On December 12, 2019, the City of Marshall City Commission approved reconstruction of the Perkins Building at 206 N. Washington Street in downtown Marshall, Texas. This building has served as the Bealls Department store, several restaurants, retail locations, and an insurance company before the City of Marshall purchased the building in 2009. In 2014, the unsafe conditions and roof issues made the building unusable.
On January 13, 2020, the City of Marshall closed the northbound lane of North Washington Street in the 200 block to allow Casey Slone Construction to set up two construction dumpsters and fencing to protect our citizens, visitors and employees. The southbound lane and parking spots will be open to the community. The project will include the total demolition, disposal and reconstruction of the slab foundation as well as asbestos removal.
"The Perkins Building is not a traditional reconstruction as the building is in the middle of a downtown block with buildings to each side and behind this structure. Furthermore, all debris must be hand-carried through the door to protect the architectural integrity of the building's façade. Local contractor, Casey Slone Construction, has promised a speedy process of forty-five to sixty days in order to complete the project and return traffic to normal," Wes Morrison, City of Marshall Director of Community and Economic Development said.
East Texas Baptist University welcomed Archbishop Benjamin Kwashi and his wife, Gloria, from Nigeria as the special guests during the chapel service on Monday, October 7. University students, faculty, and staff were empowered by the Archbishop's message of overcoming religious persecution to proclaim the Gospel. Prior to Archbishop's address, ETBU President J. Blair Blackburn presented Kwashi with a Max Greiner Great Commission Globe Sculpture and Texas State Senator Bryan Hughes presented the couple with a Texas State flag that was flown over the state capitol in honor of Archbishop Kwashi.
"It's just remarkable to see how God has moved in the life of Benjamin Kwashi and how God has protected his life in his faithful commitment to the Lord declaring the Gospel of Jesus across the country of Nigeria," Dr. Blackburn said. "Benjamin and his wife Gloria are living out the Great Commission from Matthew 28. From continent to continent, they are here to proclaim the message and the hope of Jesus Christ."
Archbishop Kwashi left his military career in 1976 to pursue his calling to the church. Since then, his pastoral experience stretches across various opportunities working in rural and urban churches, as well as at a theological college. Archbishop Kwashi has held numerous national and international posts, currently serving as the International Chairman of SOMA (Sharing of Ministries Abroad). He was also appointed General Secretary for his work with GAFCON, a global movement of Anglicans who choose to uphold the authority of scripture.
"On the 12th of March in 1987, more than one hundred churches, houses, and businesses were burned down and destroyed. I still carry that around today. I believe, as I tell the children, that on the 12th of March in 1987, I had died. Any other day I get to live is extra time to share the Gospel," Archbishop Benjamin Kwashi said. "The Gospel does not kill, the Gospel does not steal, the Gospel does not lie, and the Gospel does not destroy. The Gospel builds us. The Gospel helps us. And we cannot tell you, that the ways in which you have allowed us to walk into your school and doing so, into your lives, as we share our testimony and seek to encourage you."
The Kwashis have experienced several near-death experiences while sharing the love of Christ in Nigeria. Touched by a growing orphan crisis in Africa, the Archbishop and his wife have adopted and care for over 60 children. With their arrival at ETBU, Benjamin and Gloria Kwashi bring stories and wisdom about the value of living out the Gospel through every circumstance and every trial.
"The children who are orphans might need clothes, they might need a place to stay, but the need I felt the Lord show me was that they need people who would offer their lives to be parents," Gloria Kwashi said. "The discipline and love that parents should give is what we try to provide these children. God has given us reasons to testify. Looking at us, we have nothing to bring, but for the sake of Christ we are in your midst and we feel honored."
Preceding chapel, a reception was held for the Kwashis, where local community members and University faculty, staff, and students from the humanities and religion departments at ETBU had the opportunity to personally meet him and ask questions. Also in attendance of the reception was Texas State Senator Bryan Hughes.
"President Blackburn let us know that the Archbishop was going to be here today and it was so important for me to join ETBU in welcoming and honoring him," Senator Hughes said. "If you look at the Archbishop's record, it's clear that the things that matter to him also matter to us. He's a real leader in religious freedom and protecting people from religious persecution. It's so neat to be here to welcome him and I thank the Lord for ETBU."
