A Mesquite Man Goes Down After Getting Busted with an Actual Ton of Meth

Categories: Crime

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Psychonaught
A rock of methamphetamine.
Despite what you may think about Mesquite, having a ton -- OK, 1,900 pounds -- of meth in one's house in that fair suburb is pretty sure to convince law enforcement that the drugs aren't simply for personal use.

Jose Farias Lopez, 24, found that out the hard way Friday, when he was sentenced to 330 months in federal prison. Lopez was arrested in April 2014 after his house was searched by law enforcement and 876 kilograms of meth was found. Lopez told the feds that it was his job to package the drugs for distribution and named his co-defendant, Lino Robles Alvarez.

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Escaped Fort Worth Sex Offender Caught at Winstar

Categories: Crime

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Texas Department of Public Safety
Charles Raymond Sprague
A convicted sex offender wanted by police after escaping his halfway house apparently spent a few of his precious hours of freedom in the saddest way imaginable, holed up at a Winstar Casino in Oklahoma.

Charles Raymond Sprague left his halfway house shortly after 5 a.m. Wednesday after cutting off his ankle monitor, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety. Hours later, a woman was carjacked and kidnapped at gunpoint in North Richland Hills, a crime police say Sprague may have committed. The victim of the carjacking was dropped off, safe, behind a vacant building.

Sprague was arrested at the sprawling Thackerville-based gaming establishment Friday morning after authorities received a tip that he'd checked into the casino's hotel. Sprague has previously been convicted of aggravated sexual assault and aggravated kidnapping with sexual abuse.

Dallas Police Finally Identify the Tow Truck Driver Who Killed a Man in His Truck

Categories: Crime

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Amy Silverstein
Photographs of Lance Lemons at his parents' home. Lemons was shot and killed by United Tows truck driver Mario Mercado in February.

Sometime after 3 a.m. on February 5, at the Flats at Five Mile Creek apartments, a tow truck driver left his truck idling and walked away. He was looking for parking violations, police said. When the driver returned to his truck, a 27-year-old probation officer named Lance Lemons was sitting in the cab, driving the man's tow truck in reverse. Lemons' family says that Lemons was probably blocked in and just trying move the tow truck out of the way; the police suggested that Lemons was stealing the tow truck, or at least giving the wrecker driver a reason to suspect he was. The tow employee fired one shot, killing Lemons, who was unarmed.

Shortly afterward, police identified Lemons to the public but not his killer, because, police said, he wasn't yet being charged with a crime. The police were investigating "whether the [tow truck] employee has a defense to the prosecution because he was protecting his property, or theft, during night time." Under a defense called the Castle Doctrine, you're sort of allowed to kill people here if they steal your property at night. And that was reason enough for police to protect the shooter's identity. But a full police report we recently got from the Dallas Police Department reveals the shooter's name.

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Here's the List of Misbehaving Cops That Dallas County DA Susan Hawk Wouldn't Give Us

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Susan Hawk
Back in February the Austin American-Statesman published a great investigation on so-called Brady lists. These are records kept by prosecutors identifying local police officers with credibility issues that are sometimes so severe that they the DA's office will no longer accept cases from them or allow them to testify in court.

Part of the Statesman story focused on just how much trouble the reporters had getting Brady lists. A lot of Texas DAs wouldn't hand them over, and they were ultimately backed by the Texas Attorney General's Office, which ruled that they were not subject to open records laws.

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DeSoto Police Shoot, Kill Man Wanted in Oregon Double Murder

Categories: Crime

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DeSoto Police
Colby Robinson
At 12:40 p.m. Tuesday, the DeSoto Police Department put out an alert. The department and U.S. marshals were looking for Colby Robinson, who faced murder warrants in Oregon. By 10 p.m. Robinson was dead, shot by DeSoto police after a car and foot chase that ended in southeast Oak Cliff.

Robinson was accused of shooting Dat Pham, 33, and Sut-Leng Chang, 41, in Portland, Oregon, on Friday. Pham and Chang were, according to a report from KATU, shot "execution-style" in the back of their heads. A third person, Dat Pham's brother Andrew Pham, was shot as well and remains in a Portland hospital. A 13-week-old child was found unharmed in the house where the shooting took place. She is the child of Andrew Pham and Chang.

