$1.7 Million Pot Field Raided in Brenham

Categories: Crime

No word yet on whether the farmers looked like this.
A 50-acre pot farm with nearly 3,450 plants and a street value of $1.75 million was raided by municipal, county and state authorities in Brenham Monday.

No suspects were located in the seizure, which is the sixth "marijuana growing operation shut down in Washington County since January 2013," according to the Montgomery County Police Reporter.

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Suspect in Shooting That Injured Kids Was Awaiting Trial for Murder

Categories: Crime

Courtesy HPD
Wilson (left) and Smith have been charged in connection with the August 6 shooting incidents.
One of two suspects arrested in connection with two shooting incidents August 6 that landed an eight-year-girl and her younger brother in the hospital was previously charged with murder and out on bend, awaiting trial.

Jordan Q. Wilson, 21, was indicted for murder in November 2013 in connection with the killing of Houston rapper Toyurean Young in May 2012. Court records show that he was released on $50,000 bond in March 2014. That shooting took place at a McDonald's at 10777 Beechnut, which appears to be the same McDonald's as in Wednesday's incidents. Wilson's murder trial is scheduled for November 17.

Meanwhile, police are seeking others in the shootings, which stemmed from a drug deal in the 10100 block of Beechnut, according to a Houston Police Department press release.

The girl, who was shot in the leg, remains in stable condition at the hospital; her brother "suffered a grazing wound and was treated and released from the hospital," according to HPD.

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Houston Police Provide Glimpse Into Night Shift With #HPDTweetAlong

Not quite the same level of action, but interesting nevertheless.
Overnight on Thursday, the Houston Police Department conducted a kind of ride along, which is an actual thing (who knew?), not just something done for comic relief in a movie. But instead of taking a potential son-in-law candidate who is scared shitless by the officer's insane antics on the beat, HPD took along the Twitterverse via its Twitter feed and the hashtag #HPDTweetAlong.

Fortunately for the officers involved in the social media experiment, but unfortunately for those expecting high-speed chases and gunplay, it was a rather quiet night. Nevertheless, it was a glimpse into a world most of us never see, complete with photos and video.

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Know Your Neighborhood Gangbangers by Their Tattoos

Categories: Art, Crime

Photo by Alice Dubot
It's a fine line between striking fear into the hearts of your enemies and signing a confession of criminal activity on your face. But in a fast-paced city like Houston with little patience for extensive introductions, some large Gothic letters on your forehead could save everybody a bit of time and trouble in a shootout and/or arrest.

"It signifies to the world that you're in a gang, but for law enforcement it's great," said Special Agent Troy Shalloup of the FBI, who has no complaints.

George Rhyne, Texas Anti-Gang Center administrator, said another reason many criminals are willing to risk their freedom for a flashy piece of ink is because they genuinely want to express devotion to the gang as an alternative family in lieu of actual loving families. Damn. That's real.

In any case, both men agreed that Houston's younger gang members tend to be more subtle about tattoos, or are moving away from them altogether. It's probably because they're more attuned to the self-incrimination pitfalls of social media promotion. No one thinks that drug store stickup selfie is cute, except for the cops. Same goes for that neck tat illustrating your entire rap sheet.

The Houston Police Department, DEA, FBI and local anti-gang agencies combined forces to create StopHoustonGangs.org, which aggregates gang identification signs. Here's a look at some of the region's most prominent street gangs and their favorite tattoo archetypes before they go out of style.

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Good Investments: Teaching Texas Inmates About Business Can Turn Criminals Into CEOs

Categories: Cover Story, Crime

Photos by Troy Fields
"This is not about charity.
This is about opportunity."

-- Jeremy Gregg, chief development officer, 
Prison Entrepreneurship Program

A short while into a 30-month sentence for buying a stolen trailer, James Cornish received a peculiar postcard in his Plainview prison cell.

It was from a group called the Prison Entrepreneurship Program. Even in prison, it seemed, there was no escape from junk mail. Cornish set it aside and didn't think much of it until a guy from that organization named Marcus Hill rolled in with a video and a spiel.

Hill said he had served five and a half years of a 17-year bit for possession of seven pounds of weed. He got that postcard, too. It changed his life. Now he was a recruiter. He went from prison to prison and preached the gospel of business education.

There was no shortage of rehabilitative or educational programs in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Many of them promised to hook you up with Jesus. But PEP was the only one that promised to hook you up with CEOs.

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Armed Gas Mask-Wearing Robbers Hit IHOP on FM 1960 Tuesday Morning

Categories: Crime

Late night pancakes and gas masks.
The Harris County Sheriff's Office is reporting that three men with guns wearing gas masks burst into an IHOP on FM 1960 and Champions Forest around 3 a.m. Tuesday morning demanding cash and phones from employees and patrons dining at the 24-hour restaurant.

According to a report on ABC13.com, the men were in the restaurant and out with the cash grab in 57 seconds (the print version says 57, but the video report says 58). According to an 85-year-old diner at the restaurant who didn't want to go on camera because he "didn't want his kids to get after him for being out so late," the gunmen appeared to be teenagers and, at times, pointed shotguns in the faces of patrons.

Fortunately, no injuries were reported and the suspects fled.

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Raid Nets Stolen Weapons, Drugs, Tatted Mom

Categories: Crime

Courtesy HCSO
Angela Garcia, 43
Stolen assault rifles are no joke, and the authorities take it seriously when they find out where those weapons might be. In the case of the Harris County Sheriff's Home Task Force and the High Risk Operation Unit, that meant forcing a mom and her 14-year-old son out of a house last Thursday when searching for both the missing rifles and the prime suspect.

Angela Garcia was inside the home in the 7600 block of Williams in the Woodland Trails West subdivision last Thursday, July 24 when officers arrived to serve a warrant searching for several long-barrel firearms stolen earlier in the week and the suspect in the burglary. Only problem is, Garcia refused to come out.

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In Search of the Robert Durst Candy at CVS

Categories: Crime, Whatever

Photo by Aaron Reiss
CVS's new shelving is Robert Durst-proof.
Robert Durst did it again. That was the news Monday night and Tuesday morning after it was revealed that the millionaire who was acquitted of a Galveston murder had allegedly peed on candy at a Kirby CVS.

Groundbreaking stuff, we know.

Harris County District Attorney's Office spokesman Jeff McShan told Hair Balls the office charged Durst with criminal mischief, a Class B misdemeanor. The real question we had, though, was one that neither McShan nor ABC13 reporter Jessica Willey, who broke the story, could answer: What happened to the candy Durst supposedly peed on?

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Inmate Escapes Harris County Jail for Less Than an Hour Friday Morning

Categories: Crime

Harris County Sheriff's Office
This is Jamon Walker.

When you're facing capital murder charges, felony escape charges are nothing. At least to Harris County jail resident Jamon Walker.

According to Harris County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Christina Garza, at approximately 4:30 a.m., a deputy saw Walker standing in an area of the jail he was not authorized to be in. According to a sheriff's office press release, Walker refused the deputy's order to stop, making his way to the outside of the building.

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Know Who the Infamous Zodiac Killer Is? You Could Get Rich!

Categories: Crime

This is the Zodiac speaking...
The nation's leading civilian authority on the infamous Zodiac serial killings of the 1960s hopes to raise a $100,000 reward to find the California killer's identity after 45 years.

Tom Voigt, who runs Zodiackiller.com, a dangerous time-suck for anyone remotely interested in the case, has launched a gofundme page, writing, "This reward will be presented to whomever comes forward with evidence that leads to the case being closed and the killer identified."

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