In the Archbishop's new biography, Neither Bomb nor Bullet: Archbishop on the Front Line, by Andrew Boyd, Kwashi shares the compelling story of three different occasions he was almost killed for sharing the Gospel of Christ in Nigeria.
"We have a gospel worth living for and a gospel worth dying for," Archbishop Kwashi added. "If we die, we go to be with Jesus, if we live, we work for Jesus. Either way, we lose nothing."
During the evening of July 28, 2019, Longview Police Officers were searching for a suspect believed to be involved in the shooting death of Kimberly Wallace that occurred earlier that morning. As a result of the investigation, Police obtained a murder warrant for the suspect, identified as 41-year-old Kenneth Earl Thomas Jr. of Longview, during the afternoon of July 28th. Police found Thomas in a park located in the 1200 Block of El Paso Street. When Police confronted Thomas, he began shooting at the four officers, and they returned fire. No police officers were injured in this shooting. Thomas was wounded twice. He was transported to a local hospital where he was treated for his non-life-threatening injuries and released back into police custody. He is currently being detained on the warrant for 1st Degree Murder. The officer-involved shooting has been turned over to the Texas Rangers for investigation.
The officers involved in this incident will be placed on administrative leave with pay, per department policy, during the Texas Ranger's investigation. Further information regarding this officer-involved shooting may be released at a later time.
The Harrison County Sherriff's Office has identified three individuals in connection with a burglary that recently occurred on Strickland Springs Road.
"The listed property stolen from the home is in excess of $45,000.00. While at the scene investigators found a store receipt, and From that receipt, a store video was pulled and used to identify the first suspect," said Chief Deputy B.J. Fletcher. "Property from the burglary was also found in Pawn shops in Marshall and Shreveport LA. On July 2, more of the property was located in Justin Cox vehicle in Shreveport LA. Cox and Kristy Hall, both of Marshall, were arrested and taken to the Caddo Correctional Facility on local charges."
Cox and Hall have holds placed on them to be extradited to Harrison County when they are released from Caddo Parrish Correctional Facility. The Harrison County charges include Burglary of a Building and Burglary of a Habitation.
"On July 3, Brian Webb of Marshall was located as a third person of interest in the case. Property from this case was recovered from Webb on Elysian Fields Rd., and he was arrested and booked into the Harrison County Jail for Burglary Of a Habitation, Burglary of a Building and Class C traffic tickets," said Fletcher.
At approximately 1:55 pm on Saturday, July 6, 2019 the Marshall Police Department received a report of a disturbance in the 500 block of Henley Perry Dr. Patrol officers responded to the location and were provided with the description of the suspect vehicle, which was located a short time later. An attempt to stop the suspect's vehicle resulted in a pursuit, which then transitioned into a foot chase. The suspect was apprehended and a firearm was recovered.
The investigation revealed that an altercation began after a confrontation over driving in the neighborhood. The confrontation became physical, and resulted in an individual being shot and then robbed.
This incident continues to be investigated and further information will be released as it becomes available.
On Saturday, June 1, 2019, Governor Greg Abbott signed House Bill 1631 into law, prohibiting cities from operating photographic traffic camera systems that catch citizens speeding or running red lights and issuing fines. The city of Marshall has ended their participation in the red-light program, in compliance with that law, which took effect on June 2, 2019.
Citations for violations that occurred prior to June 2, 2019 are still valid. Anyone with outstanding citations issued for violations prior to June 2, 2019 should send a check, money order or cashier's check made out to the City of Marshall.
The payment should be mailed to the Marshall Police Department, ATTN: Photo Enforcement, 2101 East End Blvd. North, Marshall, Texas, 75670.
The Harrison County Sheriff's Office ERT Team, along with members of the Marshall Police Department's ERT team served a search warrant at 806 Cook St in Marshall TX, at approx. 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday.
"The Harrison County Sheriff's Office ERT Team along with one MPD ERT Officer made entry into the residence, while other MPD and HCSO ERT Members held the outside perimeter of the residence. The house was known as a drug location and was known to have weapons, " said HCSO Chief Deputy B.J. Fletcher. "Upon entry of the residence, one person jumped through the rear bedroom window. When the entry team made it to this room, they confronted two more subjects. One of the subjects was throwing bags of drugs out of the broken window and would not follow commands or show his hands to the officers."
