Monthly Archives: January 2014

61 PEOPLE ARRESTED IN HARRIS COUNTY PROSTITUTION STING!

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Forty eight men tried to buy sex, not realizing the women they had approached along the street were undercover HCSO deputies.

Nine women tried to sell their bodies, not realizing the men they had approached along the street were undercover HCSO deputies, too.

All were arrested and charged with prostitution in the last eight days in the latest HCSO sting operation against prostitution.

Four other people encountered in the operation were arrested on charges ranging from drug possession to driving without a license.

One of the men arrested for soliticing sex in exchange for money was on parole for aggravated sexual assault. He tried to escape by car and was captured after a brief chase.

The Precinct 3 and 4 constable’s offices joined the operation. One of the solicitation charges was brought against a Precinct 4 deputy, as previously announced by that agency. That officer, who was not part of the sting operation, was wearing his uniform trousers when he was handcuffed and sent to jail.

Names and some of the mugshots of the 61 were not available today. They are planned for release Monday.

The streetside operation took place near I-45 and FM 1960, Aldine Bender Road and U.S. 59 and I-10 at Freeport.

The stings were conducted as part of a national effort to fight prostitution in the days leading up to the Super Bowlon Sunday, which is among huge gatherings that often attract the illegal industry.

“News flash to those who think prostitution is a victimless crime: It’s a greedy industry that thrives on forced labor, drug addiction and sometimes even illegal imprisonment,” Sheriff Adrian Garcia said. “Many of the reformed prostitutes who came through the Harris County Jail tell us that working the streets led them to using illegal drugs; others tell us they used illegal drugs and turned to prostitution to finance their illicit addictions.

“So stopping prostitution stops other crimes and emancipates victims. It also fights back against sex slavery and other forms of

HOUSTON MAN ISSUED US PASSPORTS TO JAMAICANS WITHOUT QUESTION EVEN CRIMINALS!

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A federal jury sitting in Houston has convicted Nyle Churchwell, 51, for his role in the issuance of passports for unqualified people, announced United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson along with George M. Nutwell III, special agent in charge of the Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service (DSS). The verdict was returned moments ago following four days of trial and approximately six hours of deliberation.
 
“The DSS is firmly committed to working with the U.S. Attorney’s Office and our other law enforcement partners to investigate allegations of crime related to passport and visa fraud and to bring those who commit these crimes to justice,” said Nutwell. “When a public servant in a position of trust is alleged to have committed a federal felony such as passport fraud, we vigorously investigate claims of corruption.”
 
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Churchwell was a passport office adjudications manager at the Mickey Leland Federal Building in Houston. The jury heard that Churchwell used his knowledge and authority to conspire to falsely submit and approve passport applications with substandard documentation. He also falsely documented parental identification for a minor child. By Churchwell’s approval, the passports were issued to individuals under false identities and non-citizens of the United States.
 
Several passport employees provided testimony at trial that detailed how Jamaican applicants who were not U.S. citizens would come in to the office and use other person’s identification and photos of their birth certificate. One of those co-conspirators was Lorna Brown, whom Churchwell knew. He would accept the substandard documents without question and, due to his status in the office, the passports would be issued. Additional evidence demonstrated that Churchwell’s initials and signature were on all the applications and he was asked for by name.
 
Specifically, the trial evidence proved a non-U.S. citizen and minor child from Jamaica received a passport without the proper two-parent consent. Further, Jamaican criminals were issued valid and full passports under true U.S. citizen names when they were not entitled to them. 
 
Temi Russell, an Internal Revenue Service tax examiner and co-conspirator who worked in the same building as Churchwell, also testified. She described how she would pick up the fraudulent passports from the will-call desk and deliver them to co-conspirators, knowing the true identities and immigration status of the co-conspirators.
 
Eventually, the fraud was uncovered when one employee came forward and confronted Churchwell.
 
At trial, Churchwell’s defense contended was he was guilty only for being a nice guy and did not commit any crimes. He further suggested he did not know that the applicants were fraudulent. 
 
