Category Archives: Illicit Drugs

TX AG FAU Rounds Up Violent Felon Parole Violators

.jpg photo of Texas Attorney General LogoPaxton’s Fugitive Apprehension Unit Arrests 18 Violent Parole Violators in Operation

AUSTIN, TX  –  Last week, Office of the Attorney General Arlington and Austin Fugitive Unit Personnel conducted an operation that focused on apprehending and arresting parole violators with violent felony convictions, violent criminal history and gang affiliations.  The teams focused on parole violators in the Amarillo area, which consisted of both Potter and Randall counties.  During the week, 18 suspects were arrested.

The suspects were currently on parole for offenses such as Murder, Assault, Robbery, Possession of Firearm by a Felon, Assault Family Violence, Drugs and various other felonies, including violent criminal histories.  The Amarillo Police Department assisted with providing intel leading to some of the arrests.  The following suspects were arrested during the operation:

  • Ruben James Solis, Amarillo, Parole Violation for Burglary of Habitation Felony 2nd Degree in 2018 violated the conditions of his parole by being arrested for Unlawful Possession of a Firearm by Felon.
  • Jeremy Juan Mendoza, Amarillo, Parole Violation for Injury to Child/Elderly/Disabled with Intent Bodily Injury Felony 3rd Degree in 2017.
  • Tiundrae Delmar Nelson, Amarillo, Parole Violation for Possession of a Controlled Substance PG 1 4-200 Grams in 2006 with a history of aggravated assault.
  • Michael Wayne Cooper, Amarillo, Parole Violation for Possession of a Controlled Substance PG 1 1-4 Grams in 2018 with a history of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
  • Chad Edwin Hooser, Amarillo, Parole Violations for Possession of a Controlled Substance PG 1 1-4 Grams and Unlawful Possession of a Firearm by a Felon in 2017.
  • Antonio Ford Arreola, Amarillo, Parole Violation for Possession of a Controlled Substance PG 1 4-200 Grams and Manufacture/Delivery of a Controlled Substance PG 1 4-200 Grams in 2013 with a criminal history of Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon.
  • Alan Dale Howard, Amarillo, Parole Violation for Burglary of Habitation in 1994 with a history of Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon.
  • Patricio Garza Guzman, Amarillo, Parole Violation for two counts of Burglary of Habitation in 2009 with a history of Possession of Firearms by a Felon.
  • Kevin Don Groom, Amarillo, Parole Violation for Murder in 1993.
  • Andrew Walter Pettis Jr, Amarillo, Parole Violation for Robbery Felony 2nd Degree in 2015.
  • Justin Guzman, Amarillo, Parole Violation for Indecency with a Child Sexual Contact and Attempted Indecency with a Child in 2015.
  • Mark Edward Fox, Amarillo, Parole Violation for Theft of a Firearm and Unlawful Possession of a Firearm by a Felon in 2017.
  • John Jennings, Amarillo, Parole Violation for two counts of Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon in 2002.
  • Richard Earl Ewing, Amarillo, Parole Violation for Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon in 2014.
  • Joseph Johnny Sustaita, Amarillo, Parole Violation for Unlawful Possession of Firearm by a Felon in 2016.
  • David Ray Nivens, Amarillo, Parole Violation for Assault Breath Impediment Family/Household Member with Two Prior Convictions in 2018.
  • Ricardo Fernandez, Amarillo, Parole Violation for Burglary of a Habitation in 2016 with a criminal history of Robbery.
  • Angela Lynn Ramirez, Amarillo, Parole Violation for Injury to Child/Elderly/Disabled in 2016.
  • Steven Lee Thompson, Amarillo, Parole Violation for Aggravated Robbery in 2012. 

Op Triple Beam Nets CA Murder Suspect, Costs Life To Covid After Detective Returned Home

.jpg photo of public announcement of OK roundup of gangs, violent offenders, and drug activity
“Operation Triple Beam” led by U.S. Marshalls with OK Law Enforcement resulted in 262 arrests, the discovery of five missing and endangered children, among other things, and also lost one CA Detective to COVID-19.

Hundreds arrested, 5 missing children found
during U.S. Marshals’ operation targeting
metro gang activities

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK  –  An operation led by the U.S. Marshals Service targeting gang activities in the Oklahoma City metro resulted in 262 arrests, the discovery of five missing and endangered children and the seizure of firearms and narcotics.

According to the U.S. Marshals, the 60-day “Operation Triple Beam,” which concluded on Sept. 6, targeted violent fugitives and criminal offenders who committed high-profile crimes, such as homicide, felony assault and sexual assault, illegal possession of firearms, illegal drug distribution, robbery and arson.

