woman was again walking at night when a man in a van who was wearing sunglasses approached and offered her a ride. She said she recognized Pugh’s voice and declined.

As she walked away, Pugh got out of the vehicle and took his belt off. The two struggled and the victim tried to fight him, but he put his belt around her neck, she said. Pugh began dragging her toward his van and “by the grace of God,” the belt snapped and she escaped.

The woman admitted she had a criminal record and was fighting a crack addiction, she said.

Pugh pleaded guilty to the charges but denied ever having sex with her or any of the other women.

Joe Evans, an investigator for the Cherokee County District Attorney’s Office, testified at the time that the plaintiff was the first of many women who made outcries claiming they were sexually assaulted by Pugh.

Evans said he talked to 25 to 30 witnesses, including women who claimed they had been raped by Pugh and people they had told, including ministers and police officers, who substantiated their claims. He said the witnesses were from Athens, Tyler and other areas.

Evans said Pugh preyed on vulnerable women who lived on the street and had drug or legal problems. One-third of them had pending charges, one-third of them were on parole or probation and one-third of them had no criminal charges, he said.

 

Written by Cherokee County, Texas

05/17/2018 at 6:00 PM

Drug Deals and Insurance Pay Offs for all

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Bascom Bentley’s bailiff was sent to federal prison for selling crystal meth. (Source: Jacksonville Progress)

Pct. 3 Constable Randall “Randy” Lee Thompson, was arrested by the FBI January 12, 2006 on federal charges of possession and distribution of pseudoephedrine, a component of methamphetamine. According to official reports “on or about Nov. 7, 2005,” Thompson “did knowingly and intentionally possess and distribute approximately 108 grams of a pseudoephedrine ” which is a List 1 chemical used to create the schedule II controlled substance methamphetamine.

FBI agents had videotape footage of Thompson dealing drugs out of his Jacksonville, TX residence. (Source: Jacksonville Progress)

Prior to Thompson formally being charged in Tyler’s federal court, District Judge Bascom Bentley ordered an official removal hearing in Rusk with claims that Thompson never performed his elected duties despite Thompson signing for Pct. 3’s and the district court’s certified mail for years while employed full time at the TDCJ Hodge’s Unit. Constable Thompson (who was appointed by County Commissioners with everyone’s blessing) was ousted from office because of his looming federal drug case that was deliberately squelched in Bentley’s hearing. (Source: Jacksonville Progress)  In other words, they lied to keep Thompson’s well-known and ongoing drug dealing off the record; they claimed he wasn’t showing up to work. Bascom Bentley’s hearing was an orchestrated whitewash, not immediately but weeks after Thompson’s arrest and resignation. Thompson pleaded guilty in federal court on March 6, 2006. (Source: Jacksonville Progress) He was released from federal custody in September 2013.

Why so much corruption in such a small place?

I have been doing internet research on East Texas corruption and came across the interview of Joe Gray from Henderson, TX posted in 2001.  Mr. Gray gives detailed accounts of his experiences in nearby Anderson County and his theories about District Judge Bascom Bentley.

Judge Bentley also operates in neighboring Cherokee County and Leon County.

Joe Gray’s article states East Texas officials have generationally benefited from the ongoing narcotics trade by being involved in it at every level. Not only are federal monies under the Byrne grants siphoned off by these corrupt small town law enforcement agencies, but local officials use the Tulia Laws to grab up foreclosed property of supposed drug dealers. One of Mr. Gray’s talking points is that Bascom Bentley III owned over 600 acres in Anderson County; land he apparently did not inherit but accumulated over the years to sell off. Tulia law injustices are common and even more common are Byrne grant monies being swindled to family members and political allies.

Mr. Gray’s para-military/militia preoccupation would make his wild claims of “black helicopters” and DNA theft at the county jail seem laughable to the outside media and the US Attorney’s office, thus making him, in the eyes of local officials, the ideal candidate for property foreclosure. Those who publicly complain about the corruption have been met with law suits, police raids, and death.

In Bentley v. Bunton- Texas, in 1996 Judge Bascom Bentley successfully filed a defamation suit against a Palestine radio talk show host who called the judge “corrupt” among other things on air. If that were the case then the South East Texas Political Review whose radio talk show host calls by name the entire judiciary in Beaumont “corrupt and incompetent” would be liable (libel?) Who knows? Bentley may have just benefited by being in the system when the thousands of acres in Palestine and surrounding areas were seized and put up for sale. Being a district judge may have given him first shot at low bid at the Sheriff’s Auction.

Whatever the basis of Joe Buntly’s “personal vendetta” against the Anderson/Cherokee County judge, the fact remains the legal and law enforcement system operating with the corrupt Dogwood Narcotics Task Force out of Palestine, has branched into drug dealing. And under Tulia laws, a simple accusation results in forfeiture of property. The rest of Texas is shying away from this practice and there is now legislation to reign in these rouge anti-drug task forces. It took Governor Rick Perry to pardon 35 innocent defendants convicted under Tulia laws, while the good ol’ boys who prosecuted them ‘retire’ to Lake Palestine and Lake Jacksonville (with a little extra cash and land).(Source: CBS News)

The drug trade in neighboring Cherokee County involves local constable precincts, not the district courts per se. The district courts are involved in more personal enrichment schemes, like sexual blackmail of enemies and phone tapping. Typically Anderson County probably does not operate the same as its twin sister Cherokee County. I would call Cherokee County the genetically defunct second cousin to Anderson County. Judge Bentley behaves one way on the record in Anderson County court and completely different in Cherokee County because he knows he is unaccountable in the Rusk, TX courthouse.

Cherokee County is simply not astute enough in its own self-worship to produce an official who would clean up the mess, without being extorted or blackmailed by the District Attorney’s office. God knows they hate people talking about them, i.e. they have convinced themselves that it is moral, albeit illegal, to tape record phone calls of citizens throughout the county. They will collectively smear and repeat any propaganda that the District Attorney tells them, not matter how ludicrous or unrealistic, for job security. Mind you 90% of them are related. What a way to make an East Texas living.

Cherokee County law enforcement turns a blind eye to its own internal drug activity while at the same time paying off drug mules and jail house snitches. It is the usual suspects, one being a former DEA agent out of the Dogwood Narco-Force and a recently “retired” Cherokee County District Attorney Investigator.

Readers should applaud that the corrupt Dogwood Narcotics Task Force, based out of Palestine is no more. The only thing the unchecked Tulia Laws created with this pseudo-agency was the ongoing drug trade by Cherokee County law enforcement. There is a vacuum of drug dealing to fill, now that these good ol’ Christian men have “retired.” It takes neighboring Smith County and the US Attorney to file charges on the current culprits while at the same time relying on the same people for drug bust quotas.

In regards to the drug dealing of law enforcement in Cherokee County; let me give you some info on Cherokee County’s unscrupulous activity to be found on the internet. These news articles list the illegal activity in Cherokee County just this year alone, in 2006!!! The firing of Constable Precinct 3 Randall Thompson who was also the Cherokee County District court’s bailiff for Judge Bascom Bentley III. Fired for not showing up for his bailiff post. Local media portrays Thompson as missing for 6 months, then gathered a constable’s hearing together the day before Thompson was indicted in federal court.

Ostensibly, the district court did not know that Constable Randy Thompson had been making and selling speed, if you believe such nonsense. Details can be found at the US Department of Justice news releases. Constable Randall Thompson had participated in all his assigned duties up to and after posting bond.

  • Chief of Police Chester Kennedy of Troup and Sgt. Mark Turner arrested by Smith County Sheriff Department for selling drugs. NO arrests by Cherokee County officials.
  • Jacksonville, TX police officer Larry Pugh molesting women during traffic stops; it takes the FBI to arrest him and charge him on 9 counts of rape and assault. AND when the guy is out on bond he tries to kill one of victims to keep from testifying.
  • More on Troup, Texas Police Chief Chester Kennedy caught tampering with drug evidence in future posts.
  • In New Summerfield, north of Rusk on Hwy 84. Chief of Police and city treasurer fired; mayor resigns after cleaning house.
  • A Jacksonville, TX woman is run down and killed in her own apartment complex. No investigation required according to current Cherokee County District Attorney Elmer C. Beckworth, Jr. The victim was a drunk ‘passed out in the parking lot.’ Beckworth offered no explanation for not bringing the case to trial; why bother to convene a formal grand jury when you know the outcome. Why even bother to NO-Bill the culprit, it’s easier to smear a hit-and-run fatality to the media.

To combat the systemic corruption, HB 1239 was written in 2004 and debated after the Tulia debacle, when 46 people were rounded up in Swisher County Texas during a drug sting and put on trial. Their properties were seized and several quick convictions handed down. The Dogwood Trails Narcotic Task Force was quietly dissolved after bad publicity leaked out about 72 indigent defendants with court appointed Anderson County lawyers being set free after their properties were seized. 60 Minutes did an expose’ in 2004 of the sham arrests in Tulia, TX.

