Nine people were recently arrested for allegedly being involved in running an illegal racetrack operation, according to a recent Houston Chronicle article. Of those nine individuals, six were law enforcement officers, including two reserve deputy constables from Fort Bend County Precinct 2. The latter two officers were fired from their jobs. Each of the nine arrested individuals was charged with the offense of racing without a license, which is a felony. As noted in the Houston Chronicle, the offense of racing without a license is punishable by 2 to 10 years of imprisonment, along with a fine amounting to as much as $10,000.
In addition to the Fort Bend officers, the other officers who were arrested included two deputy constables from Harris County Precinct 1, a Department of Public Safety (DPS) trooper and a reserve sheriff's deputy from Maverick County, according to the news story. Three civilians were also included in the group of nine arrested individuals. It is alleged that the officers provided security for the races that were taking place at the unlicensed racetrack, which is suspected to have been operating for at least two years.
According to the details provided by the Houston Chronicle, the 70-acre property where the illegal racing and gambling was allegedly taking place was located in the Crosby, Texas area. On the property, a sign reading "Rancho El Herradero" described the site as a training center. Neighbors stated that they would see trailers with horses brought onto the property in the mornings on Saturdays, and they would also hear live bands, see crowds leaving late at night and see littered beer cans in the area the next day. The Texas Department of Safety, the Harris County District Attorney's Office and various other agencies were involved in an investigation that started in November 2012.
Felony crimes are very serious and need to be handled with the help of a strong defense lawyer. Criminal cases can become even more serious when they involve law enforcement officers or others who hold positions of authority. I am a Fort Bend criminal defense lawyer who is equipped to handle many different types of criminal charges, including charges for crimes against police. Contact my firm so that I can fight to protect your freedom and your reputation!