The jury ultimately did not believe all of his story and found him guilty on two counts of making false statements in the application and use of a passport.
 
Churchwell, who has worked for the Department of State for several years, was placed on indefinite suspension after his arrest in September 2012.
 
U.S. District Judge David Hittner, who presided over the trial, remanded Churchwell to custody following the return of the verdicts today where he will remain pending sentencing, which has yet to be determined. At that time, he will face a maximum of 10 years on each count of conviction.
 
Brown and Russell both pleaded guilty in advance of trial and will be sentenced in June and April, 2014, respectively.

YOU’RE INVITED TO THE TOWN HALL MEETING WITH THE HOUSTON POLICE DEPARTMENT!

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From 10 a.m. to noon TOMORROW (SATURDAY, Feb. 1), Houston Police Chief Charles A. McClelland, Jr. and top HPD commanders will meet with the public in group and one-on-one settings at the Houston Police Department’s Citywide Town Hall Meeting at the Cullen Performance Hall, University of Houston-Main Campus, 4800 Calhoun Road.  

A video clip of last year’s Town Hall Meeting can be viewed on the HPD YouTube Channel at 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L_HB347JFms.  

Chief McClelland will outline his goals and objectives for the police department and find out what issues are of most importance to the public.  Members of the public are encouraged to attend and to voice concerns and ask questions.  The event will also be live streamed at http://www.youtube.com/houstonpolicedept and live blogged at www.hpdtownhallmeeting.blogspot.com

In addition, questions will also be taken during the event via the HPD Twitter account (@houstonpolice, #hpdtownhall).  Following Chief McClelland’s address and a question-and-answer period, attendees will be able to break into smaller groups to meet with HPD patrol captains who oversee their neighborhoods.  Members of various HPD divisions including Internal Affairs, Homicide and Juvenile will also be present.  

Attendees will also have the opportunity to participate in the “Shoot, Don’t Shoot” simulator.  

Free parking will be provided at the University of Houston, as will accomodations for the hearing-impaired.  

 

WHAT:    Police Chief, Commanders to Meet One-on-One with Citizens

DATE:      TOMORROW  (Saturday, Feb. 1)

TIME:      10 a.m. to Noon

WHERE:  Cullen Performance Hall, University of Houston-Main Campus,

MUG SHOT OF GRANDMA ACCUSED OF DRUG DEALING RELEASED!

 

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Members of the Montgomery County Precinct 4 Constable Kenneth “Rowdy” Hayden’s Office raided and arrested a familiar face Thursday.

Around sunset, Pct. 4 Deputies went to the 12600 block of Anmar Drive in Splendora to execute a search warrant on a known drug dealer, who is well-known to that agency. Constable Hayden said it was the third time they have dealt with 66-year-old Joyce Phillips since Hayden took office in 2009.

In 2011, Precinct 4 executed a search warrant at Phillips’ prior residence, where she was arrested for Possession of a Controlled Substance along with her boyfriend, 55-year-old Phillip Lewis.

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In 2012, Precinct 4 Arrested Joyce Phillips at the same residence for Manufacture / Delivery of a Controlled Substance, and that arrest cost her more than legal fees.

“With the cooperation and help of the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office, we (the county and the DA’s office) seized her property,” Hayden said. “It was sold and she moved on.”

“A couple of years later, she’s back and we’re having to deal with the same activity again,” he said.

On Thursday, Phillips was charged with three counts of Manufacture / Delivery of a Controlled Substance.

Philip Lewis was arrested and charged with two counts of Manufacture / Delivery of a Controlled Substance.

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Hayden said Phillips does not own her residence this time, but her other assets would again be seized.

“We’ve been in constant communication with the District Attorney’s Office,” he said. “It’s time for the justice system to take care of this problem in our community.”

Hayden said his office has invested many manpower hours and a lot of taxpayer dollars into stopping Phillips from selling prescription pain pills, including Soma and Hydrocodone. The constable said their investigation indicated Phillips had people who obtained the pills and then sold them to her so she could resell them for a profit.