Fletcher said a member of the Harrison County Sheriff's Office ERT Team members began to struggle with the suspect.
"Due to the actions of the suspect and him resisting the arrest, it caused the ERT Member's firearm to discharge. The projectile grazed the subject's shoulder and was later located in the wall. The subject was taken to the Marshall ER, where he was treated and medically cleared. He, along with five other subjects, were booked into the Harrison County Jail on multiple charges, " said Fletcher.
Fletcher said three loaded firearms and a large amount of what is believed to be crack cocaine, Methamphetamine, Heroin, Marijuana, Xanax and Ecstasy were all recovered at the residence. Six arrests were made at the location: Dontrell Jamall Anderson, 25 of Marshall, Ivan Lynn Daniels, 24 of Marshall, Michael Wayne Murry, 48 of Marshall, Eddie Lee House III, 26 of Marshall, Lanica Madella Williams, 51 of Marshall, and Robert Louis Price III.
Charges stemming from this incident are Possession of Controlled substance, Possession of Marijuana less than two ounces, and Unlawful Possession of firearm by a felon.
Fletcher said he notified Texas Ranger Jenkins due to a firearm being discharged inside the residence, and Jenkins came to the scene to investigate the incident.
"We are glad to have these guns, drugs, and drug dealers off of our streets. Agencies that work together have safer communities. The working relationship between the Harrison County Sheriff's Office and the Marshall Police Department is stronger than ever, " said Fletcher.
Saturday at 6:18 p.m., DPS Troopers responded to a single vehicle fatal crash on US-271, six miles north of Gilmer.
"Preliminary crash investigation revealed that the driver of a 1996 Acura, Walter John Gatherer, 77, of Mt. Pleasant, was traveling north on US-271 when the vehicle suddenly veered left and off of the roadway where it struck several trees," said Sergeant Jean Dark.
Gatherer was pronounced at the scene by Judge Potter and was taken to Southeast Forensic Medical Center. The crash remains under investigation at this time.
City of Marshall residents should be receiving in the mail, the 2018 Texas Commission on Environmental Quality Consumer Confidence Report, more commonly known as a water quality report.
The Consumer Confidence Report (CCR) is a document that provides consumers information about the quality of drinking water in an easy to read format. The CCR summarizes information that the city's water system already collects to comply with Federal and State (TCEQ) regulations. It includes information about the source(s) of water used (i.e., rivers, lakes, reservoirs, or aquifers), chemical contaminants, bacteriological contaminants, compliance with drinking water rules, educational health information, water system contact information and public participation opportunities.
The TCEQ requires every community public water system (PWS) to generate and make available a CCR to their customers by July 1 of every year, which includes information from the previous calendar year. This report is also known as an annual water quality report or drinking water quality report. It is important to note that drinking water, including bottled water, may reasonably be expected to contain trace amounts of some contaminants, and the presence of these contaminants does not necessarily indicate that the water poses a health risk.
As residents examine the report, they will notice a section on page three titled "Mandatory Language for Monitoring and Reporting Violation." This violation occurred due to failing to maintain the monitoring and reporting requirements set by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality in Title 30, Texas Administrative Code (30TAC), Section 290, Subchapter F, in the process of submitting the July 2018 Monthly Total Organic Carbon Report. This occurred due to a paperwork error in the submission process to TCEQ.
"When I was submitting our paperwork for the July 2018 Monthly Total Organic Carbon Report, I inadvertently left out some documentation that caused this violation to occur, and it was simply an administrative error. We did complete the water quality testing in July 2018, but the paperwork process part was mishandled and we have taken steps to rectify that," said Assistant Public Services Director Nancy Pasel.
Contractors hired by the City of Marshall will begin the 2019 Street Improvement Program on Wednesday, June 26, weather permitting. The 2019 Street Improvement Program will take approximately three months to complete, barring any weather-related delays or and other unforeseen circumstances.
Crews will begin milling Buffo Road to North Grove and will then move over to Holmes Road and Enola Mae Drive. Milling is the controlled removal of the existing asphalt pavement and is a process that corrects and restores the original grade and smooths the surface for new asphalt resurfacing. Residents who live in these areas will still be able to access the roads, but may experience delays as the milling process takes place.