The televised interview tells it all. Complete with gypsy cops with criminal records.

 

There were never any official arrests on record in Cherokee County by the Dogwood Task Force, though they conducted numerous raids. One botched raid simultaneously occurred in Jacksonville and Alto, TX, when the Force raided the wrong homes in an obvious attempt at “asset seizure.” The Department of Justice documented that the Dogwood Trails Narcotic Task Force operating under the radar in Cherokee and Anderson County reported no seized assets during the year 2002, despite having conducted numerous raids. And no arrests to back up the raids. Where did the seized drugs and money go???

In neighboring Cherokee County, the get rich scheme of choice is insurance fraud. This trend started decades ago. Fire insurance policies are underwritten as quickly as property is destroyed. Unlicensed insurance agents have frequently set up shop in small towns like Alto, TX and Rusk, TX. Any ‘claims adjustment’ is done by local law enforcement. The county has been operated for over 30 years by family members and in-laws of the Cherokee County District Attorney’s office. Namely, former District Attorney Charles Holcomb, who is now a sitting Justice on the Court of Criminal Appeals in Austin.

Judge Charles Holcomb has deliberately omitted some factual tidbits from his State Bar profile about his “last big case in Alto, TX” back in 1990, in which Holcomb convicted an innocent man. Holcomb fails to mention in his profile that the 12th Court of Criminal Appeals in Tyler, which Holcomb was sitting on, reversed this conviction in 1993.


Charles Holcomb’s state bar profile on “his last colorful case in Alto, TX” should accurately read: In 1990, Cherokee County District Attorney Charles Holcomb succeeded in convincing a biased jury to convict an innocent man of murder. The victim’s CPA, Terry Watkins of Nacogdoches, was sentenced to life in prison by relatives of the deceased who were planted on the trial jury. And lied during voir dire to be seated on the case–a typical Cherokee County maneuver. Holcomb also refused to recuse himself.

After intense public outcry and scrutiny, Watkins’ attorney John Heath, Sr. (also of Nacogdoches, TX) was able to successfully petition the Tyler Court of Appeals and had Terry Watkins released 5 years into his life sentence. It was shown that “the sheriff deputy first on the scene,” as Holcomb’s publicist recalls, and the widow shared the “$800K” life insurance policy with the Cherokee County District Attorney’s Office “to hire outside state witnesses” and according to Holcomb’s statements to KTRE an investigator paid “not to solve the case.”

District Attorney Charles Holcomb not only accepted money from the deceased’s father to hire an expert witness, Holcomb also accepted money from the murder victim’s widow to hire a private investigator. In an obvious attempt at shifting the onus of suspicion away from anyone other than Mr. Terry Watkins. Or in defense attorney John Heath, Sr.’s comments to hire an investigator but “not to solve the case.” However the investigator was not allowed by Holcomb to interview the widow nor the Cherokee County Constable first on the scene. Eventually this private investigator came to Terry Watkins’ defense during resentencing. As stated earlier, the sheriff deputy as Holcomb ‘vaguely’ recalls was actually a Cherokee County Constable Precinct 2 who formally married the victim’s wife months after the murder.

The widow and Cherokee County Constable live happily ever after, splitting a murdered man’s estate, the recipients of an accurately reported $650,000 life insurance payout to everyone involved. As if Charles Holcomb, the prosecutor and now a sitting Justice did not remember. Well preserved news article of the murder trial speak volumes.

Back to Justice Charles Holcomb’s state bar profile, especially the part where he discusses “his last big case in Alto” from 1990. Charles Holcomb, as District Attorney, accepted monies from the widow of murdered business owner Jackie Hicks of Alto, TX as reported by KTRE and the Lufkin News, ostensibly to send a private investigator on a wild goose chase to south Texas. Even though Holcomb had the coffers of the state of Texas at his disposal. Even though the number one suspect would have normally been the promiscuous widow receiving the $600- $800K insurance policy taken out on her estranged husband, Jackie Hicks. Of course the widow and her lover (a Cherokee County Constable “first on the scene”) were never formally questioned nor deposed by the then District Attorney Charles Holcomb nor by his ‘investigator.’

Holcomb gives his version of events to the State Bar in an attempt to rewrite history. The fact is an innocent man was released after 5 years on the above mentioned technicalities because of Charles Holcomb’s handling of the case. The question on the jurors’ and the community’s mind was why was the District Attorney Charles Holcomb accepting money to “hire state witnesses” when he had the coffers of the State of Texas and Cherokee County at his disposal?

A double indemnity policy pays out for accidental deaths and would not have paid out in case of a homicide, another misdirection of the Cherokee County District Attorney’s office even then. Holcomb’s quick recap of the case in his State Bar profile quotes the widow “was rumored to have multiple affairs” throughout the community. Because of the number of multiple lovers of the widow that the defense called, State v. Terry Watkins (1990) was the longest running criminal trial in Cherokee County history.

Cherokeean Herald August 2, 1990

District Attorney Charles Holcomb was elected to the 12th Court of Appeals in Tyler, TX and his assistant Cherokee County District Attorney, Elmer C. Beckworth, Jr. continued the façade that the murder of Jackie Hicks was thoroughly “investigated.” The case against Terry Watkins received so much public outcry and so many people cried foul, that the next-in-line Alto, TX police chief Thomas Griffith was called to a grand jury.

Tyler Morning Telegraph article about former Alto, Texas police chief Thomas Griffith predicting the conviction of Terry Watkins for the murder of Alto, TX business owner Jackie Hicks would be reversed and the case reopened because:

“there are people in this area who possess information that would be very useful in this case.” Chief Griffith would eventually be drummed out of his position by Charles Holcomb’s relatives on the Alto, TX city council. Thomas Griffith had publicly maintained his belief that Terry Watkins was in fact innocent and had evidence to back up his statements. Holcomb’s former investigator would eventually become the police chief of Alto, TX, a revolving door position. Any evidence maintaining Watkins’ innocence would be ignored by Beckworth, et al, until Watkins’ conviction was overturned.

Elmer Beckworth argued for the State and against Watkins’ early release which was eventually granted. The 12th Court of Appeals reversed that conviction and acquitted Watkins in 1992 of capital murder. At a 1995 resentencing, Watkins was denied an early release and sentenced to five years for murder (he had already served over 4 years) as reported in 1996 by Charles Holcomb’s hometown paper The Cherokeean Herald.

Cherokeean Herald Feb. 22, 1996

Terry Watkins was freed by the Texas 12th Court of Appeals, with a commuted murder sentence, thereby closing the door on a local ‘investigation’ into the murder of Jackie Hicks of Alto. However, the statute of limitations is always open for the State’s Attorney to seek murder charges. If any reader has information on this conspiracy, they should contact the Attorney General’s office. Those guilty of this crime should not go unpunished, no matter whose wing they may be under and no matter how long it takes.

It may be commonplace in East Texas for innocent people to be charged with crimes committed by law enforcement, however a sitting Justice on the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals lying to the State Bar about a murder case he prosecuted and lost on appeal is another thing all together. Good luck on your website and your expose’ of East Texan politics both good and bad. The narco-trade is alive and well in Cherokee County. Each time I read about one, I’ll post it for the world to see. Who knows, maybe a 6th grader in Rusk, TX might want to do a book report on local corruption or the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. Or a kid in China might want to find out what’s going on in East Texas. Or a Houston or Dallas/FW based entrepreneur might have second thoughts about doing business in a county that has an entrenched history of drug dealers, rapists and murderers on the payroll.

Texas Rangers investigate Commissioners’ Court

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Do you believe the County Judge doesn’t know the results of the Texas Rangers investigation into the Pct. 4 commissioner, as he’s told the Jacksonville Progress? Even though Byron Underwood still attends Commissioners’ Court without a leave of absence and L.H. Crockett’s job is on the chopping block?

Because County Judge Chris Davis allows a couple of his buddies on Commissioners’ Court to buy tractor parts without an authorized Purchase Order, the Texas Rangers have been called in to sign off on Commissioner Byron Underwood’s recent equipment purchases. Will they disclose the fact the local John Deere supplier billed Underwood’s hay baler part directly to his Precinct?  Will they admit the part description was altered to slip it on the agenda? Or will they instead concoct a reason to blame the 80-year old County Auditor (who’s up for retirement) and shuffle them both off into the sunset with their pensions? Everything will be back to normal unless Underwood, who is still employed, decides not to go voluntarily when his election comes up. Nonetheless, it will all go away soon with the help of the local Rangers, with minimum explanation, minimum local reporting, and zero exposure or closure.