Tuesday night, according to media reports, Robinson was seen in a DeSoto 7-Eleven. Workers at the store called police with the license plate number of the U-Haul truck Robinson was driving. DeSoto police found the truck and chased it until Robinson jumped out and began running near Interstate 35 and Camp Wisdom Road in Dallas.

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At Dallas' Once Stylish Cabana Motor Hotel, Ex-Prisoners Struggle to Re-Enter the World

Categories: Crime

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Dylan Hollingsworth
Released prison inmates gather at their new home on the outside, the former Cabana Motor Hotel.

In an East Dallas efficiency roughly the size of the prison cell where he once lived, John Whiteman has finally found a home. His neighbors in the rundown apartment building are former inmates like him.

The apartments are like dorm rooms at what would be a very seedy college. A shelf against one wall in Whiteman's room, bearing a microwave and coffee maker, serves as a kitchen. A bed, television and chairs take up most of the remaining space. An ankle monitor ensures that Whiteman never goes anywhere off-path.

He will register as a sex offender until he dies.

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Ex-Dallas County Probation Officer Admits Role in Violent Pleasant Grove Drug Ring

Categories: Crime

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Chris Yarzab, via Flickr
Ankle monitors only work if they're being monitored.
When the FBI announced in November that it had taken down a Pleasant Grove drug ring, it buried the lede. Yes, the vague allegations of kidnapping and gave the story a bit more juice than the bust of a typical alligator-less street-level drug ring, and casually pointing out that one of the female suspects is nicknamed "Fatass" is a nice fluorish, but c'mon. For example, the FBI simply uses the word "torture" when it could have quoted from a police report, which alleges that members of the drug ring took the kidnapping victim to an apartment and began "kicking him, punching him, and burning him with a skillet while naked in a bath tub." And it scarcely mentions that the drug ring's continued existence might not have been possible had not its leader seduced his probation officer, who subsequently helped shield his activities from discovery.

On Tuesday the probation officer, 30-year-old Selena Ball, admitted to being part of the drug ring, pleading guilty to one count of conspiring to possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance (cocaine).

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Ex-Dallas Cop Who Traded Hooker Info For Sex Gets 18 Months for Obstruction

Categories: Crime

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Dallas Police Department
Jose Luis Bedoy
For a former Dallas vice cop set to head to federal prison this summer it was, as it was for Richard Nixon, not about the crime, but about the cover up.

Jose Luis Bedoy was convicted in October of telling a prostitute with whom he was having a relationship to get out of town and to keep the FBI agents investigating whether he had given her sensitive information from entering her apartment. Bedoy, feds say, had given the prostitute information about how to avoid getting busted by undercover police officers after the 2009 raid of the "adult entertainment establishment" where she worked. Eventually, Bedoy would try to teach her how to use Backpage.com without getting arrested and tip her to a coming raid, authorities say.

See also: A Dallas Vice Cop Tipped Off His Favorite Hooker to Police Raids, Prosecutors Say

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Man Who Died in Solitary Confinement at Dallas Jail Overdosed on Meth, Autopsy Says

Categories: Crime

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Texas DPS
An old mugshot of Brian Michael Hunter.
On a late Monday night in 2013, police pulled over Brian Michael Hunter for making an unsafe lane change. He was arrested on old warrants and taken to the City Detention Center, which is run by the City Marshal's Office, and placed in solitary confinement. The next morning, city jail employees found him unresponsive, police said. Why he was put in solitary confinement was left unexplained. Hunter, 32, was pronounced dead at an emergency room. At the time, police told reporters that they would provide more information about the circumstances of Hunter's death once they got it, but a year passed with no updates from the Dallas Police Department.

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Police Say Balch Springs "Prophet" Starved Then Tried to Resurrect Toddler

Categories: Crime

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Dallas County
Araceli Meza
A woman arrested Monday by Balch Springs police allegedly joined pastors at her church in starving a toddler the group believed to be demon-possessed then tried to resurrect the child in a "raising ceremony" after he died on March 22, according to The Dallas Morning News.

Areceli Meza, who served as the vice president of Iglesia Internacional Jesus es el Rey and claimed to communicate directly with God, is charged with causing serious bodily injury to a child by omission. Police say she and three other suspects withheld food from the toddler for 25 days. When a church member tried to free the boy, she was scolded and forbidden from doing so. After the child was dead, she performed the ceremony because God told her he was going to wake the child up, she told police.

Balch Springs police are still looking for the boy's parents, the department told the DMN and have yet to find his body, which is thought to be in Mexico.


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