JANUARY 27, 2006

JANUARY 27, 2010
It was a wild ride that began in Houston and ended in Conroe with multiple felony charges in two counties and thousands of dollars in damage.

Sgt. Eric Batton of the Harris County Sheriff’s Office said the trouble began around 6 p.m. when a woman stole the vehicle of a roadside worker near the intersection of Stuebner Airline and Kuykendahl and shortly thereafter was involved in a major accident at Spring Stuebner and Kuykendahl.
After the first crash, the woman fled on foot and found her next victim in his driveway.

Augustine Zavala, Jr. said he was waxing his car when the woman appeared from the side of his house and got into his car. He told her to get out, but she paid no attention and mumbled something about an accident, he said. Zavala tried to get in the other side, but only made it halfway when she got the car started and took off, dragging him. Fearing his life was in danger, Zavala said he let go and sustained only minor scrapes.

From there, the Harris County Pct. 4 Constable’s Office got behind her, pursuing the second stolen vehicle east on FM 2920 until she reached I-45 and turned northbound. At that point, an HCSO patrol unit also began to follow.

Pct. 4 units dropped out of the chase at Woodlands Parkway, while the HSCO unit continued, with a second unit catching up and two more “shadowing” Batton said.

The stolen vehicle continued until it reached SH 242, where it collided with another civilian vehicle on the northbound feeder road. The driver pushed the collision and continued north, reentering the freeway’s northbound main lanes and continuing until she reached South Loop 336. At that point, she struck the rear of a 2010 Ford F150 which was just purchased by Conroe businessman Jim Hallers. “I just got it a few days ago”, said Hellers. “I only have 1200 miles on it and just got the plates.” Heller suffered a minor head injury when his head struck the corner of the sun visor. Hellers wife Arlene complained of a sore neck but neither were transported. Hellers said he was driving northbound when something lifted the rear of the truck up.

At that point, the woman jumped out of the stolen vehicle and ran across the southbound lanes of IH45 and jumped off the Loop 336 overpass. She then ran to the Shell station where she was jumped in a brown Ford F150 pickup and got the male driver to drive off. They made it under the freeway in the U-Turn lane and as they started northbound, the driver seeing the deputies stopped and they were able to take the yet unidentified woman into custody.

In Harris County, the woman is charged with auto-theft and carjacking (aggravated robbery), and evading arrest. In Montgomery County, she is charged with evading arrest and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

Batton said everyone was very fortunate no one was injured.

JANUARY 27, 2012
On Friday, January 27, 2012, at approximately 7:00 AM, Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office Special Investigations Unit served three search warrants on residences in Splendora and Harris County, Texas. These warrants were served in conjunction with an ongoing investigation into a suspected major cocaine trafficking and money laundering organization.

During this investigation, approximately $1.000.000 in US currency was seized from the suspected members of this organization. During the warrant service, several ledgers containing coded records that describe millions of dollars in suspected cocaine sales were seized along with laptop computers and other documents associated with the trafficking of cocaine and money laundering.

On this date, two residences located in the 16000 Block of Oaklawn in Splendora, along with several lots and five vehicles, were seized. The estimated value of the seized property is 1.4 million dollars.

This investigation is continuing and more seizures and arrests are expected.

Assisting agencies: Montgomery County Auto Theft, Montgomery County District Attorney Office, Drug Enforcement Agency, Internal Revenue Service, Harris County Sheriff’s Office and HIDTA 31.

JANUARY 27, 2016
Just after 2am Conroe FIrefighters responded to a house fire in the 1100 block of St Lawrence River in the Lake Conroe Forest Subdivision. They arrived to find a brick home fully involved. Firefighters were forced to fight the fire from the outside. According to the Conroe Fire Marshal, the fire had been burning quite sometime before anyone saw it. After the fire was extinguished, firefighters found the body of a male in his fifties in the shower. Montgomery County Precinct 1 Justice of the Peace Wayne Mack ordered Eickenhorst Funeral Directors to transport the victim to the Montgomery County Forensic Center for autopsy. The cause of the fire is under investigation.


JANUARY 27, 2016
By Jessica Shorten
CONROE, TX – On Wednesday, three members of the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, Lieutenant Philip Cash, Senior Sergeant Michael Landrum, and Deputy Ben Nichols were awarded certificates of commendation for their outstanding work on a multi-agency task force. The task force, known as OCDETF (Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force) is responsible for the arrest and federal conviction of 73 leaders and high ranking members of the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas. They were recognized by the Director of ATF Thomas E. Brandon for their assistance in this takedown of the Aryan Brotherhood.

Sheriff Tommy Gage said, “When you work on something this big, for this long, it’s a lot of hard work, and when you get something like this, 73 members, it’s a big deal.”

The OCDEFT began this operation in 2008 and finished in 2014. The task force was a collaboration of ATF, DEA, FBI, IRS, U.S. Marshals and various county agencies including the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office. This operation was part of a nationwide movement into stopping drug and human trafficking, along with cutting down on gang violence. The process of apprehending and convicting high-level gang members is a grueling task that takes years but paid off for this task force, which has succeeded in severely crippling the Aryan Brotherhood’s reach.

We would like to congratulate Lieutenant Philip Cash, Senior Sergeant Michael Landrum, and Deputy Ben Nichols and extend the community’s deepest thanks for a job well done.

JANUARY 27, 2016
Yesterday evening, James Freeman was executed via lethal injection for the murder of Texas Game Warden Justin Hurst. The murder took place 9 years ago, in 2007, after a high-speed chase ended in a brutal shoot out between Freeman and the police, which unfortunately ended with the death of Justin Hurst on his 34th birthday.