Officials said among the people arrested, 141 were confirmed gang members.

The U.S. Marshals Service Metro Fugitive Task Force also safely located a total of five missing children during the operation, officials said.

Law enforcement officers seized 72 firearms, more than nine kilograms of narcotics and nearly $17,000 in currency, according to the U.S. Marshals Service.

The operation was conducted in partnership with multiple local law enforcement agencies, including Oklahoma City police, Oklahoma Highway Patrol, Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office, Shawnee and Yukon police, Pottawatomie County Sheriff’s Office, Oklahoma Department of Corrections and more.

According to authorities, a suspect in a homicide that occurred in California was taken into custody in the Oklahoma City area.  Four detectives with the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office traveled to Oklahoma City to continue their homicide investigation.  They interviewed the suspect and witnesses, and served search warrants in Oklahoma City.

One of the detectives became ill shortly after he returned home.  He had contracted COVID-19 and died after spending a few weeks in the hospital, Johnny L. Kuhlman, U.S. Marshal for the Western District of Oklahoma, said during the news conference.  The detective was laid to rest Wednesday. 

Sex Trafficking: 313,000 Victims In Texas

.jpg photo of symbol of justice for all victims of human trafficking
PLEASE, help stop Human Trafficking now.

North Texas hotels ignore sex trafficking,
exploitation of children, lawsuit says

Three national hotel chains are accused of being complicit in sex trafficking at hotels across the country including various ones in North Texas, according to a federal lawsuit filed in Dallas this week.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of a woman identified as F.M. who says she was sexually exploited at North Texas hotels beginning when she was 4 years old.  The woman is now in her 20s and lives in Tarrant County.

The lawsuit, filed by Houston-based Lanier Law Firm on Monday, includes Best Western, Hyatt and Red Lion hotels, and says that the companies ignored criminal activity occurring on their property and failed to protect victims of sex trafficking from exploitation.

“The hotel industry plays a crucial role in the sex trade,” said Lanier Law Firm founder Mark Lanier in a statement released Wednesday.  “For too long, the industry has profited by looking the other way when sex trafficking has been happening right in front of them.  We’re filing this lawsuit to get some justice for victims and to let these businesses know that their lack of action is unacceptable.”

In a statement Wednesday, BWH Hotel Group said, “Best Western International, Inc. condemns human trafficking.  It is a despicable crime and the criminals who intentionally inflict this suffering on their victims should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.  Best Western supports the industry’s efforts to raise awareness and fight against this inhumane and horrific crime.

“While Best Western branded hotels are independently owned and operated, we require that each member hotel complies with all laws and treats all hotel guests consistent with our core values of integrity, honesty, and respect for others’ dignity,” the statement continued.  “We provide information and training resources to member hotels on this serious issue such that hotels can educate their staff about how to recognize and report instances of trafficking.”

Officials at Red Lion and Hyatt could not be reached Wednesday for comment.

Best Western has more than 4,700 hotels in nearly 100 countries around the world, according to its website. As of September, Hyatt had more than 875 properties in 60 countriesRed Lion has over 1,300 properties.

The suit specifically names Best Western Plus DFW Airport Suites, Hyatt House Dallas/Frisco, Best Western Irving Inn & Suites at DFW Airport, and the America’s Best Value Inn Irving/Dallas.

Sex trafficking generates an estimated $99 billion each year, making it the second-largest illicit crime industry behind the sale of illegal drugs, according to the lawsuit. More than 60 percent of sex trafficking offenses occur in hotels, while eight out of 10 arrests for human trafficking occur in or around hotels, the lawsuit says.

VICTIM SAYS SHE WAS DRUGGED AND ASSAULTED FOR YEARS

In the lawsuit, F.M. gave this account of being exploited:

Her father, to sustain his drug addiction, sold her to traffickers in Irving for sex when she was 4.

She was given unidentified pills by her trafficker on average to five to 10 times each day, according to the lawsuit.  Her traffickers would tie her and other children up and place them blindfolded in the back of a van.

When they arrived at a hotel, a hotel bellmen would be there to meet them and send them to assigned hotel rooms where buyers would be waiting for them, the lawsuit stated.

F.M. was bound, blindfolded and sent to rooms where “johns” were awaiting her and other children.  She was then tied to a bed and sexually assaulted, according to the lawsuit.

From age 4 to 18, F.M. was trafficked to buyers for sex and abuse at the Best Western Plus DFW Airport Suites, the Best Western Irving Inn & Suites at DFW Airport in Irving and the Hyatt House Dallas/Frisco in Frisco, she said in the suit.