Who fires the bookkeeper during a Texas Rangers investigation unless it is agreed to keep county billing off the record?

Nothing to see here folks, keep it moving and believe someone up for retirement (who had nothing to do with the fraud) made a tiny mistake…a little oversight that happens all the time, just not worth prosecuting, that’s all. We’re out of here.

Cherokee County residents are not supposed to care how their property taxes are spent or if commissioners use their positions to establish credit lines around town. And they damn sure aren’t supposed to be talking about it on the phones being tapped that keep these people in office. Imagine if previous Pct. 3 Commissioner Katherine Pinotti had “mistakenly” placed a personal item on the agenda for payment consideration.

County Government Civics 101 

It is Chris Davis’ elected responsibility to monitor the county’s expenses and keep Commissioners’ family tractor parts from being paid for by taxpayers and OFF THE CONSENT AGENDA. County Judges are the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the county who authorize payment of the bills; County Auditors are the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) who record the transactions. L. H. Crockett’s job over the years is to act as a checks-and-balance by monitoring the county’s adopted budget. After the Texas Rangers conclude their “investigation” of the Cherokee County Commissioners’ Court, guess which one will be up for retirement and scapegoated. Guess which one will be shuffled off so local news can bury the controversy? Who gets to keep their job this time?

Is County Judge Chris Davis up for “retirement?”

From The 2016 Guide to Texas Laws for County Officials 

The main duty of a County Judge is to serve as the chief purchasing officer presiding over the Commissioners’ Court in counties with less than 225,000 residents. Other duties include:

  • overseeing capital and community-based projects;
  • serve as authorized signatory on contracts and agreements for the County;
  • propose and adopt the County budget for each fiscal year.

The County Auditor in Texas has oversight of all financial books and records of all officers of the County and is charged with administering the budget. Other duties include:

  • auditing the financial records of various County departments;
  • appropriation of tax funds to pay the County bills including payroll. [Source: county.org]

Cherokee County Government 101

Precinct 4 Commissioner Byron Underwood is under Texas Ranger investigation because a fellow commissioner spoke out about his $800 hay baler part being included for payment during the July 24 consent to pay agenda. In fact it was the first item on the list. L.H. Crockett did not attend the recorded commissioners’ court meeting, yet they hope you are stupid enough to believe that he is somehow responsible. He may even be willing to fall on the sword for them in order to enjoy his retirement and his standing in the beloved little community. (Source: Jacksonville Progress)

That’s how Texas Ranger investigations into Cherokee County corruption usually end up and lifetime county employees martyr themselves, with pensions and health benefits included.

Remember in 2011 when the Cherokee County Auditor admitted that Commissioners’ Court borrowed $500,000 in illegal lease-purchase equipment loans? (Source: Cherokee County admits to borrowing almost $500K in illegal loans- KTRE) That public admission was not enough for heads to roll, yet you are to believe justice will be served over an $800 personal expense.

CHEROKEE COUNTY, TX (KTRE) –
For years, Cherokee County officials say they were buying equipment with illegal loans. County Auditor L. H. Crockett says they are now doing whatever they can to fix the high dollar mistake.

Texas statute does not give counties the authority to borrow money, but that’s exactly how some commissioners, and even the sheriff, were paying for tractors, mac trucks, even patrol cars.

The loans totaled almost $500,000.00. About $115,000 will be paid off immediately by transferring money from reserve budgets. The county is working with banks to refinance the rest through lease-purchase agreements.

“Recently a couple of our commissioners went to a seminar. During the course one of the speakers mentioned that counties could not merely borrow money. They came back and one of them went to see our county attorney… He dug into it and called it to my attention,” said Crockett.

Lease-purchase agreements are allowed since the lender owns the merchandise until it’s completely paid for.

The county auditor says the rates being offered so far are actually better than they had with the regular bank loans. (KTRE– June 16, 2011)

(KETK)

Written by Cherokee County, Texas

08/03/2017 at 6:30 PM

Absconding sex offender strikes again

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East Texas media timidly reports the recent 20 year sentence of John Fred Stewart, age 63, for indecency with a minor – a 2nd degree felony (Source: KETK). The 7th District Court in Smith County posts the offender’s residence as nearby Arp, TX, as reported by news outlets. However, this is not a one-time offense for John Fred Stewart. The Smith County District Court has closed Stewart’s local sex offense case, leaving a few things unreported about his previous underage sex offenses. Namely because Stewart’s bond was set after last year’s indictment, even though he was a registered sex offender from another county.

Case No. 007-1659-16
THE STATE OF TEXAS VS. JOHN FRED STEWART; 7th District Court, Tyler, TX

John Fred Stewart, sex offender registered in Midland, TX.

FACT: this “East Texan man living in Arp, TX” is actually an absconding sex offender with a reported address in Midland, TX according to DPS records. His previous convictions include a sex offense with a minor and possession of child pornography, both charges deferred to 12 and 10 years probation. He exposed himself to underage girls, but the Smith County courts won’t expose him as a recidivist sex offender. And he was not charged with being a fugitive for absconding his supervision. Perhaps it was part of his plea from his court appointed attorney and $620 in court costs. (Source: Smith County Judicial) None of which is being reported by news networks in the region.

John Fred Stewart DOB 3/11/1954 (Courtesy DPS sex offender registry)

Apparently between March and July 2016, Stewart left Midland and did not update his address with authorities. This is yet another lifetime registered sex offender who chose to settle where he could abscond and expose himself. Child molesters can make a living sitting on local juries and acting as jailhouse snitches, with that stigma being exploited by small town prosecutors and law enforcement. We doubt the TDCAA will note Stewart’s previous sex offenses and those like him, when they gloss over Smith County district court cases.

Written by Cherokee County, Texas

06/22/2017 at 3:25 PM

County hides court records from State (sex offenders in the jury pool)

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Child molesters are called to sit on Cherokee County juries.

Recently sworn in elected officials and commissioners are pressuring Austin lawmakers to keep Cherokee County court records off the state-mandated E-filing system. It’s OK for the other 253 counties to upload cases for review; Cherokee County operates in the dark. (Source: Daily Progress 1/12/17) With illegal wiretaps throughout the county, they all know each other’s dirty laundry. They also know if they get their brainwashed talking points published in the local newspapers, then they can disregard any law on the books. They can go back to intercepting each other’s emails and blackmailing one another.

pay-off

A recent Court of Criminal Appeals order requires counties with populations of 50,000 to implement the mandatory criminal court filings by July 1, 2019. (Source: E-file)

According to Cherokee County Clerk Laverne Lusk, it costs too much money to use the Internet to file court records. Secondly, she claims dismissed criminal cases will remain online, even after expungement.

“Our concern is that (since) there will be a fee, it will take revenue away from the county,” Lusk said. “It’s also a concern that if a case is dismissed and needs to be expunged, that it won’t be taken off (completely) from the web.” (Source: Daily Progress 1/12/17)

The fact is most E-file legal services cost under $7 per filing or at a monthly rate of $100 for unlimited access. Are Daily Progress readers stupid enough to believe that honest prosecutors prefer to hide their cases in the courthouse basement? Or do they want botched cases to be available only to a select few in Rusk, TX designated to tamper with government documents? It’s not that they are sloppy and lazy. They simply want to hide their own collusion and relatives on their stacked juries. They want to cover their tracks and prove the Letter of the Law does not apply to them. Elmer Beckworth does not want the court record readily available to the public that shows the local pedophiles who have repeatedly been seated as Grand Jury foreman. (Source: Jacksonville Progress) It is yet another smoking gun the Attorney General chooses to ignore.

There is some pretty digusting shit being shielded from the public, such as the Harorld “Bo” Scallon network’s penchant for sadomasochistic images of young children being tortured, murdered and raped. That never stopped them from serving on Cherokee County grand and petit juries. (Source: Digital Journal) 30 years of pedophiles’ court records are sealed in the Rusk, Texas courthouse.

How many child molestation cases did Rusk HS teacher Harold “Bo” Scallon sit on and ‘No Bill’ before he was busted as a purveyor of underage porn? (Source: North Texas e-News)

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(Source:  Rusk Cherokeean; TXDPS)

How many times has District Judge Bascom Bentley’s signature been forged “by permission” on sex offender orders?

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(Source: Jacksonville Progress)

It is the responsibility of the County Clerk to report civil and criminal cases accurately and in a timely manner, whether it is a conviction, expungement, or probated will. Even if the Clerk is related to all reported Parties. Cherokee County prefers to lock court cases away from public scrutiny to cover up the makeup of illegal jury pools and the perjury of prosecutors. The same group of people has been called to sit on grand juries for the last 20 years. Civil cases are routinely heard by jurors who have vested conflicts of interest. Some jurors don’t even live in the county. Some are pedophiles. Cherokee County officials make their own rules and flout their constitutional responsibilities. Things are apparently back to normal as of January 1st.

