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The Coronavirus Reality

RITESH AND RATHNA MEHTA TIE THE KNOT!

Congratulations to my good friend Dr. Ritesh Mehta who got married this weekend on Dallas, Texas.

His wife Rathna is also a physician in sports medicine in Dallas.

I had the honor of serving as a groomsman in the nuptials.

Many blessings guys!

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The Coronavirus Reality

ARRESTED AND CHARGED WITH MURDER AFTER ALLEGEDLY KILLING A 69 YEAR OLD!

Charges have been filed against a suspect arrested in the death of a man found at 9240 Nathaniel Street about 8 p.m. on November 8.  

The suspect, Kentrell Jackson (b/m, 18), is charged with capital murder in the 228th State District Court.  A booking photo of Jackson is attached to this news release.  

He is accused in the death of Juan Fuentes, 69.  

A booking photo of Jackson is attached to this news release.  

HPD Homicide Division Detectives E. Martinez and R. Montalvo reported:  

HPD patrol officers responded to a report of a person down at the above address and met with Houston Fire Department paramedics providing medical assistance to the victim.  The victim, later identified as Mr. Fuentes,  was transported to Clear Lake Regional Hospital where he was pronounced deceased.  

Witness statements indicated four male suspects robbed Fuentes.  Fuentes’ white Ford F-150 pickup truck was seen fleeing the scene as he laid unresponsive on the ground.  

Further investigation identified Jackson as one of the suspects in this case and, on Tuesday (November 17), he was subsequently charged for his role in Fuentes’ death.  Three other suspects remain unidentified and at-large.  

Anyone with additional information in this case or the identities of the three wanted suspects is urged to contact the HPD Homicide Division at 713-308-3600 or Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.  

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The Coronavirus Reality

DO YOU BELIEVE THE MASS EXODUS AT THE HOUSTON ROCKETS IS REALLY ABOUT TRUMP?

9:20 PM PT — A spokesperson for Landry’s — Tilman Fertitta’s company — issued a statement to TMZ Sports, saying the billionaire has donated to politicians on BOTH sides of the aisle … including to Joe Biden‘s campaign.

“Throughout his business career, Tilman Fertitta has supported many individuals in public service. He has hosted numerous fundraisers for President Bill Clinton and hosted President George W. Bush in his home.”

“Last year, he hosted a fundraiser for Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee as well as supported his longtime friend, Mark Kelly, now U.S. senator-elect of Arizona.”

“He also contributed to President-elect Joe Biden’s campaign. As a respected business leader recognized across the country, Fertitta supports many Democrats, as well as Republicans.”

James Harden and many others in the Rockets’ org. all want OUT of Houston … and it’s all reportedly because the team’s owner is a big Donald Trump supporter.

NBA insider Ric Bucher dropped the bombshell revelation on “The Odd Couple” podcast this week … saying Tilman Fertitta‘s ties to the Republican party and Trump have created a massive divide in the org.

According to Bucher … players and staffers have disagreed so heavily with Tilman’s donations to the Trump campaign — it’s created a straight-up “revolt.”

“What I heard is,” Bucher said, “and we know how much politics and political position had to do with the boycott and protests during the Bubble — I’m hearing that Tilman Fertitta’s strong Republican support and donations is one of the things that is contributing to this dissatisfaction.”

Bucher added, “There is a revolt here because they look at Fertitta as a guy who supports the current President.”

Russell Westbrook has already reportedly requested a trade from the Rockets … and Harden is said to now want out as well.

The team also jettisoned Robert Covington this week … while last year’s coach, Mike D’Antoni, and last year’s GM, Daryl Morey, have already left the squad.

Fertitta — who bought the Rockets in 2017 for $2.2 BILLION — has never been shy about his public support for Trump … he’s praised POTUS often, and the two are known to be good pals.

We’ve reached out to the Rockets for comment on Bucher’s report … so far, no word back yet.

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The Coronavirus Reality

FROM US ARMY GREEN BERET TO RUSSIAN SPY!