The shoot out took place at a cemetery after police immobilized Freeman’s truck, after which, he stepped out and began to fire, using a .357 caliber handgun, and then switching to an AK-47 assault rifle. Although Freeman was shot four times, none of his wounds were fatal. The same could not be said for Hurst, who suffered fatal gun wounds which he died from the next morning. The ordeal started with Freeman being caught illegally hunting at night, after trying to evade the police and engaging in the shootout, he was taken into custody.

Justin Hurst, a Conroe native, graduated from Conroe High School and went on to Texas A&M, then he became an officer of the Texas Parks and Wildlife for 12 years, of which, he had only been a Game Warden for five. Hurst was called as a backup in the chase that ended in the most horrible way possible. Hurst was described as being very passionate about his job and family. His wife, Amanda Hurst, said that he was “an incredible, incredible man.” And that “he meant a lot to a lot of people.” He also left behind Kyle, his son, who was only 4 months-old at the time. It only made it worse than it was his 34th birthday.

James Freeman of Lissie, Wharton County, had been reportedly drinking earlier that night when he decided to go hunting. Stanley Schneider, his trial lawyer, said that Freeman suffered from “severe depression,” which led to elevated alcohol use, causing him to attempt “suicide by cop.” The grand jury still sentenced Freeman to death, which was carried out yesterday evening. Freeman is the second man executed in Texas this year.

Over 100 Game Wardens showed up Wednesday afternoon to mourn Hurst’s unfortunate end, and to witness the death sentence be carried out. A small group of protesters stayed outside, arguing for the death penalty to be abolished, saying that Freeman was mentally ill, and should not have been executed. Colonel Craig Hunter, of the Texas Parks and Wildlife division, said that “Game Warden Hurst was consummate of professionals, and we will always remember him as the selfless servant, who gave the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty to protect the natural resources of our beloved state.”

JANUARY 27, 2017
The Amber Alert which went into effect Thursday night was canceled just after 1 am Friday. Harris County Sheriff’s Deputies following up on a tip located the child along with the child’s mother, and a male companion near Alief Clode and Westpark.

Police said 2-year-old Mark Leeson was taken by Hailey Richter, 18, and Zikeyas McCullum, 21.
According to the custodial grandmother, Amanda Leeson, Richter showed up at her house unannounced. Leeson has had custody of Mark Leeson since he was born.
“Then when she got him dressed, within five minutes, she maced me, slammed my head into the door,” Amanda Leeson said.
Richter and McCullum ran out of the house and she ran after them. She said her daughter maced her again and slammed her head against the ground.
“He has allergies that she does not know about; to diapers, to food, to milk,” Amanda Leeson said. “She knows nothing about him. She took him with no medication, no breathing treatment. She left his blanket here that he can’t sleep without.”

Amanda Lessen drove to the Harris County Sheriff’s Office in West Harris County to pick Mark up. She told us she was very thankful for all the Amber Alerts and Media coverage and all the law enforcement officers involved in the search.

Richter and McCullum are in custody.


JANUARY 27, 2017
Houston Police are investigating the attempted smash and grab of an ATM machine inside a convenience store on N. Wayside at Ritz. Shortly before 4am someone attempted to back a Ford pickup into the side of the building. They were not able to get to the ATM but fled the scene leaving the truck behind. The building suffered heavy damage along with a broken water line. The truck had yet to be reported stolen but the ignition switch was destroyed.

JANUARY 27, 2017
On January 19, 2017, at approximately 7:42 pm, Deputy Gallagher with the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office was dispatched to Interstate Highway 69 and Texas Highway 99 in reference to attempted suicide. Montgomery County Communications had received calls advising there was a male subject sitting on the edge of the TX 99 overpass at Interstate Highway 69 and appeared as though he wanted to jump from the overpass. Upon Deputy Gallagher’s arrival, he began approaching the subject trying to engage him in conversation. The male subject didn’t respond to Deputy Gallagher, but began looking over the edge of the overpass and appeared as though he was about to jump. Deputy Gallagher was able to quickly grab the male subject and pull him off the edge and detain him without injury or further incident. Deputy Gallagher’s quick actions saved the subject’s life. The male subject was taken to the hospital where he was assessed by medical staff.

Montgomery County Sheriff Rand Henderson commends Deputy Gallagher for his heroic actions.

JANUARY 27, 2017
A rollover crash on Beltway 8 near Fairmont Parkway took the life of a 7-year -old boy Friday night. Pasadena Police say a woman was traveling southbound on the feeder when she lost control and flipped the SUV. A 7- and an 8-year-old were ejected from the vehicle as it rolled. The 7-year-old died on the scene, the woman and the 8-year-old who was ejected along with another 12-year-old in the vehicle were transported to the hospital. Alcohol is not believed to be a factor in the crash.

JANUARY 27, 2020
Just after 2 am units were working a crash on I-45 northbound just south of Rayford Road. Traffic on the feeder was almost at a standstill. A Montgomery County Hospital District unit going back to the station was also in the traffic. A blue Honda Civic came up behind the ambulance and tried to go from the right lane to the left. That’s when a Toyota exited the freeway at a high rate of speed and slammed into the rear of the Honda. The crash caused the Honda to sping striking the rear of the ambulance doing minor damage to the ambulance. As the vehicle was spinning it clipped a red Mercedes owned by the girlfriend of the driver who exited the freeway. Her car had very minor damage. After the Toyota struck the Honda it continued to the right, through bushes and across a parking lot. IT then hit a curb going over it which caused it to spin just inches from hitting a van parked in that parking lot. DPS worked the crash and determined the driver of the Toyota was not impaired. As deputies were working traffic for that crash a mobile car wash van almost hit the deputy as it came down the feeder at a high rate of speed. That driver was intoxicated and arrested.

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