“The problem with that is, she could be selling to anybody,” Hayden said. “She doesn’t care – If you’ve got money, she will sell you pills.”

“If it’s your kids, she doesn’t care,” he said.

While Precinct 4 was on scene executing the search warrant, about a half dozen vehicles showed up, presumably to buy illegal narcotics. Some of them already had warrants.  

Investigators seized a substantial amount of cash and removed vehicles from the property.

“She doesn’t work, but has numerous vehicles,” Hayden said.  “Unfortunately, helping people self-destruct is a lucrative business.”

 

DRUG DEALING GRANDMA ARRESTED FOR THE THIRD TIME!

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Members of the Montgomery County Precinct 4 Constable Kenneth “Rowdy” Hayden’s Office raided and arrested a familiar face Thursday.

Around sunset, Pct. 4 Deputies went to the 12600 block of Anmar Drive in Splendora to execute a search warrant on a known drug dealer, who is well-known to that agency. Constable Hayden said it was the third time they have dealt with 66-year-old Joyce Phillips since Hayden took office in 2009.

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66 year old Joyce Phillips arrested again

In 2011, Precinct 4 executed a search warrant at Phillips’ prior residence, where she was arrested for Possession of a Controlled Substance along with her boyfriend, 55-year-old Phillip Lewis.

In 2012, Precinct 4 Arrested Joyce Phillips at the same residence for Manufacture / Delivery of a Controlled Substance, and that arrest cost her more than legal fees.

“With the cooperation and help of the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office, we (the county and the DA’s office) seized her property,” Hayden said. “It was sold and she moved on.”

“A couple of years later, she’s back and we’re having to deal with the same activity again,” he said.

On Thursday, Phillips was charged with three counts of Manufacture / Delivery of a Controlled Substance.

Philip Lewis was arrested and charged with two counts of Manufacture / Delivery of a Controlled Substance.

Hayden said Phillips does not own her residence this time, but her other assets would again be seized.

“We’ve been in constant communication with the District Attorney’s Office,” he said. “It’s time for the justice system to take care of this problem in our community.”

Hayden said his office has invested many manpower hours and a lot of taxpayer dollars into stopping Phillips from selling prescription pain pills, including Soma and Hydrocodone. The constable said their investigation indicated Phillips had people who obtained the pills and then sold them to her so she could resell them for a profit.

“The problem with that is, she could be selling to anybody,” Hayden said. “She doesn’t care – If you’ve got money, she will sell you pills.”

“If it’s your kids, she doesn’t care,” he said.

While Precinct 4 was on scene executing the search warrant, about a half dozen vehicles showed up, presumably to buy illegal narcotics. Some of them already had warrants.  

Investigators seized a substantial amount of cash and removed vehicles from the property.

“She doesn’t work, but has numerous vehicles,” Hayden said.  “Unfortunately, helping people self-destruct is a lucrative business.”

MAN ARRESTED FOR KIDNAPPING A CHILD!

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Charges are pending against a suspect arrested in a kidnapping incident at 1714 Wirt Road about 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday (Jan. 29).

The suspect, Joaquin Ramos (H/m, DOB: 4-10-90), was taken into custody about 4:55 a.m. today (Jan. 30) and faces a pending kidnapping charge.  A photo of Ramos is not available at this time.  

The victim, a 6-year-old girl, was later found at a business at 984 Gessner Road.  She appeared to be unharmed, but was taken to Texas Children’s Hospital as a precaution.
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HPD Homicide Division Sergeant M. Brady reported:

The victim and her mother had just pulled into a garage at an apartment complex at 1714 Wirt Road.  As the mother was unloading the vehicle, the girl went to look at some ice on the fence in the parking garage.  At that time, a gray Jeep Cherokee pulled into the garage, made a U-turn and pulled up alongside where the girl was standing.   The driver exited the Jeep and walked to the passenger side where he opened the back passenger door.  The male then walked toward the girl, who tried to run away.  The male ran after the girl, grabbed her and took her to the passenger side of the vehicle and put her into the back seat.  The male then got into the driver seat of the Jeep and exited the parking garage.  The mother went back down to the garage and began to chase the Jeep on foot as it left the garage. The mother was not able to stop the Jeep, so she ran back to her vehicle and pursued the Jeep, but lost sight of it. 