 A former Army Green Beret pleaded guilty today to conspiring with Russian intelligence operatives to provide them with United States national defense information.

According to court documents, from December 1996 to January 2011, Peter Rafael Dzibinski Debbins, 45, of Gainesville, a former member of the U.S. Army, conspired with agents of a Russian intelligence service. During that time, Debbins periodically visited Russia and met with Russian intelligence agents. In 1997, Debbins was assigned a code name by Russian intelligence agents and signed a statement attesting that he wanted to serve Russia.

“Debbins today acknowledged that he violated this country’s highest trust by passing sensitive national security information to the Russians,” said John C. Demers, Assistant Attorney General for National Security.  “Debbins betrayed his oath, his country, and his Special Forces team members with the intent to harm the United States and help Russia.  Debbins’s guilty plea represents another success in the Department’s continuing effort to counter the national security threat posed by our nation’s adversaries, including Russia.”

“Our country entrusted Debbins with the responsibility and training to protect it from its adversaries,” said G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. “Debbins betrayed that trust and betrayed his fellow service members by conspiring to provide national defense information to Russian intelligence operatives. I would like to commend our investigative partners for their steadfast and dogged dedication to bringing Debbins to justice and holding him accountable for his crimes.”

From 1998 to 2005, Debbins served on active duty as an officer in the U.S. Army, serving in chemical units before being selected for the U.S. Army Special Forces. The Russian intelligence agents encouraged him to join and pursue a career in the Special Forces, which he did, where he served at the rank of Captain.

Over the course of the conspiracy, Debbins provided the Russian intelligence agents with information that he obtained as a member of the U.S. Army, including information about his chemical and Special Forces units. In 2008, after leaving active duty service, Debbins disclosed to the Russian intelligence agents classified information about his previous activities while deployed with the Special Forces. Debbins also provided the Russian intelligence agents with the names of, and information about, a number of his former Special Forces team members so that the agents could evaluate whether to approach the team members to see if they would cooperate with the Russian intelligence service.

“Debbins betrayed this nation and his fellow serviceman, putting Americans and our national security at risk by providing national defense information to Russia’s Intelligence Service,” said Steven M. D’Antuono, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI Washington Field Office. “Despite being entrusted to protect his colleagues and U.S. national security, he chose to abuse this trust by knowingly providing classified information to one of our most aggressive adversaries.  Today’s plea is an example of the zealous pursuit of justice that the FBI and our partners stand for and work tirelessly to achieve every day.”

“President Kennedy called the Green Berets ‘a symbol of excellence, a badge of courage, a mark of distinction.’ Mr. Debbins’ actions were a symbol of betrayal, a badge of cowardice, and a mark of treachery,” said Alan E. Kohler, Jr., Assistant Director of the FBI’s Counterintelligence Division. “He pledged his allegiance to Russia, and in doing so, sold-out his country and fellow Green Berets. This case should serve as a reminder that the FBI and its investigative partners will stop at nothing to hold an individual accountable for their actions.”

Debbins is scheduled to be sentenced on Feb. 26, 2021.  He faces a maximum penalty of life in prison. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Thomas W. Traxler and James L. Trump, and Trial Attorney David Aaron of the National Security Division’s Counterintelligence and Export Control Section, are prosecuting the case.

U.S. Attorney Terwilliger and Assistant Attorney General Demers greatly appreciate the assistance of Army Counterintelligence, the FBI’s Minneapolis Field Office, the United Kingdom’s Metropolitan Police Service, and MI5.

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The Coronavirus Reality

PRIEST ENTERS GUILTY PLEA TO MOLESTING CHILDREN 20 YEARS AGO!

On Tuesday, November 17, 2020, in the 435th District Court with Judge Patty Maginnis presiding, Manuel La Rosa-Lopez plead guilty to two charges of Indecency with a Child, a Second Degree Felony with a penalty range of probation up to 20 years in prison.

The case was reset to December 16, 2020 at which time La Rosa-Lopez will be sentenced to 10 years in the Texas Department of Corrections. The charges arise out of acts that took place approximately 20 years ago while La Rosa-Lopez was a priest at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Conroe, TX.