Source:

LOCAL GOVERNMENT CODE

TITLE 6. RECORDS

SUBTITLE B. COUNTY RECORDS

CHAPTER 191. GENERAL RECORDS PROVISIONS AFFECTING COUNTIES

Sec. 191.001. COUNTY RECORDER; SEAL; GENERAL DUTIES.

Written by Cherokee County, Texas

01/13/2017 at 6:00 PM

Rusk Police Chief resigns after illegal wiretapping claims

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Rusk, TX:

Isn’t it against the law to give false statements to Attorney General special investigators?

Chief of Police Jamie Campbell is set to resign October 30, 2016 after the Texas Rangers conclude their local wiretapping investigation. (Source: KETKJamie Campbell is the son of Cherokee County Sheriff James Campbell. During an open council meeting earlier this year, Campbell’s lieutenant accused City Manager Mike Murray of “illegally tape recording phone conversations” and “retaliation.” (Source: KETK) Upon the recommendation of outgoing Cherokee County District Attorney Rachel Patton, the Texas Rangers and Texas Attorney General’s office were called in to quell the coup. Murray was quickly and quietly exonerated while his future in Rusk, Texas politics remains in limbo. (Source: Daily Progress) After leading the local media down rabbit holes, Murray’s accusers have agreed to RESIGN to avoid further scrutiny of the wiretapping claims.

Why was the City Manager falsely accused of a federal crime?

When factions split inside corrupt small town government, their goal is to enlist more fingerpointing on one side than the other. More and more people become involved in the smear tactics until they are ALL criminally compromised. Cherokee County has reached a breaking point. They publicly divide the Rusk City Council meetings into groups, those they claim are pro-Police and those against. They have an ongoing desire to parade in the Texas Rangers to affirm that their side of the fence will be held unaccountable.

Isn’t it against the law for local law enforcement to falsely accuse someone of a federal crime?

The families of Cherokee County law enforcement have always gotten their marching orders from Sheriff James Campbell. Somewhere in the remote past, Cherokee County’s sheriffs convinced themselves it was a moral duty for their deputies to intercept telephone calls, justifiable under penalty of perjury. Always accuse your small town rivals of the same crimes you commit every single day.

Rusk, TX wiretapping is the biggest 2016 story in the region, so why doesn’t it get properly reported?

The Texas Rangers and Attorney General’s office are 100% cognizant that Cherokee County law enforcement routinely violate federal wiretapping laws. They are also aware that out of the clear blue Mike Murray has been accused of exactly what goes on in the Rusk Police and Sheriff Departments, after decades of accolades from both offices including the Skyview Unit. Knowing that the accusing parties have spilled the beans and will never kiss-and-make-up (and go back to the way it used to be for 30 years), they offer clemency. Guilty parties are advised to retire and keep the taxpayers in the dark. They turn a blind eye to the warrantless interception of citizens’ phone conversations to keep their own abetting hands clean.

Mike Murray is lucky that Elmer Beckworth is not the current DA; otherwise a jury of Jamie Campbell’s relatives would have been empanelled to convict on a fictitious statute. All with the blessing of complacent agencies in the region who make their living violating Civil Rights.

As usual, accomplices in local media are more than willing to bury their previous stories and keep the public hanging after it is discovered that they all lied. According to KETK and the iterim City Manager, following an October 12, 2016 “complaint” Jamie Campbell’s departure has been in the works for weeks with the grooming of his replacement.

Rusk Iterim City Manager Jim Dunaway said the interim police chief is Russell Pancoast, a retired police chief from Bee Cave, Texas. He will start duty Thursday morning. (Source: KETK)

 

beans

Local newspapers and distractors from both sides continue to repeat the lie of “low morale in the police department” affecting the outcome of the “investigation” after being warned again by the Texas Attorney General’s office not to publicly discuss the common Cherokee County practice of illegal wiretapping. This is why there is never a straight comment or factual representation of exactly what the hell goes on in Rusk, TX. Wiretapping is a federal offense that if properly investigated would be conducted by the US Attorney’s office and not local chapters of the DPS (many of whom are former Cherokee County law enforcement). They send in the fox to count the chickens.

Illegal 3rd party phone lines pay off

Private and business phone conversations are illegally intercepted and recorded by Cherokee County law enforcement, especially by those in “retirement.” They have nothing better to do. They are paid to do so, some from the comforts of their own homes via the county’s multitude of outlaw telephone drops. They’ve been spying on each other for decades. They have no intention of ever stopping because they know they will never face federal prosecution. A true audit of Cherokee County investigator funds would show how these designees supplement their income as reserve deputies after “retirement.”

cup

Written by Cherokee County, Texas

10/29/2016 at 8:00 PM

2 Alto, TX city hall clerks indicted for felony theft

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Alto, TX: 

Two former City of Alto clerks have posted bond after being indicted for stealing tens of thousands of dollars from the city. The theft of public funds allegedly began in October 1, 2010, according to court records. The duo has been charged with felony theft by a public servant. (Courtesy KETK) The Texas Rangers began investigating the missing funds back in April after the two City employees were terminated. (Jacksonville Progress). Years and years of fishing out the City coffers has deliberately gone unnoticed.

A Cherokee County grand jury has indicted two former City of Alto employees on felony theft by a public servant charges.

Jeanie Mignon Curtis Selman, 35, of Alto, was indicted for second-degree felony theft by a public servant when the Cherokee County grand jury met on Aug. 22.

According to the text of the indictment East Texas News obtained Tuesday, the grand jury met in the 2nd Judicial District Court. The indictment alleges that Selman stole somewhere between $30,000 and $150,000 while she was employed as a court clerk by the city of Alto. The indictment states that the theft occurred on Oct. 1, 2010.

The Cherokee County grand jury also indicted another former City of Alto employee. Whittney Nicole Arriola, 31, of Alto, was indicted on a felony theft by a public servant charge as well. The indictment states that the alleged theft occurred on Oct. 1, 2010. She is also accused of stealing between $30,000 and $150,000 from the city. Like Selman, she was working as a court clerk at the time.

Each woman had a bail amount of $10,000. Both Selman and Arriola have posted their bail amounts, and they have been released from the county jail.

Back in April, East Texas News learned that the Texas Rangers were asked to look into allegations of theft that occurred at Alto City Hall, according to Texas Department of Public Safety spokeswoman Jean Dark.

Dark said the investigation was requested by the Alto Police Department.

(Source: KTRE)

(Source: CBS 19)

Written by Cherokee County, Texas

09/20/2016 at 5:00 PM

Rusk City Manager accused of wiretapping; Sheriff Deputy under Texas Rangers investigation

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drug busts


US Attorney Malcolm Bales announces Jacksonville, TX drug raids with Dallas FBI, Sheriff James Campbell, and District Attorney Rachel Patton. (Source: April 1, 2015 Jacksonville Progress)

Like a lot of areas in backwoods East Texas, Cherokee County law enforcement illegally wiretaps and intercepts telephone conversations to conduct drug raids. For providing this information to outside agencies such as the FBI and Narcotics Task Forces, as well as assisting on drug cases for the US Attorney’s office, these small towns are given carte blanche access to any and every private citizen’s personal and business phone conversations. In fact, they are publicly rewarded for violating federal law like they do in 3rd World countries. They are advised to deny it, lie about it, and continue to provide as much information with as little legwork as possible. The Cherokee County Sheriff’s Department records phone calls to blackmail political opponents and quash dissent among their Good Ol’ Boy and Gal network. They catalog the locals’ extramarital affairs within the District Attorney’s office and hold each other by the balls for Grand Jury selection. And these folks have been screwing each other like rabbits since their High School days.

Who is cheating on whom these days?

With the ousting of outsider Rachel Patton for ruffling their feathers and with Elmer Beckworth returning to the District Attorney’s office in a few weeks, the uninformed public can expect the Night of the Long Knives to come out in full force. When one of them is caught not towing the County line, the fingers start pointing, the accusations start to fly, and the misdirections are set up like traffic cones to mislead the public.  Following in Beckworth’s footsteps they blame the other for their own actions.

 

Corner

Wife swapping and wiretapping? Who’s spying on whom? 

Turmoil-in-Rusk

In an open City Council meeting on July 14, 2016 the Rusk Police Department accused longtime Rusk City Manager Mike Murray  of “illegal wiretapping.”  Lt. Brad George of the Rusk PD and others also accused Murray of “retaliation against the police force.” City council has requested a Texas Rangers investigation during back-to-back closed sessions. (Source: KETK) Murray, the local police department, TDC Skyview, and the Sheriff’s Dept. had worked together for decades without dissent. The internal feud is said to have started after the handling of assault charges against the Volunteer Fire Chief earlier this year.  Nepotism between the Cherokee County Sheriff and his son the Rusk Chief of Police, and their extralegal means of small town social control is on full display for the local media.