At approximately 4:10 pm, the male and girl were seen walking into the Target store at 984 Gessner Road at Memorial City Mall.  The girl went into the restroom where she alerted a customer that she had been kidnapped.  The customer informed store management, who went into the restroom and recovered the girl.  The male left the store before authorities were able to detain him.

Early Wednesday evening, investigators released surveillance photos of the suspect and the Jeep Cherokee he was driving when he abducted the girl. 

Family members of Joaquin Ramos saw the photos in the news media and contacted investigators with information on the suspect’s whereabouts.  Ramos was taken into custody at 921 North Gessner Road without incident and subsequently confessed to his role in kidnapping the girl, who he did not know.

THE SAN JACINTO RIVER POLLUTION MEETING IS THURSDAY NIGHT!

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The EPA is hosting a critical community meeting this Thursday and it may be the last one they host regarding the San Jacinto River Waste Pits .

The details of the meeting:

The EPA will host the public meeting at the Highlands Community Center on Thursday January 30th from 6:00 to 8:00 pm to discuss permanent solutions for the tons of toxic waste at the San Jacinto Waste Pits superfund site. Texans Together, along with other members of the San Jacinto River Coalition, will attend to voice our concerns that the dioxin (Agent Orange) and other highly toxic wastes must be permanently removed from the site so it does not remain subject to dispersion by hurricanes and tidal surges.
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Who: Texans Together, the San Jacinto River Coalition, Texas Campaign for Environment, Sierra Club, Galveston Bay Foundation, HARC, Air Alliance Houston, Harris County Pollution Control, TCEQ, Texas Department of State Health Services, along with neighbors, fishermen, and stakeholders.

What: EPA meeting to discuss the potential fate of the San Jacinto River waste pits.

When: Thursday, January 30th from 6:00 to 8:00 pm.

Where: Highlands Community Center – 604 Highland Woods Dr, Highlands, TX 77562

Why: The San Jacinto River is a major regional waterway, recreationally used for fishing, swimming, and boating by thousands of Gulf Coast residents every year. It flows into Galveston Bay, where the dioxin and other toxic chemicals from this superfund site have contaminated the environment and aquatic life. Highly toxic chemicals such as Agent Orange should not be left in the waste pits, to leak, disperse and further contaminate our river and the fish that live in it.

HPD DISAPPOINTED IN LATEST RECRUITMENT NUMBERS / CADET CLASS!

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The Factor has learned the Houston Police Department is struggling to fill its latest cadet class for future cops.

In the past HPD has had at least 70 to 75 applicants in the class to become police officers.  There are only 30 applicants enrolled in the next class scheduled to begin Monday.

John Cannon with HPD confirms the number and says the department is disappointed. 

But he says there is no particular reason for the low enrollment. 
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However, Cannon also says don’t expect the department to lower its standards in order to get more cadets.

Meanwhile, sources tell the Factor the main problem HPD faces is pay. 

That source says HPD’s compensation for cadets is significantly less than other departments around the state when it comes to its recruitment program. 

If you’re interested in signing up to see if you can make the cut follow the link below:

Phone is 713-308-1300 and Recruiting blog is at http://www.hpdblog.com/

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HPD STATEMENT:

“Like most every law enforcement agency in the nation, recruiting for the Houston Police Department has become a very challenging endeavor. The combination of a recovering economy and generally less interest in citizens pursuing a career in law enforcement means that more agencies are competing for fewer qualified candidates.