Law enforcement first became aware of La Rosa-Lopez’s crimes when two victims reported the abuse to Conroe Police Department in August and September of 2018.

Detective Joe McGrew investigated the case, which led to the arrest of La Rosa-Lopez on September 11, 2018. Following his arrest, two additional victims stated that La Rosa abused them when they were children. All of the victims (ages 13 – 16) were heavily involved in the Catholic Church and considered La Rosa-Lopez to be their spiritual leader and mentor.

They reported that La Rosa-Lopez violated their trust in him as a priest by kissing them, exposing himself to them, and touching them inappropriately on numerous occasions.
Conroe Police Department, with close cooperation from the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office, launched an in-depth investigation into the claims. Law enforcement officers from Conroe PD, Texas Rangers, and several federal agencies assisted in executing several search warrants to obtain a large amount of evidence and documents.

These search warrants included the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston and the Shalom Center, where La Rosa-Lopez was treated after one of the victims reported the abuse to the Archdiocese in 2001. Subsequently, La Rosa-Lopez was assigned to St. John Fisher Church in Richmond, TX, where he was a priest until his arrest in 2018.
Prosecutors Nancy Hebert and Wesley LeRouax: “We want to commend the bravery and strength of the victims who came forward and stood strong despite the spotlight this case has shined on their lives. Their steadfast desire to obtain justice after 20 years is inspiring. We also want to thank the law enforcement and District Attorney personnel who put in countless hours to collect and sort through a tremendous amount of evidence.

This was a complete team effort.” District Attorney Brett Ligon: “This is an important case. It’s important to our community, it’s important to these victims, and it’s important to the church. A wrong was committed, and it had to be made right. We were prepared to go to the ends of the earth to make it right, and, to the best of our ability, it has been made right. We hope that with time the wounds this man so selfishly created will heal and that even the scars will fade. Mr. La-Rosa despised everything we hold dear. He can now consider all the harm he’s caused from a prison cell.”

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The Coronavirus Reality

FORMER POLICE OFFICER CHARGED WITH RAPING TWO WOMEN WHILE ON DUTY!

HOUSTON – Authorities are seeking other potential victims following the return of an indictment against a 25-year-old Arcola man on federal civil rights violations, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick. 

Hector Aaron Ruiz is a former officer with the Arcola Police Department but is no longer employed there.

Law enforcement took him into custody today. He is expected to make his initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Andrew M. Edison at 2 p.m. today.

The Houston federal grand jury indicted Ruiz Nov. 10. The charges allege he committed aggravated sexual abuse and kidnapping while serving in his official capacity as a law enforcement officer.

He is charged with two counts of depriving two separate victims of their right to bodily integrity. If convicted, he faces up to life in prison.

He also faces charges of two counts of carrying and using a firearm in a crime of violence as well as falsifying dashboard camera and body microphone recordings with the intent to obstruct the federal investigation. The latter charge carries a maximum 20-year-prisons sentence. If convicted of the firearms charges, he faces a mandatory minimum of five years that must be served consecutively  to any other prison term imposed.

The FBI and Texas Rangers are conducting the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sharad S. Khandelwal and Sebastian Edwards are prosecuting the case.

Authorities believe there may be other victims. Anyone with information about potential additional victims is asked to contact the FBI at 713-693-5000.

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The Coronavirus Reality

FREE EVICTION ASSISTANCE AND WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW!

WHAT:  Houstonians facing eviction due to COVID-19 now have a new resource — an eviction response program — to assist them with legal and housing concerns.
As part of a new collaboration with the Harris County Precinct One Constable’s Office and the Eviction Defense Coalition — with funding from the Harris County Precinct One Foundation — South Texas College of Law Houston (STCL Houston) has hired 10 recent law graduates to provide pro bono legal assistance for individuals facing eviction.