 

Clocking in at 300 + lbs., it is highly unlikely Mr. Murray is capable of scaling telephone poles and running outlaw phone drops throughout the county to eavesdrop on local drug dealers, lonely wives, and families of his political opponents; however Sheriff Campbell’s deputies and those related to law enforcement are paid to do so.

Illegal phone tapping in Rusk City Hall

Cherokee County newspapers refuse to mention the reason for the Texas Rangers investigation into Mike Murray and the charge of ILLEGAL PHONE TAPPING that Rachel Patton has recommended to the Texas Attorney General. Instead they focus on a fictitious claim of low morale among the police department and city employees for the reason Murray has been placed on paid administrative leave. (Source: Daily Progress) It takes reports from Tyler and Longview to shine the light on the common Cherokee County practice of “illegally wiretapping phone conversations.” (Source: KETK)

simpsons

OK, boys and girls, let’s play a game called “Follow the Logic…”

  1. Teenage boys driving around on New Year’s Eve amuse themselves by tossing a firecracker near a local fireworks stand operated by the Rusk Volunteer Fire Chief, Donald Lankford.
  2. Pissed off Fire Chief jumps in his car and in a high speed chase into neighboring Anderson County, cuts them off several times, pulls them over and roughs up the pranksters.
  3. Fire Chief is charged with misdemeanor assault in Anderson County; pranksters are let off with a warning.
  4. Fire Chief continues to work at the Rusk, TX Fire Dept. while his case is aired on local television; some reports say he is suspended for 6 months, others say he is still employed. (Source: KETK)
  5. A “rift develops” between the City of Rusk Police Department and the City Manager according to some accounts.
  6. During an open Rusk City Council session in late July, the Rusk PD accuses City Manager of illegally tape recording phone conversations ; Rusk City Council asks the Texas Rangers to intervene and continues to hold closed door hearings to keep prying eyes out of personal vendettas.

Sources: Jacksonville Progress, KETK.

Break the Law- keep your TCLEOSE license and your pension

In yet another example of unaccountability, veteran Cherokee County Sheriff Deputy Donald Williams is asked to quietly retire July 29, 2016 after the Texas Rangers investigate a June 21st incident in Alto, TX. Unlike in other venues throughout the state, no explanation is given to reporters or required by the locals. In fact, they’ll pretend Deputy Williams never even worked there or helped get their cousins elected. Fall housekeeping is in full swing with the Texas Rangers in town to maintain the status quo.

Beware… Elmer Beckworth wants his old job back

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beware

 

Lock up your daughters and lock up your wives. He’s back.

Angelina County Assistant DA and lifetime Democrat Elmer Beckworth (D) announced several months ago he was switching to the Republican Party after remaining a registered Democrat for over 30 years – all the way through two elections of Barrack Obama that didn’t change his mind. Elmer’s flip-flop comes after losing the 2012 Cherokee County District Attorney’s race to his own younger savvier Assistant DA who ran as a Republican. Beckworth had stayed in office three terms, with only 2% of the Cherokee County vote, by running unchallenged and not facing any competition. (Source: Jacksonville Progress) With the help of the Good Ol’ Boy and Biddy Network, he’s hoping to run unchallenged again. Are we to believe Elmer Beckworth is so feckless as to forget he owes his entire career to the Cherokee County Democrats Club? The same people who along with him caucused for Wendy Davis and against the values of every single Republican in the county?

Which begs the question if the current Cherokee County Republican Party will greet with open arms the candidate who has shit smeared them and his potential rivals for decades, in both public and private practice. Will the Chairman be forced to commit suicide over sexual innuendo and blackmail? Will life insurance payouts be divvied up for billboards and television ads as they were for Elmer Beckworth’s predecessors? The fact is Beckworth cannot win an election without the ingrained Rusk/Jacksonville law firms, also devoted lifetime Democrats, trickling votes and money away from a viable opponent. And they can’t run against an honest candidate.

Is Cherokee County still rife enough with corruption as to oust their first female district attorney who took to task District Judge Bascom Bentley’s falsified signature on sex offender Orders? With Beckworth still in office, County Judge Craig Fletcher would not have been exposed for his own shenanigans between Rusk sex offenders and Bentley’s office. (Source: Daily Progress)  Hundreds of thousands of dollars would still be wasted on Robert Fox’s tirades and appealing his overturned conviction in the 6th Court of Appeals, Texarkana. (Again Source: Daily Progress) Every dumb lie coming out of Elmer’s mouth could be in publication in the Jacksonville newspaper and his hometown Rusk Cherokeean for generations to come.

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Will the honest County Commissioners be threatened yet again with Elmer Beckworth’s stacked grand jury, or will the Rusk Hunting Club continue paving their roads with taxpayer dollars? Come this March Primary, businesses in the area will see if Cherokee County puts the target back on them, their business calls, and personal email. Voters can choose between who Sheriff James Campbell and the local papers endorse, and those they will drum out of town (see Ben Tinsley, et al). Such exciting times for the astute Cherokee County voter. But watch out, Elmer’s confidential informants are ready to come out of retirement from the methadone clinics to murder their wives.

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Michael Harris endorses Elmer Beckworth

After all, the Old Wives Family Affair may not have to drive all the way to Lufkin to sit on Elmer’s current bosses’ juries. The Good Ol’ Boys may get their man back in their pockets. Nonetheless, family members of Cherokee County sex offenders are anxiously awaiting to cast their votes for the guy who gave them probation in the first place. If Elmer Beckworth gets his old job back in his hometown of Rusk, the county will be flooded with the likes of extradited child rapist and accused murderer Tommy Stricklen. (Source: Jacksonville Progress) Guess who got the bigger ticker tape parade in Cherokee County newspapers and raised more money through donations: Beckworth running for reelection or a local sex offender with a handicapped daughter.

Thanks to Elmer Beckworth and his supporters, every single learning institution in Cherokee County has hired child molesters, some who have sat on his juries repeatedly for decades; some who have been exalted in the local newspapers for decades until being caught. Look no further than the sheltered hallways of nearby private Christian academy, The Brook Hill School, quietly scrubbing all records of their recently arrested girls’ volleyball Head Coach. Ricky Eugene Clements, 61,was busted this month for texting a 16-year old female student to “spend the night with him” and driving her off school property without the school’s knowledge or parental consent. (Source: KETK) These too are the people who claim to be Christian Conservatives.

clements brook hill coach

Ricky Clements, Brook Hill Lady Guard head coach (Courtesy: Smith County)

 

Dedicated to Bert Neal Tucker, Sr. (1929 – 1998)

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In March 1998, Cherokee County newspapers refused to report the suicide of their elected Democrat Party County Chairman to protect the people responsible. Three years later, they also neglected to publish the death of his son, a court appointed Cherokee County attorney who died in alcohol treatment.

You cannot rely on the small town newspapers to do their job and cover the facts surrounding their kinfolks’ ingrained corruption, hence the creation of The Official Site. In this month’s last and final posting, we dedicate this amateur blog to a man of impeccable character. We could all only hope to be as honorable and steadfast in our faith. The inspiration to research local corruption began from something he once said: “somebody needs to write a book about these sorry SOB’s…”

B.N. Tucker, Sr. was born in California and lived in Jacksonville, TX his entire life. He was the Chairman of the Cherokee County Democratic Party when he committed suicide on March 6, 1998. He was an active member of his church and community, including sitting on the county commissioners’ Salary Grievance Committee. Cherokee County officials pretend his public service never existed. As in Constable Randy Thompson’s case, they’ve been told never to speak of him and to deflect and lie when his name is mentioned. Not one of them before or since could hold a candle to this man. Cherokee County wanted him gone as soon as he promised a more honest and open public forum, even though he ran unopposed as County Chairman in the March 1996 Democratic primary. They knew he would be a problem for then Assistant District Attorney Elmer Beckworth moving unchallenged into the seat of outgoing DA James Cromwell. Sound familiar?

After months of sexual harassment from the Cherokee County District Attorney’s office and their collaborators, this loving grandfather put a gun to his head and killed himself in the prime of his family’s precious lives. He never got to enjoy another quiet sunset or see his granddaughter grow up. Why? Simply for expressing his opinion to his neighbors regarding what he perceived to be the ongoing and growing corruption in his hometown.

 

Because B.N. Tucker, Sr. privately talked about the criminal nature of Cherokee County politics on his home phone, he was personally targeted with concocted ‘love’ letters and explicit glamour shots of the Cherokee County Wives and Girlfriends Club, sent to blackmail and shut him up. The women involved were the friendly spouses of those associated with the district attorney’s election efforts.