"We are starting our Street Improvement Program much earlier this year in an effort to get roads resurfaced in a time-frame that works better for everyone. We hope to complete overlays on over 20 streets and improve the condition of these roadways," said Assistant Director of Public Services Chris Miles.
On June 6, 2019 at approximately 10:00 p.m., a jail Sgt. with Harrison County Sheriff's Office contacted HCSO Patrol Sergeant Castillo with suspicions that a deputy jailer, David Jones, may be working his shift intoxicated.
"Jones had been seen making several trips to his vehicle. Sgt. Castillo arrived at the jail to make contact with Jones. After further investigation, Castillo found Jones to be intoxicated with an unknown substance," said Chief Deputy B.J. Fletcher. "Jones admitted to have smoked CBD oil and advised he had more in his vehicle. Jones gave Sgt. Castillo consent to search his vehicle. Inside the vehicle, Sgt. Castillo found marijuana and other CBD oil. Also located were several indigent inmate packages which are property of the jail. A prescription pill bottle containing Clonazepam tablets which were prescribed to an inmate were located inside one of Jones' pockets."
Jones was arrested and booked at the Harrison County Jail. Fletcher said Jones was employed by the Harrison County Jail for approximately ten years.
"Jones has been terminated, effective immediately.
Harrison County Sheriff's Office holds employees to a higher standard. This type of behavior will not be tolerated," said Fletcher.
Northeast Texas Habitat is helping people stay cooler and healthier at home this summer. The Beat the Heat program provides delivery and installation of a window air conditioning unit and fans to lower-income households that do not have functioning cooling systems.
Persons over age 60, disabled persons, individuals with chronic illness worsened by heat, households with children under age four and military veterans that have no cooling systems in their homes are encouraged to contact Family Services 903-236-0900 ext.204 to get more information.
Recipients are required to complete a brief application and pay a $20 partner cost share. Habitat delivers and installs the unit and provides educational information on recognizing heat-related illness, unit maintenance, and tips to stay cool.
"According to the CDC, people over age 65, disabled persons, children under age four and individuals with certain medical conditions are especially prone to heat-related illness, and least able purchase and install units unassisted," said LaJuan Gordon, Executive Director. "Beat the Heat is designed to help those that are most susceptible to avoid heat emergencies. Healthier, safer communities start with healthy residents. And, helping our neighbors stay healthier in their homes is a primary aspect of the Habitat mission. " she said.
The program began on June 1 and is available until funds are exhausted. To apply call Habitat Family Services at 903-236-0900 ext. 204 or visit the Habitat office located at 905 McCann Road, Longview Monday - Friday 9am-5pm. You may also apply at Marshall office at 401 S Alamo on Wednesdays 10am-3pm.
Northeast Texas Habitat for Humanity is a non-profit housing, ministry dedicated to eradicating the devastating effects of poverty housing. The organization was founded in Longview, TX in 1985 and expanded in June 2018 to serve Gregg, Harrison, and Upshur counties. Habitat assists in the areas of homeownership, home repair, home maintenance, and operates a ReStore.
The City of Marshall and Republic Services will host a "Free Disposal Day" event from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday, June 15, that will allow Marshall residents to dispose of acceptable materials free of charge at the city convenience station, located at 2300 Five Notch Road in Marshall.
Standard recyclable products will also be accepted for disposal; however, recycling of electronic items is no longer available. Participants will need to provide proof of Marshall residency by displaying a driver's license or water bill.
The City of Marshall reserves the right to reject any items not considered acceptable by the city's Convenience Station staff, including but not limited to: household garbage, concrete, paint and paint cans, chemicals, appliances, tires and tree stumps over six inches in diameter.
This City of Marshall has deemed its June 1 Mobilize Marshall Strategic Plan meeting, that was attended by over 200 people, a success, and approval of the plan will take place at the next Marshall City Commission meeting on June 13.