Under the supervision of staff attorneys in the Randall O. Sorrels Legal Clinics, the eviction response team will help tenants determine whether the new CDC eviction moratorium applies to them and, if it does, help them apply with the moratorium guidelines.

This Friday, Nov. 6, Houstonians facing eviction are encouraged to attend a mobile clinic in the Greenspoint area  (17770 Imperial Valley Dr.) to receive free legal assistance related to their pending or potential evictions. No appointments are necessary.

Through a three-pronged eviction response program, the eviction response team will advise clients at special drive-thru stations, at static clinics set up in the community, and through an eviction response hotline. Tenants who have received notice that they are behind on rent or those who need help completing the CDC declaration and cannot attend this clinic can call STCL Houston at (346) 250-1069. Tenants facing pending evictions can call STCL Houston or Lone Star Legal Aid at (800) 733-8394.

WHO:   

  • Alan Rosen, Constable, Harris County Precinct One Constable’s Office
  • Kathryn Mecredy and Capt. John Moritz, Board Members, Harris County Constable Precinct One Foundation
  • Michael Barry, President and Dean, South Texas College of Law Houston
  • Eric Kwartler, Staff Attorney, South Texas College of Law Houston — Randall O. Sorrels Legal Clinics 
  • Robert L. Hansen, Associate, HooverSlovacek LLP
  • 10 STCL Houston law graduates hired as eviction response team members to assist Houston tenants

WHEN:                 Friday, Nov. 6, 2020
                                 9 a.m. — 1 p.m.

***Press conference will be held with key stakeholders at 9 a.m.***

WHERE:               Harvest Time Church
                              17770 Imperial Valley Dr. (in parking lot)

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The Coronavirus Reality

RING 2ND GENERATION DOORBELL BEING RECALLED!

The safety of our customers is our top priority. Earlier this year, we notified you of a safety alert concerning your recently purchased Ring Video Doorbell (2nd Generation).
In that safety alert, we informed you that using incorrect screws to secure your Ring Video Doorbell (2nd Generation) to the mounting bracket during installation could damage the battery, posing a potential fire hazard. We provided you with updated instructions for installing your product properly.
Today, we are writing to provide you with an update. After reporting to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and Health Canada, we are announcing a voluntary recall in cooperation with the CPSC and Health Canada to provide all purchasers of this product with updated instructions. Consumers can determine if their doorbell is included in this recall by entering the doorbell’s serial number here. Only Ring Video Doorbell (2nd Generation) models with certain serial numbers are included.
Please note that there is no need to return your device if it has been properly installed. When the correct screws are used for installation, the battery is not damaged. You can find the joint Ring, CPSC, and Health Canada press release here and a copy of the updated instructions here.
Ring Video Doorbells (2nd Gen) were available at Ring.com, Amazon and sold at retailers globally beginning on June 3, 2020. To check whether your device is a Ring Video Doorbell (2nd Gen), look at the back of your doorbell – the model name located directly beneath the Ring logo should say “Video Doorbell (2nd Gen).”
Again, when installing, moving, or reinstalling after charging your device, please carefully follow the steps that are noted in the updated instructions. The Ring App has also been updated to clarify the installation instructions.
If you purchased this item for someone else, please notify the recipient immediately and provide them with this information.
If you have experienced any issues when installing your device, you should immediately contact Ring Customer Support at 1-800-656-1918 from 5am-9pm PT, seven days a week.
We regret any inconvenience this may cause and thank you for your continued trust in Ring.
Sincerely,
The Ring Team
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The Coronavirus Reality

33 YEARS IN PRISON FOR TRAFFICKING MINORS FOR SEX!

JOSEPH CHURCH

GALVESTON, Texas – A 34-year-old resident of Sweeny has been ordered to federal prison after admitting he employed sexually-oriented websites advertising three minors as young as 15 for commercial sex, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick.

Joseph Church pleaded guilty Feb. 21 on the first day trial was set to begin.