Their open ‘invitations’ were a not-so-veiled attempted threat to ruin his reputation at his church and as a warning to what they would do to his family. They got their wish. This kind and harmless man was silenced. His complaints to higher federal authorities in Tyler were obviously ignored, despite providing handwriting samples and actual pictures.  He made inquiries with the US Attorney’s office, the Tyler FBI, and the Texas Rangers. At one point he was told they couldn’t do anything about the ongoing harassment because “he brought all the evidence to them” and that they would need a nonexistent court order to investigate. Imagine expecting birthday cards in the mail from your grandchildren, only to receive homemade sex videos and filthy letters composed by political opponents in your own party. Instead of enjoying his retirement, that is what this 69-year old gentleman faced going to the Post Office courtesy of the Cherokee County District Attorney office and investigator.

Despite his countless contributions to the Jacksonville, TX community and county at large, and after decades of service to his friends and neighbors, the local newspapers did not run B.N. Tucker, Sr.’s obituary. No paper in the area reported the passing of their elected official, the Chairman of the Cherokee County Democrats. Notice of his death to this day has been covered up by the Cherokee County Bar Association and district court that employed his son, a local attorney also now deceased. B.N. “Tuck” Tucker, Jr. passed away 3 years later in 2001 at the age of 45 after reoccurring alcohol related illnesses. Bert Tucker, Jr. made his living in the 90’s as a court appointed Rusk, TX attorney while simultaneously under medical observation in drug and alcohol treatment. After years of missed court dates, the State Bar eventually intervened and Tucker, Jr. was quietly ordered into rehab in March 1998. There was no mention of his passing in the papers either, despite working for nearly 10 years in the Cherokee County courthouse. Of course the district judges who repeatedly appointed him as counsel and filed for re-election with his father would pretend to have never known either.

B.N. Tucker, Sr. didn’t want to just shake the proverbial tree; he simply wanted more honesty out of the county’s chosen leaders. He became dismayed about what his beloved community had turned into by people pretending to be good Christians. He was privy then to the waste and fraud at Lon Morris College, within walking distance of his home. He was aware of the communal retreats disguised as “Christmas” parties attended by judges, prosecutors, lawyers on the take and their willing spouses. Mr. Tucker lived long enough to see the place he loved turn into a revolving door brothel. In shame, he took his own life on the day his son the local lawyer was committed to drug rehab in Austin by the State Bar. He was no longer proud of his son’s profession, or the company he kept at the Rusk, TX courthouse. It wasn’t the sorry nature of small town politicking that made him give up on life; it was the fact that criminal behavior was encouraged by other agencies that should have moved in to quell it. Like so many others filing federal complaints against Cherokee County, he was told to go home and wait to die. Even after sustaining injuries in a car wreck caused by his son, the Cherokee County Bar refused to hold a competency hearing, even though both were bedridden, and contributed to both of their deaths. Mr. Tucker refused to convalesce while those trying to ruin his reputation continued to cover for his son. And publicly cover for Mr. Tucker’s young attorney son they did, while simultaneously harassing an honorable and decent old man to death.

These people are proud of the blood on their hands. Their entire careers are based on it. This is why there is no accountability when Jacksonville, TX women are raped and go missing, or pepper sprayed and beaten up. This is how the district attorney’s office and sheriff department gets their hands on insurance payouts while diverting attention away from themselves. If you talk about their infidelities, then they’ll attempt to pull you down to their level. Jacksonville Police Chief Reece Daniel experienced this first hand in 2009 with emails concocted by the Sheriff’s chief detective Chris White and sent to news agencies alleging sexual harassment. (Source: KLTV) In fact it was the Sheriff’s Department facing sexual harassment settlements from former female employees; Chief Daniel was supposed to keep quiet about it. You are either with them balls deep, or you are against them.

You were right Mr. Tucker. Someone did need to say something about how things are allowed to operate in Cherokee County and to the detriment of our fragile democracy, more people don’t. It isn’t very hard to spend 15 minutes putting pen to paper to our Congressmen and State representatives. And everything is in plain sight just like you said 15 years ago. It just takes a little bit of effort to put it into words and get the message out. Thank you for shining the light for the first time. Thank you for having the courage and wherewithal you showed others, despite the pain you were put you through. You are with our Lord as you always have been, and you will always be remembered by those honored to have known you as the true pillar of the community you served. Your words of wisdom were well-received and never forgotten. Those who live their lives in the light of our Savior like you will be rewarded in this life and the next. May God bless and watch over your family for eternity.

This is just the beginning.

Written by Cherokee County, Texas

03/01/2013 at 6:00 AM

A County consortium

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Polk County Judge texting prosecution to aid during trial.

According to accounts last August 2012, Polk County Judge Elizabeth Coker and then assistant prosecutor Kaycee Jones (now a district judge) engaged in text messaging strategies during a felony injury to a child trial. The defendant was acquitted. The improper collusion during trial by the district attorney’s office and the seated judge is being investigated by the Texas Commission on Judicial Conduct and the Texas Defense Lawyers Association. (Source: Houston Chronicle) The only significance in this situation, out of millions of other similar episodes, is that a district attorney investigator came forward and reported it.

A neighboring colleague caught red-handed means nothing for smaller venues such as Cherokee County where prosecutors, investigators and judges practically live together during trial to wine and dine jury pools. Here they just blackmail each other with love letters and sex tapes. They share each other’s wives and DNA. It begins in both civil and criminal trials, with juries being handpicked for their involvement in the cases. On taxpayer time, judges and all interested parties are coached to respond to questioning out-of-town lawyers and prying eyes. In Cherokee/Anderson Counties’ 369th District Court, the sitting judge openly discusses his preferences throughout proceedings. Court reporters are trained to ignore his outbursts and hand-wringing to avoid them showing up on the record. His staff is openly affectionate to their counsel of choice in the courtroom, in front of juries. That is until news cameras catch them in the act showing their open bias. In March 2011, a complaint against District Judge Bascom Bentley was filed with the Texas Commission on Judicial Conduct for his biased comments in the courtroom immediately after a defendant was found not guilty in a child homicide case. The video of Bentley’s rant was subpoenaed. (Source: KLTV)

This behavior is nothing new to those who happen to come to this particular courtroom and apparently in other small East Texas towns. It is a systemic pattern of absolute disregard of judicial and prosecutorial ethics that has been championed in this area for decades. The reason they cannot keep their mouths shut during proceedings is because they have a vested interest in the outcome. They are all related to each other. In Cherokee County cases, the outcome is designed to pump money over to family members who make a living billing for subsidized programs such as drug and alcohol counseling, non-existent protective services, and other fruitless means of bilking the system. Hence the enormity of probated child sex offenders and violent criminals who continue to reside and spend their own government assistance here.

Anderson County Deputy Clerk indicted on 918 counts of theft, pleads to two charges.

County Clerk Bridgette Franklin recently pleaded guilty to two 3rd degree felony counts of theft of public funds, for a total of $32,261. Money for public records paid at the Anderson County courthouse had been “misappropriated” into Franklin’s pockets 918 times beginning in 2006 according to investigators. (Source: Tyler Paper)

There are several identical Cherokee County cases that have either been dismissed, buried, or other arrangements satisfied to keep them out of court. The mentality of locals who do this is that their family owns the county and should have any and all access to the courthouse money jar.

Former Lon Morris president sued by Sam Houston State University for draining $1.3 million Long Endowment.

Within the melee’ of the Lon Morris bankruptcy and estate liquidation, fingers have pointed and tears shed, while deals have simultaneously been made to keep any criminal investigations off the table. Nonetheless, the latest conclusion by the AG office is that Dr. Miles McCall illegally transferred restricted funds from the million dollar James Long Endowment into CDs and had his staff covertly cashed them to allocate the funds elsewhere. Which means the LMC upper echelons and the bank moved beyond their scope as benefactor and financial manager to distribute monies as they saw fit. Where did the money go? We won’t hold our breath to find out. The LMC auction has been fast-tracked to keep all questions and actual fact finding proceedings to a minimum. Sam Houston State University filed a petition during bankruptcy proceedings to recover assets supposed to revert to them as beneficiary, if LMC dissolved. The university is also suing Dr. Miles McCall in the Rusk, TX civil court. Let the hand-wringing begin.

Reference: SAM HOUSTON STATE UNIVERSITY vs MCCALL, MILES, Civil Docket Case 2012120933; filed 12/27/2012 in the 2nd District Court, Cherokee County, TX.

The Texas Methodist Foundation lawsuit regarding the remaining endowments is also on the back burner until the estate property is divvied up. (Source: Tyler Paper)

Out of Towners:  kiss goodbye all your donations and effort you spent keeping LMC afloat for the last several decades. According to auction results, the locals now have their hands on it.

