"Operation Cowtown Tobacco," Which Took Down a Local Cigarette Trafficking Ring, Has Come to a Close

Categories: Crime

The margins in the illicit cigarette trade are relatively low. Tobacco is legal, for one, eliminating the risk-based premium that comes with trading in illegal drugs, and there's a lot of competition, which puts downward pressure on retail prices.

But there is a margin, enough of one to attract entrepreneurial types like Glen Murray McDonald, who don't mind -- and this is the part that makes it illicit -- skirting state and/or federal tobacco taxes.

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Plano ISD's Security Director Gambled Away $2.5 Million of the School District's Money

Kris Gentz, via Facebook
Meet Kris Gentz, 59-year-old Princeton resident, 14-year veteran of Plano ISD, and, according to the feds, a compulsive gambler and prolific thief.

Federal prosecutors, along with the FBI and Plano police, announced this morning that Gentz has pleaded guilty to embezzling some $2.5 million from the district, most of which he frittered away at casinos.

According to the Plano Star Courier's Bill Conrad, the scheme was rather simple: Gentz created two fake companies and got them approved as Plano ISD vendors. Those companies would regularly submit fake invoices that would be paid by the district. That money would then go in the pocket of Gentz and two accomplices, neither of whom worked for the district.

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Drug Traffickers Accidentally Hire Cop to Deliver 1,000 Pounds of Marijuana to Dallas

Categories: Crime, Weed

Texas Department of Public Safety
Marijuana seized in South Texas.
Your average U.S. truck driver in the makes something like $.30 or $.40 cents per mile. It's enough to make a living but not much else.

Swap the 18-wheeler full of widgets for one full of Mexican marijuana, and the job becomes way, way more lucrative. Reliable data are tough to come by -- this particular sub-occupation isn't tracked by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and it's not a topic that comes up in online trucking forums -- but anecdotally, a driver transporting weed can make $50,000 for a 430-mile trip, or roughly 300 times his law-abiding counterpart.

That's at least the amount that was offered last week to an undercover law enforcement officer in Laredo for the eight-hour drive to Dallas.

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Drunk Irving Mom Killed Her Two Sons in a Weekend Car Crash, Police Say

Categories: Crime

Angel Reyes, left, and Ricardo Hernandez
The speed limit on Irving's East Pioneer Drive is 30 mph. Crystal Zuniga, 30, was going two or three times that -- somewhere between 60 and 100 mph as she ferried an SUV full of kids past Gilbert Elementary on Saturday evening.

Zuniga, police say, was drunk, her blood alcohol level at .18, more than twice the legal limit. That would help to explain why she was going so fast, and how she lost control of her 2003 Honda Pilot, veering off the road and crashing into a pair of cars parked in someone's driveway.

The SUV was demolished, as neighbors discovered as they emerged from their homes.

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Highland Park Responds to Cop Shooting With America's Most Wanted-Style Documentary

Categories: Crime

Highland Park police seem to have a pretty strong case that they were justified in shooting David Hartman last summer.

Granted, they should have done a more thorough search of his cargo pants, which contained a gun, and made sure he couldn't slip his handcuffs over his legs and reach his pockets, but as a general rule, when a suspect starts firing shots from inside a squad car, returning fire is a reasonable response.

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Highland Park Cops Won't Be Charged in Town's First-Ever Fatal Police Shooting

Categories: Crime

Thumbnail image for DavidHartman.jpg
Collin County Sheriff's Office
David Hartman
The first Highland Park police officers to fatally shoot a suspect on duty are now also the first Highland Park police officers to be cleared of criminal wrongdoing for shooting a suspect while on duty. Town Public Safety Director Chris Vinson made the announcement at a Thursday afternoon press conference.

The two officers, Sergeant Charles McGinnis and Officer David Peacock, pulled the trigger on 32-year-old David Hartman last June.

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Former Kimball/SMU Star Quinton Ross Not Actually Dead, Just Living In Desoto

Categories: Crime, Sports

Keith Allison
Quinton Ross: Not dead, also probably not thrilled this is his Wikipedia photo.
You might have heard the news yesterday: Quinton Ross, the former Kimball and SMU basketball standout-cum-NBA journeyman, was found murdered, his body found stuffed in a plastic trash bag and buried in a shallow grave in Queens.

It was certainly news to Ross when he woke up Monday morning at his Desoto home.

"My phone was going crazy," he told the Associated Press, which caught up with him at SMU's NIT game against LSU. "I checked Facebook. Finally, I went on the Internet, and they were saying I was dead. I just couldn't believe it."

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Rape Is Way Up in Dallas, Only Partly Because the FBI Made Police Keep Better Count

Categories: Crime

The first three months of 2014 have been exceptionally peaceful ones in Dallas. Robberies have dropped by 15 percent compared with the same period last year. Aggravated assaults are down 12 percent, murders a whopping 30 percent. There are still nine months to go, but the city is on pace for the second year in a row to have its safest year since 1966.

There's one exception, and it's a big one: Sexual assaults have jumped an alarming 37 percent over last year, from 82 to 112.

Not to worry, Dallas Police Chief David Brown told the City Council's Public Safety Committee this morning. This is "not a true depiction of what's happening with sexual assault. It's more of a reporting, [an] accounting increase."

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Dallas Police Officer Rene Villanueva Fired for Punching Speeding Driver on Dash Cam

Categories: Crime

Well, here's an even better argument to strap dash-cams on all cops. Dallas Police Department officer Rene Villanueva had claimed in November that a drunken-driving suspect tried to punch him. But footage from the police car showed that it was the officer who was doing all the punching. Chief David Brown released the footage today on the DPD's blog.

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Rubin Brown Was Killed for Trying to Stop A Domestic Assault, Family Says

Categories: Crime

via Facebook
Rubin Brown with his girlfriend.
It was a domestic violence call that first brought Dallas Police Department officers to the 4300 block of Crozier avenue on Thursday night. A witness who lived nearby said he saw a man "beating the shit" out of his girlfriend. The witness, later identified by family members as Rubin Brown, told police that he tried to intervene.

But there wasn't much else police could do by the time they arrived. According to an incident report, the couple already took off. So the officers left.

Brown went back inside. Shortly after, Brown's family says, is when they heard gunshots.

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