Entitled "Mobilize Marshall," the strategic plan meeting was a call to action for citizens of Marshall to participate in the process and assist the city in building a guiding document that will create the city's future. The plan is a method by which the city plans and prioritizes its goals in a transparent and accountable manner and is a means to efficiently advance Marshall into the future. The meeting, which was overseen by an experienced facilitator, engaged with attendees to discuss specific goals for the city to accomplish. Over 50 citizens took advantage of the opportunity to speak to Marshall City Commissioners and staff to express their desires for the community.
"I want to express my sincere thanks and appreciation to all of those who attended the Mobilize Marshall meeting. The feedback that we received from citizens will prove invaluable as we move forward with our plan to make Marshall a better place to live, work, play and attend school. I ask those that were in attendance to help spread the word about the day's events by telling friends and family members, and to share how much of a positive impact can be made if we work together to achieve our goal of a better, more sustainable and vibrant Marshall" said City Manager Mark Rohr.
With citizens' feedback in mind, near the end of the meeting, Marshall City Commissioners affixed dots to whiteboards that contained projects that citizens voiced were most important to them during the public comment period of the meeting. Projects ranged from quality of life, economic development, infrastructure improvement and downtown redevelopment, among others. In an effort to promote full transparency in the process, Commissioner Doug Lewis, who was unable to attend the meeting, will affix his dots at noon on Tuesday, June 11, at Marshall City Hall, 401 S. Alamo Blvd.
After the plan is approved by the Marshall City Commission, City of Marshall staff will then move forward to implement the plan from a vision to a reality.
As summer kicks off, Texans love to roll the windows down and hit the road for a breath of fresh air. The Texas Department of Transportation's "Drive Clean Texas" campaign asks all drivers to do their part to make sure every breath is clean and healthy all summer long.
Emissions from cars and trucks can make up close to half of the air pollution in some parts of the state. There are three areas-Houston/Galveston, Dallas/Fort Worth and El Paso-that do not meet federal clean air standards as established by the Clean Air Act. Additionally-Austin, San Antonio, Victoria, Tyler/Longview, Beaumont/Port Arthur and Corpus Christi-are close to exceeding clean air standards.
That's why TxDOT developed the Drive Clean Texas campaign, designed to demonstrate how simple changes in driving behaviors can have a big impact on vehicle emissions and air quality.
"As Texans hit the road this summer, Drive Clean Texas is asking everyone to help reduce vehicle air pollution," said Texas Transportation Commissioner Jeff Austin III. "Making simple adjustments to the way we drive and maintain our vehicles can help us all get where we need to go and reduce air pollution along the way. It's a win-win for our families and our wallets."
TxDOT will be taking the hands-on, educational Drive Clean Texas Road Trip Challenge Game to cities around the state where air quality is an issue. The game is a fun, interactive way to learn about reducing harmful vehicle emissions by taking a Drive Clean digital road trip on a large smartphone. Each time a wrong answer is selected, a puff of harmless "smoke"-representing vehicle emissions-is released into a giant, clear bubble encasing an actual sports car. Participants get hands-on training in basic tips in vehicle maintenance for optimal clean driving.
Drive Clean Texas suggests the following simple steps to help protect the state's air quality:
● Keep vehicles well-maintained and inflate tires to recommended air pressure levels.
● Properly fuel vehicles by tightly sealing the gas cap.
● Stop at the click when fueling vehicle. Overfilling releases harmful fumes into the air.
● Drive smart by obeying speed limits.
● Avoid idling the vehicle for extended periods of time.
● Avoid aggressive driving with rapid starts and stops.
To learn more about "Drive Clean Texas," visit drivecleantexas.org.
The City of Marshall has completed the installation of the new early Warning Siren near the Oaklawn Municipal Golf Course. The new early warning siren replaced the old siren located near Oaklawn Municipal Golf Course that was damaged by a lightning strike in a previous storm.
Emergency Management Coordinator Reggie Cooper said the city had been working as quickly as possible to get the new siren in place and functioning.
"After the inside of the old siren was virtually melted by the lightning strike, the city immediately began efforts to acquire a new siren. After some delays that were out of our control, the new siren has been installed and is now operable," said Cooper.