Footnote:  Lon Morris College as an entity filed a federal suit against the former LMC President and Board of Trustees in the US Eastern District on August 29, 2013, citing breach of fiduciary duty, financial incompetence and negligence.

2012: Mission Accomplished

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Crunching the numbers last year, this blog had over 25,000 unique visitors in 2012. 

The busiest day of the year was April 26th with 241 views. 

This site had visitors from 98 countries in 2012, most from the US with the UK and Canada not far behind. Buckingham Palace, the Royal Saudis, and the Vatican read this blog, as well as over 250 US law firms, lawmakers in Austin and Washington DC; and law enforcement agencies throughout the State, including multiple daily hits from our biggest fan, the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Department. 

2013:

Your friendly neighborhood blog will be ending this March and will remain online for research updates and commentary in perpetuity. Thanks to contributors, whistle blowers  and regular visitors. A dedication to the gentleman who inspired the creation of  “the Official Site on Corruption” 15 years ago will be made in the coming weeks. An effort to clean house in Cherokee County, Texas was proposed in the mid 1990’s.  However, the county’s planned nepotism is still intact. The incidence of corruption in the area will also continue into perpetuity as long as the local taxpayer allows it. Missing women, a gunned down DPS trooper, a constable making a meth lab, money stolen out of City Hall, murder for hire; and property destruction for insurance payoffs are the result.

The good people there still have a lot of work to do.

Written by Cherokee County, Texas

01/05/2013 at 5:00 PM

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Fox sentenced to 1 year minus time served

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Update:  Robert Fox’s felony conviction (Case # 06-13-00056-CR) for “tampering with a government document” was reversed and he was acquitted of all charges in the 6th Court of Appeals, Texarkana on 12/4/13. Fox remains in detention following ICE deportation hearings after serving the entirety of his bogus sentence while waiting for his appeal.

Rusk, TX:

After 8 months of postponements and two trials including a mistrial, Robert Fox was sentenced to 1 year state jail time on December 18, 2012.  Fox was found guilty of “tampering with a government document” back in April 2012. (Source: Tyler Paper) This can be considered a bittersweet victory for outgoing district attorney Elmer Beckworth who won’t be facing Fox’s litany of appeals. From what was front page news of the House of Israel’s “terrorist” leanings, to being called “scofflaws” and “parasites,” the local media has gone silent on the unprecedented postponement of sentencing in the 2nd Judicial District court. There are no reports of the countless waste of taxpayer time and money spent to justify the multiple open-ended raids on the House of Israel. Raids that resulted in not only Not Guilty verdicts and dismissals, but the impetus for Robert Fox to file his tort claim against the City of Jacksonville Risk Management. This piece of paper was presented to Cherokee County juries as a “tampered government document,” even though it was printed on plain white paper with no official letterhead and Fox is not a government employee. Falsely accused of being a fugitive, Fox had spent 146 days in Cherokee County jail, unable to make his excessive bail before his trials. Other than for health reasons, he has made all of his court appearances, and in some cases has successfully represented himself. If not beaten and broke, Robert Fox will have the next 230 + days to ruminate over his next Federal lawsuit against Cherokee County and possibly publish another account of judicial terrorism. Fox is reported to be facing expedited deportation proceedings to quash his attempts at appeal.

Lessons learned: do not set up shop in downtown Jacksonville, TX unless you enjoy being harassed and your business calls intercepted by local law enforcement; if you file a lawsuit against the county, then do so from elsewhere under the advice of an attorney; and most importantly, do not stay in the area after filing your civil rights complaints or you will face a media willing to perpetuate perverse lies designed to justify the county’s systemic corruption. Cherokee County is the first place in the country to sentence a “lightning rod for terrorism” as they called him, to 12 months for a piece of paper that could have been thrown in the trash. Except for the fact they all did answer Fox’s complaint in federal court, including the judge and prosecutor who convicted and sentenced him. (Source: Fox vs. City of Jacksonville, et al Case no. 2:2010cv00158)

As a footnote, Robert James Fox is incarcerated in the Bradshaw Unit, one mile north of Henderson in Rusk County, Texas. His projected release date is 7/30/2013 according to TDCJ online inmate search records.

Written by Cherokee County, Texas

12/21/2012 at 5:00 AM

District Attorney runs Assistant DA as opponent; Attorney General investigates missing $1.3 million Lon Morris endowment

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Rusk, TX:

‘Tis the season to fool everybody, and political ads have run simultaneously in local newspapers pretending not to know of the incestuous politicking of the Cherokee County district attorney’s office. Cherokee County District Attorney Elmer Beckworth (Democrat) is being “challenged” by his assistant district attorney Rachel Patton Rogers, running as a Republican, in the ONLY so-called “contested” race in the county. Beckworth has won praise from his mentor former DA and retired Court of Criminal Appeals Justice Charles Holcomb, who also related to the majority of those at the courthouse, Rusk State Hospital, and remaining county government employees. (Source: Tyler Paper, Nov. 4, 2012)  Family ties go beyond political affiliations, hence public servants’ blatant nepotism for the last 40 years goes unreported during the electoral process. The only party lines in Cherokee County, Texas are the ones used to illegally eavesdrop on each other. So much for small town elections.

Do we really get a choice when one candidate’s only purpose is to keep viable challengers out of the primaries?

It is a common in-your-face tactic of Cherokee County shoring up the election, that is the hedging of votes against potential challengers. Both candidates pretend to be in competition by championing a horrible record of local child molestation cases they shared; over 300+ reported probated child sex offenders during Elmer Beckworth’s 20 year tenure alone. God only knows what the docket doesn’t show. Child molesters and recidivists who are offered probation per Beckworth’s office, and then fail their community service requirements is not a record to run on, but to be ashamed of. Nonetheless, the current district attorney’s further endorsements come from his published jury pools and the former Cherokee County sheriff – now part of a local cattlemen’s association. As long as familial and personal vendettas are played out in their small time political games, no child is safe in Cherokee County. No one is safe.

Ask the parents of molested children in Rusk and Jacksonville forced to live nextdoor to offenders who make sweet deals with the district court. Ask the loved ones slain by Cherokee County drug informants released after repeated bail violations. Asked those pepper sprayed and beaten up by Cherokee County law enforcement during high school events. Ask the sexual assault victims, battered wives and families of missing women who have to sue the county in Federal Court to get their rapes on the record.  Ask the district judge who’s own bailiff is sitting in federal prison for selling crystal meth.

As Assistant District Attorney for 20 years, Elmer Beckworth’s job has been to run interference for his predecessors’ judicial remands. Endorsee Charles Holcomb’s last case as Cherokee County district attorney resulted in the overturning of an innocent man’s so-called “murder for remuneration” conviction that resulted in a commuted life sentence. Even though all evidence pointed elsewhere, then assistant prosecutor Beckworth continued the facade of a bonafide investigation into the murder of Alto, TX feed store owner Jackie Hicks. As a district attorney Beckworth has continued that pattern of lying all the way to the state legislature in Austin.

Daily Progress, June 3, 1993

Rusk Cherokeean Herald, Feb 22, 1996

As Elmer Beckworth’s lead assistant prosecutor, Rachel Patton Rogers worked side-by-side with Beckworth and his investigators. Hence the cycle continues. Beckworth, a life long Democrat, sensed earlier in 2010 the political tides would swing overwhelmingly Republican during this county election cycle. Hence his “first assistant attorney” was quietly shuffled out last year and over onto the local Republican ticket. Are voters actually to believe that both Beckworth and his recruited assistant are vying for the job as Cherokee County’s top prosecutor simply because they appear in opposite political parties? The local newspapers would have their readers believe so. Her job has been to make sure the DA office stays “in the family.” Meanwhile, bogus political ads have been run simultaneously with articles on the Texas Attorney General’s investigation of missing endowment money at the former Lon Morris College. Over $1 million in a restrictive trust fund deposit according to the Rusk Cherokeean is not “missing” at all:

There is no missing money at Lon Morris College. “Contrary to recent news reports, we know where the money went…” (Source: front page Rusk Cherokeean, “No Missing Funds at Lon Morris,” Oct. 31, 2012)

All other legitimate news agencies are reporting the missing Dr. James Long endowment to Lon Morris College, now valued at $1.3 million. (Source: KLTV) By law, college endowment funds are restrictive, in that the principal (the $1 million gift) cannot be spent all at once, only accrued interest per the donation.

JACKSONVILLE, TX (KLTV) –
Months after the oldest two-year university in the state closed its doors, a serious investigation into its finances has been opened. The Texas Attorney General’s office and Lon Morris college are looking for $1.3 Million in missing endowment funds. A Rusk man left the money to the school, but explicitly stated in his will that the money would be transferred to Sam Houston State University if Lon Morris College ever closed its doors.