 

It should be noted that while the major departments in Texas have lowered their requirements to attract recruits, the Houston Police Department has maintained its high standards and will continue to do so. The citizens of Houston deserve no less.

 

Ideally, the Houston Police Department would like to staff each academy class with 70 qualified candidates. Unfortunately, Cadet Class 219 starting  February 3, 2014 will fall short of that goal.  In order to attract more qualified candidates, the Houston Police Department has made the following changes to our recruiting process:

 

·         The 200 mile recruiting limit has been expanded to the 48 contiguous United States

·         The one year residency requirement has been repealed

·         The starting salary for cadets and Probationary Police Officers has been competitively increased

 

As has been the practice of the Houston Police Department, recruitment of minorities, females and military veterans remains a vital aspect of fielding the most professional law enforcement agency in the nation.

 

For more information regarding employment opportunities with the Houston Police Department, please visit HPDCareer.com”

 

THEY’RE STARTING TO GET NOTICES AGAIN!

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CLYDE MOODY SAYS HE NEEDS NOTICE

It was two weeks ago when we first reported residents who lived near Bush airport in Humble complained about the loud explosions in their community.

Clyde Moody says the Houston Police Department has a bomb unit near their homes.

He says the agreement last year was to notify residents when there would be explosions.

Moody says for a while the notifications were good and then they stopped.

Now Moody says the notices have started again and he’s glad HPD is cooperating.

Here’s the most recent email after a report on Fox 26 and the Factor:

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HPD'S BOMB UNIT AT BUSH AIRPORT

Dear Airport Neighbors and Rangers

                                                                 
Please be advised that the Houston Police Department will be performing training at the North Trail, on Tuesday February 4th, between approximately 9am-11am, and then again in the afternoon between approximately 1pm-3pm. The Houston Airport System is alerting all constituents of the training due to the noise of the drills that may startle pets and horses at close proximity.

For Airport Rangers, we recommend you do not travel on the North Trail during these periods. In addition, horses may still become startled from the drills from other areas near the airport, including the South, East and West trails. To ensure your safety, as well as your horse, please exercise good judgment when scheduling your ride around this time period.

Again, the training shall take place Tuesday February 4th from approximately 9am-11am & 1pm-3pm.

If you have any questions, please contact Josh Samic at

PAUL BETTENCOURT SAYS IF HE’S ELECTED TO THE STATE SENATE HE’S GOING AFTER THE MAYOR’S AUDIT POLICY!

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Paul Bettencourt, Republican candidate for Texas Senate District 7, today pledged serious legislative action after the disclosure that the City of Houston is keeping its management audit letters private, even though other large Texas cities routinely make them available as public record. 

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“It is outrageous that the City of Houston is trying to hide their independent external financial audit findings from public view that apparently show significant deficiencies in city accounting transactions.  There is simply no fact, or supposition of fact, that any audit letter, paid for by public tax dollars, should not be made public immediately, as transparent good government demands!” said Bettencourt.

 

“If elected, I will make this one of the first bills that I file,” Bettencourt continued.  “The public has a right to know, and the legal rulings by the city, and even the Attorney General’s Office, must not be used in lieu of good public practice and transparency.”

 

Bettencourt calls on Mayor Annise Parker to release these audit letters and publically explain why they have been hidden from public view.  By contrast, according to the Houston Chronicle article on January 28th entitled “City Keeping Audit Letters Secret”, by Jayme Fraser, Fort Worth and San Antonio post copies of their independent audit letters on their websites for public view. 

THE NEW BLUE BELL FLAVOR IN TOWN!

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Blue Bell Ice Cream in Brenham has just released a new ice cream.

It’s called I Hart Chocolate.

Officials with Blue Bell say it’s perfect for that big holiday coming in February.
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More Info:

“I (Heart) Chocolate Ice Cream is a milk chocolate ice cream featuring dark chocolate-filled chocolate hearts, chocolate-coated cake pieces, and a chocolate icing swirl.

It’s sold in both gallon and half-gallon sizes and available at most grocery stores.