Today, U.S. District Judge George C. Hanks Jr. handed Church a 400-month term of imprisonment. In handing down the sentence, the court noted Church’s conduct forever altered the lives of the women he victimized. Judge Hanks referenced how Church caused the victims to engage in commercial sex for his financial gain, mentioning he can’t prey on people in disadvantaged situations and then use those circumstances to make money. He further stated the court must make sure others do not follow in this ringleader’s footsteps.

After serving his sentence, he will be on supervised release for the rest of his life.  

“Church exploited, manipulated and controlled multiple child victims in our community and directed his co-conspirators to do the same,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Perrye K. Turner. “The individuals who choose to prey on the youth and innocent are some of the most egregious criminals in society. We will continue to work tirelessly with our law enforcement partners to disrupt human trafficking organizations and bring justice on behalf of the innocent victims they prey on.”

“Thanks to the investigative efforts of Department of Public Safety (DPS) special agents, our supporting crime analysts and our FBI and local partners, Church and his co-conspirators can no longer use high schools to recruit young girls into human trafficking,” said Texas DPS Regional Director Jason Taylor. “The collaborative efforts among investigating agencies helped to ensure the defendants won’t be a threat to our communities and gives the victims an opportunity to begin the healing process.”

ANGELA MARKS

Co-defendant Angela Marks, 26, also of Sweeny, who was Church’s girlfriend and pregnant with his child at the time of the sex trafficking conspiracy had pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of minors and three counts of sex trafficking of minors. She was previously sentenced to 132 months in prison.

The young girls were induced into posing for pictures used in online advertisements for sex and engaged in commercial sex acts for money. Church and others collected all of the money the girls earned. Church transported victims to commercial sex dates and used motels to harbor the minors. Cell phone applications were used to monitor the victims and post online advertisements featuring the minors. Church and his co-defendants were aware the victims were under the age of 18 when they caused them to engage in commercial sex.  

Church, the leader of the group, is among 14 who have pleaded guilty for their respective roles in the sex trafficking conspiracy, gun charges, the posting of the commercial sex ads and attempt to cover-up their crimes.

Jamaal Crane, 28, Angleton, received a 180-month sentence, while Stephanie Walker, 38, Bay City; Eric Page, 22, Sherman; and Ronnie Beasley, 22, Rosharon, were sentenced to 135, 120 and 107 months, respectively. The court ordered Wharton residents Jamier Coleman, 23, and Lurkesha Baugh, 38, to serve respective terms of 105 and 27 months. Norris Moon, 26, Brazoria, and Tavius Whalon, 39, LaMarque, each will serve 60 months of imprisonment. Alisa Kimbler, 28, Freeport, was sentenced to serve 25 months, while Christopher Walton, 26, Brazoria, received a 21-month term of imprisonment.

The final defendant – William Franklin, 21, Wharton – pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit sex  trafficking of two minor females in a separate, but related case. He received a sentence of 140 months in federal prison.

Church has and will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

The FBI and DPS conducted the investigation with assistance of sheriff’s offices in Brazoria and Galveston Counties and police departments in Galveston, Sherman, Wharton, La Marque and the University of Texas Medical Branch. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sherri Zack and Sebastian Edwards prosecuted the case.

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The Coronavirus Reality

TOWN HALL ON SURVIVING THE HOLIDAYS DURING THE PANDEMIC!

HOUSTON –  Mayor Sylvester Turner invites Houstonians to register for an important virtual town hall focusing on mental health, healing, and wellness as our community confronts the global coronavirus pandemic. 

The holidays combined with COVID-19 will be a challenging time for many individuals and families. That is why the Mayor’s Health Equity Response (H.E.R.) Task Force is hosting a Virtual Town Hall called, Surviving the Pandemic During the Holidays.

Thursday, Nov. 12
From 6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

During the virtual town hall, panelists and participants will provide advice on coping with the demands of parenting, finances,and  physical, and emotional stress during the holiday season. 

Register at https://bit.ly/HERtownhallHolidays
 

The H.E.R. Task Force, specifically the Medical Care Subcommittee and the Faith & Community Leaders Subcommittee, will guide the discussion. Mayor Turner will make an appearance during the town hall.