The Early Warning Sirens are activated from the Police/Fire/911 Dispatch Center. The dispatchers are instructed when to activate the sirens by the Emergency Management Coordinator for the City of Marshall. The Emergency Management Coordinator also has the ability to activate the sirens remotely. There are a total of seven (7) including: Washington Early Childhood, Evans Street; William B. Travis Elementary School, Carolanne Street; Oak Lawn Golf Course, Victory Drive; Key Street at Martin Street; I-20 behind I-HOP; End of Carters Ferry; and East End Blvd North at the Marshall Police Department.
"We are happy to have this new siren in place and once again serving our citizens in times of inclement weather. I know there were some frustrations with the delays in the installation and I appreciate the community's patience and understanding as we worked to get the siren installed," said Cooper.
The current policy of the City is that when the National Weather Service (NWS) issues a WARNING for an area that includes any part of the city limits of Marshall, the Early Warning Sirens will be activated. Sirens are usually only activated for Tornado Warnings. In the event the sirens are activated, residents should prepare to shelter in place and monitor local TV or radio to obtain accurate weather information.
A 27-year-old Guatemalan national illegally in the United States, has pleaded guilty to immigration violations in the Eastern District of Texas, announced U.S. Attorney Joseph D. Brown today.
Jorge Gonzalez-Ramirez pleaded guilty to transporting illegal aliens and illegally reentering the United States. The plea was entered today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Keith Giblin.
According to information presented in court, on Feb. 12, 2019, Gonzalez-Ramirez was stopped for a traffic violation in Corrigan, Texas. During the traffic stop, it was discovered that Gonzalez-Ramirez and his six passengers were all in the United States illegally. Among the passengers, was a seven-year-old child traveling with a purported relative, without proper safety restraints. Federal immigration agents arrived at the Corrigan Police Department and took custody of all individuals and transported them to the Montgomery Processing Center in Conroe, Texas. Their investigation determined that some of the passengers, including the minor, had traveled through Mexico from Guatemala, crossed into the United States illegally, and then illegally transported to Houston. Gonzalez-Ramirez admitted that he picked up the illegal aliens from an apartment in Houston and was promised money for transporting them. Gonzalez-Ramirez had previously been deported from the United States to Guatemala in March 2011, and had reentered the United States illegally.
Under federal statutes, Gonzalez-Ramirez faces up to 10 years in federal prison at sentencing. The maximum statutory sentence prescribed by Congress is provided here for information purposes, as the sentence will be determined by the court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the U.S. Probation Office
This case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations/Immigration, Customs Enforcement HSI/ICE, and the Corrigan Police Department, and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Randall L. Fluke and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Tommy Coleman
TEXARKANA, Texas - A 31-year-old Texarkana, Texas, man has been convicted of federal violations in the Eastern District of Texas, announced U.S. Attorney Joseph D. Brown today.
Kendall Ray Gray was found guilty of being a felon in possession of a firearm on May 29, 2019, following a two-day jury trial before U.S. District Judge Robert W. Schroeder III.
According to information presented in court, on Nov. 9, 2018, Gray's vehicle was spotted by police as he drove to a location known for drug activity in Texarkana. Upon noticing the marked patrol car, Gray attempted to evade police by making four successive left turns and then briefly parking in a restaurant parking lot. Gray then exited the business parking lot by illegally turning directly into a center lane. Again, officers attempted to follow Gray as he improperly signaled turns and accelerated away from their marked police car. Gray drove into a residential area and parked along a public street. As police activated the lights on their car, Gray jumped out of the vehicle, locked the doors, and ran. Gray was apprehended by a police office on foot and arrested for evading detention. A search of the vehicle revealed small bags containing suspected marijuana and a loaded handgun with a chambered round was positioned under the driver's side seat.
Further investigation revealed Gray was a convicted felon having been previously convicted of counterfeiting and forging obligations or securities of the United States in 2012 in the Eastern District of Texas and forgery in 2015 in Bowie County, Texas. As a convicted felon, Gray is prohibited from owning or possessing firearms or ammunition. Gray was indicted by a federal grand jury on Jan. 17, 2019, and charged with federal firearms violations.
Under the federal statute, Gray faces up to 10 years in federal prison at sentencing. The maximum statutory sentence prescribed by Congress is provided here for information purposes, as the sentencing will be determined by the court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the U.S. Probation Office.
