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March 2013 Archives

Multi-agency investigation breaks up theft crimes ring

A Houston man was recently convicted in federal court for his part in a major shoplifting and fencing operation responsible for the loss of $10 million a year in merchandise. The alleged theft crimes occurred between 2008 and 2012.The Houston Police Department and Harris County Sheriff's Office worked together with the FBI on the investigation that ended in the arrests of the Houston man and other members of the shoplifting ring. According to the FBI, the theft crimes operation had ties to the Middle East.

Penalties increasing under proposed family violence bills

If four proposals make it through the Texas legislature, family violence offenders will face increased penalties, including mandatory incarceration. One of the bills proposes the creation of a domestic violence registry for repeat domestic violence offenders. Patterned after the Texas Sex Offender Registration Program, a third family violence conviction would include mandatory registration as a family violence offender.Under the provisions of one of the bills, a third domestic assault charge would be elevated to a second-degree felony. The bill also imposes a two-year minimum if a court sentences the offender to prison. Parole would not be available until the person served at least half the prison sentence.

Probation rejected for intoxicated manslaughter conviction

A 21-year-old motorist was sentenced in a Harris County courtroom to eight years in prison for his role in the death of a nun in 2011. A jury returned a guilty verdict to the drunk driving charge of intoxicated manslaughter and recommended imprisonment. Included with the testimony and other evidence was test results showing the motorist's blood alcohol content level to have been more than two and a half times over the .08 percent legal limit at the time of the accident.Evidence that the accused motorist spent one night in jail for public intoxication four months before the fatal accident might have been a factor in the jury's decision to recommend imprisonment rather than probation. According to police, the motorist drove through a stop sign and struck the victim's car. He was charged with intoxication manslaughter because his BAC level was .20 percent during the accident.

New regulations for sexually oriented businesses

State and federal law enforcement agencies recently targeted illegal activities at massage parlors in Harris County. Following raids on the establishments, the district attorney's office opened a criminal case against each of the businesses where criminal activity was found to exist.The raids were prompted by new county regulations that require massage parlors to be licensed and submit to an inspection by the fire marshal. The recent raids resulted in citations for 48 violations of the fire code. A spokesperson for the sheriff's office said the new county regulations opens the door to joint efforts by various county departments to attack crime in businesses that are sexually oriented.

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R. Todd Bennett, P.C.
1545 Heights Blvd. Suite 600
Houston, TX 77008

Phone: 713-752-2728 | Fax: 713-650-1602
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