By the age of 20, F.M. was in the possession of her third trafficker and being trafficked at America’s Best Value Inn Irving/Dallas in Irving, the suit says.

She was advertised on Craigslist.com

At the age of 20, F.M. was hospitalized and could not work.  Her trafficker punished her 2-year-old son by raping the child while F.M. watched, according to the lawsuit.

Her trafficker controlled her by making her dependent on methamphetamine, cocaine and marijuana.

WARNING SIGNS

A number of nationwide campaigns recognized trafficking in the hotel industry and several hotel companies took initiative to combat the problem, but the lawsuit says Best Western, Hyatt and Red Lion have repeatedly failed to thwart sexual exploitation at their hotels.

The lawsuit listed some indicators of sex trafficking at a hotel.  They include:

  • An excess of condoms in rooms.
  • Individuals carrying large amounts of cash.
  • Renting two rooms next door to each other.
  • Declining room service for several hours.
  • Men traveling with multiple women who appear unrelated.
  • Guests checking in with little or no luggage.
  • Women known to be staying in rooms without leaving.
  • Hotel guests who prevent another individual from speaking for themselves.

The lawsuit listed more than 20 incidents of arrests and rescues of people and children in sex trafficking or exploitation cases at hotels operated by Red Lion, Hyatt and Best Western.

Doctor Charged With Child Sexual Assault, Meth Possession

.jpg photo of Texas Doctor charged with child sexual assault and meth possession
Timothy Morris Collins, 53, of Arlington Texas.

Physician’s license suspended

The Texas Medical Board has suspended the license of a North Texas physician after his arrest on charges of child sex assault and drug possession.

Timothy Morris Collins, 53, of Arlington was booked into the Tarrant County jail Oct. 30 on two counts of sexual assault of a child and one count of possession of 1 to 4 grams of a controlled substance.  He posted $52,500 bond the following day, court records show.

A disciplinary panel of the state’s medical board temporarily suspended his license without notice Thursday “after determining his continuation in the practice of medicine poses a continuing threat to public welfare,” the board said in a written statement.

Collins, who specializes in family medicine, has been licensed since 1995.  According to the board and his LinkedIn profile, he practices at Plano-based North Texas Medical Specialists.

Court records indicate that the incidents that led to the sexual assault charges took place in 1995 and 2012.  Police have not released any additional information about those charges.

A criminal complaint for the drug charge says Collins was in possession of methamphetamine Oct. 29.

Collins was arrested in 2016 on a drug-possession charge after authorities said he had meth, but a Tarrant County grand jury opted not to indict him.

The state medical board has twice taken disciplinary action against him in the past.

In 2011, the board found Collins had failed to keep accurate records about his purchases and disposal of controlled substances and ordered him to take continuing medical education and pay a $1,000 fine.

Three years later, the board found that Collins had solicited a patient for financial help, kept medical records that didn’t support multiple patients’ prescriptions to controlled substances and didn’t cooperate with the board.

In lieu of suspending his license, the board put Collins on a probationary period that included a public reprimand, oversight of his practice by another physician and the requirement that he reapply to the Drug Enforcement Admin-istration and Texas Department of Public Safety to be able to prescribe controlled substances.

TX AG CEU Stops Kempner TX Purveyor Of Child Porn

.jpg photo of Texas Attorney General Logo
Texas Attorney General Logo

AG Paxton’s Child Exploitation Unit Arrests Lampasas County Man for Possession of Child Pornography

AUSTIN, TX  –  Attorney General Ken Paxton today announced that the Child Exploitation Unit (CEU) of his office arrested 53-year-old John Walter Sickles, of Kempner, Texas, on one count of possession of child pornography, a third-degree felony.

A CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children® (NCMEC) identified a file of child pornography uploaded on social media and led CEU investigators to Sickles.

During the execution of a search warrant at his home, investigators seized multiple digital storage devices, which will be examined by the Digital Forensics Unit of the attorney general’s office.

Lampasas County Sheriff’s Office deputies, who assisted with the execution of the search warrant, are also conducting a narcotics investigation after discovering substances believed to be methamphetamine in Sickles’ residence.

Attorney General Paxton’s office works to protect children by using the latest technology to track down some of the most profoundly evil predators online.

The CEU proactively seeks out and arrests predators who commit crimes against children using technology and online sources.

Attorney General Paxton urges all parents and teachers to become aware of the risks our children face on the internet and take steps to help ensure their children’s safety.

If you suspect someone is producing or downloading child pornography you can report it to NCMEC:
CyberTipline
1-800-843-5678

For more information on cyber safety, please visit:
https://texasattorneygeneral.gov/initiatives/cyber-safety/