SPLENDORA – Members of the Pct. 4 Constable’s Office, a.k.a. Men in Black, found themselves at a familiar residence Sunday night, where they made their fifth arrest at that location in less than three months, as they near a milestone.
An anonymous tip led Pct. 4 Deputy Ricky Ford and Sgt. Ricky Warwick (Pct. 4 sex offender compliance officer) to a home on Fostoria Road west of US Hwy 59, where they were told they would find marijuana growing, according to Constable Rowdy Hayden.
During their preliminary investigation, Ford and Warwick learned the residence was home to registered sex offender, William Lee Averitt, 22. Ford and Warwick went to the residence and began a sex offender compliance check, and Averitt was cooperative.
Hayden said a compliance check includes making a note of all of the license plates on vehicles at the residence. During that process, the pair was behind the house. Sgt. Warwick, who recently completely updated training on hydroponic marijuana grow labs, noticed a portable shed that he suspected might contain one.
Once questioned and Mirandized, Hayden said Averitt gave verbal consent for the officers to search the sheds and at the same time, admitted one contained a hydroponic marijuana lab.
“They found approximately five fairly large marijuana plants that were in full stage, ready to be harvested,” Hayden said. “The confiscated the narcotics and began dismantling the lab, taking it all into evidence.”
Inside the residence, they found two shotguns in Averitt’s bedroom, Hayden said, with the serial numbers altered to prevent them being traced to the registered owners.
“We believe they’re possibly stolen weapons,” he said.
One of the guns was loaded. Numerous drug paraphernalia items were also removed.
Averitt was charged with possession of a firearm by a felon; possession of a prohibited weapon; and possession of marijuana, more than 4 ounces but less than 5 pounds.
Police records show his criminal history includes failure to register as a sex offender, assault causes bodily injury, unlawful carrying/possession of a firearm and marijuana possession.
In September, the Men in Black responded to the same residence after receiving a tip that resulted from a Houston television news program’s “Wheel of Justice” segment featuring a Splendora woman whose probation was revoked.
Not only was the fugitive arrested at the residence, three of her friends also went to jail for possession of methamphetamine. A 15-year-old at the residence was also cited for possession of drug paraphernalia.
Hayden interrupted his Sunday and, as before, spent the evening at the home with his officers. As the scene wrapped up, the constable said the latest arrest at the popular location was another example of his administration’s proactive approach to addressing criminal activity in Pct. 4.
“The year isn’t even over yet and we’re approaching 1,000 case numbers for criminal activities in our neighborhoods,” Hayden said. “We want to send out a message – if you’re a criminal in Pct. 4 and you can’t stop and be a productive member of society – we’re coming for you.”