This case was prosecuted as part of the Project Safe Neighborhoods Initiative. Project Safe Neighborhoods is aimed at reducing gun and gang violence; deterring illegal possession of guns, ammunition, and body armor; and improving the safety of residents in the Eastern District of Texas. Participants in the initiative include community members and organizations as well as federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies.
This case was investigated by the Texarkana, Texas Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Colleen Bloss and Alan Jackson.
Khristal Ford, 32, a former Lieutenant at the Federal Correctional Complex (FCC) in Beaumont, Texas, pleaded guilty today to aiding and abetting another correctional officer in his assault on an inmate.
According to the plea documents and information presented in court, Khristal Ford was a supervisory correctional officer at the FCC on June 8, 2017, when Ford opened the door of a medical observation cell where A.A., an inmate, was being held. Ford then told a senior correctional officer to "take care of it" and watched as the officer entered the cell and punched A.A. in the head three times without justification. Following this assault, Ford submitted a written memorandum that omitted any reference to the punches and included a falsified breathalyzer photo sheet, all in an effort to conceal the incident and make it appear as if the victim was highly intoxicated at the time of the officer's assault.
"This type of behavior in our correctional officers erodes public trust," said Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband of the Civil Rights Division. "The Department of Justice will vigorously prosecute those who violate the civil rights of inmates."
"When correctional officers abuse their authority like this, it hurts more than the victim of the assault," said U.S. Attorney Joseph Brown of the Eastern District of Texas. "It damages the whole system, hurting the credibility of the good officers who try to do the right thing every day. We will do everything we can to make sure these kinds of violations are prosecuted."
Ford will be sentenced at a later date and faces a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.
A former federal correctional officer faces federal charges in connection with this incident. This former officer is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
The Department of Justice, Office of the Inspector General conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael A. Anderson of the Eastern District of Texas and Trial Attorney Nicholas Reddick of the Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division are prosecuting the case.
A 25-year-old Mexican national illegally in the United States, has pleaded guilty to immigration violations in the Eastern District of Texas, announced U.S. Attorney Joseph D. Brown today.
Joel Sanchez-Guzman pleaded guilty to transporting illegal aliens and illegally reentering the United States after having been deported. The plea was entered today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Keith Giblin.
According to information presented in court, on Feb. 16, 2019, law enforcement officers discovered Sanchez-Guzman transporting eight individuals he knew to be illegally in the United States. Further investigation revealed Sanchez-Guzman had been paid to transport the illegal aliens through Texas to the northeastern United States. They also determined that Sanchez-Guzman had transported illegal aliens in this manner on prior occasions.
Under the federal statute, Sanchez-Guzman faces up to 10 years in federal prison at sentencing. The maximum statutory sentence prescribed by Congress is provided here for information purposes, as the sentencing will be determined by the court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the U.S. Probation Office
This case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations/Immigration and Customs Enforcement HSI/ICE, the Nacogdoches Police Department and the Lufkin Police Department and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Randall L. Fluke.
Sam Houston Elementary School students Nevaeh Carrasco and Calee Dukes were named honorees in the Marshall ISD Police Department's "Chow Down with the Chief" program for the week of October 7 on Tuesday.
As this week's honorees, Neveah and Calee chose to enjoy lunch with Marshall ISD Police Chief Joe Arledge at Pizza Hut, along with Sam Houston Assistant Principal, Jessica Johnson.
Neveah is the daughter of Jessica Newland, and is first-grade student in Mrs. Yarberry's class. She was selected for Chow Down with the Chief for a recent act of kindness by comforting a friend who was having a bad day.
Calee is the daughter of Tequila Dukes, and is a second-grade student in Mrs. Sharon Duncan's class. She is a new student at Sam Houston this year and has started the school year off showing leadership and good behavior among her new classmates.
The Marshall ISD Police Department wishes to thank Pizza Hut for their participation in the "Chow Down With The Chief" program. Pizza Hut is one of seven local restaurants who participate in the program, which Chief Arledge began in 2016.
"Chow Down with the Chief" helps to facilitate and develop positive relationships between law enforcement and community, and students. Each week, Chief Arledge visits an MISD campus and escorts lucky students chosen by their principals for good citizenship, behavior and grades, and treats them to lunch at a participating Marshall restaurant.