In 2009, a little more than $1 Million was willed to the school by Lon Morris graduate, Dr. James D. Long.
Because of interest, that endowment would now be worth about $1.3 Million.

The AG’s investigators are demanding a long list of documents, including emails, bank records and minutes from board meetings. They’re looking for anything that leads their office to who was managing the funds that should have been deferred to Sam Houston State University.

The Attorney General’s Office says the missing endowment funds were brought to their attention after a lawyer for the Long Estate contacted the Texas State University System.

(Source: KLTV, “Attorneys question if Lon Morris College honored donor’s will,” Oct. 25, 2012)

Attorney General questions if Lon Morris College honored donor’s will.

Written by Cherokee County, Texas

11/04/2012 at 3:00 AM

Lon Morris College: altered transcripts to bankruptcy auction

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As a footnote to the original article, the Texas Attorney General’s office is now questioning former Lon Morris president Dr. Miles McCall regarding over $1.3 million in missing endowment monies.

JACKSONVILLE — The former president of Lon Morris College is at the center of a Texas Attorney General investigation into a missing $1.3 million. The money comes from an endowment that should have reverted to Sam Houston State University after LMC declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy in July.

Dr. Miles McCall — who was college president from July 2005 until he resigned May 24 — was questioned in Arlington this week regarding management of the endowment, according to officials and court documents. He had been ordered by a U.S. Bankruptcy Judge to comply with the questioning.

(Source: Jacksonville Daily Progress, “Texas Attorney General investigates missing $1.3 million in endowment money, former Lon Morris College president questioned,” Oct.24, 2012)

How the local media lies, covers up, and buries stories.

Jacksonville, TX:

Lon Morris College is being auctioned to pay off the $30 million debt it has accumulated. They lied to us that the junior college was financial stable, despite employees being paid late repeatedly in violation of federal labor laws. (Source: CNN, May 24, 2012) They lied to us that the oldest two year college in the State of Texas was not going to bankruptcy court, when in fact Chapter 11 measures were in place to petition the US Eastern District to keep creditors at bay. (Source: KLTV, July 5, 2012) They lied to enrolling students that their financial aid was not in jeopardy, after holding federal loan disbursements longer than allowable — then being placed on probation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) commission. (Source: Tyler Paper, Dec. 22, 2011) They told high school graduates that Fall classes were in full swing and recruited students to apply for scholarships and financial aid, knowing the school was permanently closing its doors this Fall. (KETK, Aug. 24, 2012)

They knew the risks of enrollment during Chapter 11 bankruptcy, furloughing their entire teaching staff, and the Department of Education cutting off financial aid, yet they continued to actively recruit students. Colleges that have entered bankruptcy are debarred from participating in Federal Student Assistance (FSA) Title IV programs. They masked their last ditch capital raising efforts in the cloak of fake Christianity, community solidarity, and blind loyalty. Their cult mentality shined through with a faculty willing to work for free, month after month, and obediently keeping their mouths shut when asked about it.

“Earlier reports of Lon Morris Junior College entering Texas bankruptcy courts suggested students planning to attend this fall would be safe for the semester as debt resolution efforts played out.  However, an announcement was made last week that the fall semester would not carry on as planned and, instead, will have classes suspended.” (Source: “Lon Morris College Files for Bankruptcy” Sept. 4, 2012)

This type of behavior and consorted effort to bury their collective ingrained corruption is nothing new. Locals forget how previous LMC president Clifford M. Lee told registrars to change the failing grades of his enrolled son, resulting in the resignation of Board of Trustees members. (Source: Texas City Sun, Oct. 8, 1997) That incident of fixing transcripts by the college president was also spun by local reporters when the facts surfaced and were picked up by the Associated Press.

“Lon Morris College president investigated for having son’s grade changed”

JACKSONVILLE, Texas (AP) – The president of Lon Morris College ordered a failing mark on his son’s transcript at the school to be upgraded, the Jacksonville Daily Progress reported Sunday. In a copyright story, the newspaper reported that Clifford Lee has been investigated for directing the school registrar to change a 1995 math score from an “F” to a “C” on his son Craig’s transcript this summer.” (Source: Texas News, Sept. 29. 1997)

Events surrounding child porn charges against Lon Morris head golf coach Barry Griffin and his subsequent 4 1/2 year federal prison sentence were reported belatedly and as matter-of-fact. (Source: “Ex-Lon Morris Head Golf Coach Gets 4 1/2 Years For Child Porn,” Tyler Paper, June 10, 2009) Reports on out of town and overnight tournaments accompanied by Coach Griffin and students ceased only after other media outlets reported his arrest. Now, the local media refuses to print the bankruptcy sale and piece meal auction of the Lon Morris property and school’s assets. It is bad enough for a trusted institution facing $30 million in federal debt litigation to leave so many students and faculty in limbo. But to actively recruit naïve high school graduates with the help of the local media lying about the severity of Lon Morris’ financial problems goes beyond the pale. Even as Lon Morris was being divided, sold, and reverting back to original owners under Chapter 11 bankruptcy litigation, they told parents and students otherwise.

The carrot of a ‘free education’ was beguiling to lower income families, paid by the Pell Grants the junior college needed to stay out of the red.  They knew that student enrollment alone would not cover the school’s accumulated debt of $30 million. But with 98% of the student body on financial aid, the goal was always to increase enrollment. This is why Lon Morris held student loans longer than the 14 days past disbursement per the US Department of Education. (Source: Daily Progress, “LMC violates federal aid regulation” May18, 2011) This is why they kept their doors open for enrollment after laying off their entire teaching faculty and a posted foreclosure.

No financial aid checks to draw interest off of, no school.

Out of town parents oblivious to the level of corruption permeating every institution in this county should use this as their wake up call. These institutions are the advertisers for the “News” outlets whose purpose is to paint the rosiest picture of the stinking corruption that keeps this place afloat. The worse it gets, the thicker they pile it on. When their associates are caught and sent to prison, they pretend their crimes never took place, ignoring the years of accolades spread by false reporting and word-of-mouth. If you want the facts surrounding the everyday affairs of Cherokee County, you’ll have to read about it in newspapers a hundred miles away, if it ever gets reported at all. The truth rarely sees the light of day here.

Welcome to Cherokee County, Texas.  Spend your money wisely. Spend it elsewhere.

Sources:

Written by Cherokee County, Texas

10/02/2012 at 8:00 PM

Restrained woman jumps from moving ambulance, so they say.

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A moving ambulance is not a Japanese bullet train; it does have brakes, door locks and restraints. Unless it kills a woman in Cherokee County, Texas.

Troup, TX:

Media coverage in Cherokee County is a mixture of bald-face lies, propaganda, innuendo, and illogical fiction. A politically polished article highlights the tragedy of a 36-year old alleged “mentally disturbed” woman from Troup, TX who died several weeks ago while being transported for observation. Cherokee County sheriff deputies were dispatched along with ETMC. It took a few days for them to get their stories straight, but here’s the one they are running with. The article “Troup woman dies after jumping from ambulance” is the perfect example of deliberate misdirection used to hide unlikely storylines. They even bury the obvious facts that would shed light on Cherokee County EMS transport procedures during non-life threatening situations and non-emergencies.

.

(Courtesy: Tyler Paper)

According to the Tyler Paper, Crystal Delaune died on August 19, 2012 after jumping from a moving ETMC ambulance and landing in the middle of US 69 south of Jacksonville, TX.  (Source: Tyler Paper, August 28, 2012) Delaune had reportedly shown signs of delusion and was being transported by stretcher to Mother Frances Jacksonville. In route she removed her restraints, unlocked the doors, and jumped according to Cherokee County paramedics. She had attempted to flee the ambulance at the scene so the story goes; CCSO dispatch was notified, then told to disregard. On the final attempt, Delaune jumped from her stretcher and exited through the rear door and fell out out onto the highway at 60mph. (Source: CBS 19)

Paramedics described how they tried to grab her before she jumped from the moving vehicle; apparently the brakes were stuck and the power locks inaccessible. It would be ridiculous for EMTs to pull off on the side of the highway and gain control of a 120 lbs. woman. Instead the collective story for public consumption is akin to a scene from the Runaway Train movie “Unstoppable“- both as realistic and well-acted as the other. Apparently it does not occur to Cherokee County readers that an ambulance is capable of driving slowly on the shoulder instead of throwing patients out the back door. Lesson of the day: ETMC ambulances in Cherokee County don’t have locks on their doors to keep patients tied to a gurney from being rolled out under an 18 wheeler.

That’s their story and they’re sticking to to it. Cut and print.

Written by Cherokee County, Texas

09/22/2012 at 6:15 AM

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