By CHRISTIN COYNE
Parker County authorities have charged 12 people, including a Boyd teacher, in an organized criminal activity case, accusing the suspects of stealing more than $100,000 in property across North Texas and distributing methamphetamine in Parker County.
The suspects are responsible for numerous property crimes since October in Parker County, as well as surrounding areas, according to the sheriff’s office. Crimes they are beleived to be responsible for include attempting to steal an ATM from a bank in Cool using a stolen truck, burglaries and thefts at Azle-area restaurants, and burglaries at Morrison Supply Company in Weatherford and numerous vehicle, trailer and equipment thefts.
Most of the 12 suspects have been arrested on one or two first-degree felony charges in connection with the case. Others have been named in criminal complaints and are expected to be arrested.
More than $125,000 in stolen property has been recovered, according to a Weatherford-Parker County Special Crimes Unit investigator.
About 2.5 ounces of methamphetamine was located during a traffic stop of 43-year-old James Carroll Mathews during the investigation, as well as a smaller amount of cocaine.
The SCU investigator said they believe Mathews was one of the main people in two rings and most of the property and methamphetamine funneled through him.
Mathews directed many of the suspects involved in the property crimes and provided the suspects methamphetamine, according to the investigator.
On April 19 and 20, a large group of local investigators from various agencies executed search warrants at four residences in Parker County.
Investigators say they found Mathews, who was on parole, to be illegally in possession of a firearm at his residence in the 400 block of Walnut Creek Drive in Azle. They also seized a stolen box trailer, drug paraphernalia and several cell phones from Mathew’s home.
In the 200 block of Ashwood Street near Azle, the residence of John Earnest Carmane, owner of Boomtown Furniture in Springtown, investigators reportedly seized two trailers reported stolen.
At a residence in the 700 block of Newfield Lane, near Springtown, investigators reported locating numerous stolen items and parts from a Freightliner truck tractor that had been found stripped at another location.
In the 100 block of Dobbs Trail near Springtown, Eddie Duane Lindsey’s residence, officers seized a pickup truck reported stolen out of Corsicana and a Bobcat skid steer tractor reported stolen out of Boyd, according to documents.
One suspect, Jimmy Earl Freeman, reportedly admitted to being responsible for a burglary of Taco Casa in Azle in January that resulted in a vehicle pursuit.
According to authorities, Freeman stole a pickup truck from a used car lot in the area and broke into Dominoes Pizza but was unable to steal the safe and left.
At Taco Casa, Freeman reportedly broke into the store office, wrapped a chain around the safe and used the truck to pull the safe from the building.
He then placed the safe into the bed of the truck but was spotted by an Azle police officer as he was leaving the parking lot, Freeman reportedly confessed.
The safe fell out of the truck during the vehicle pursuit, disabling the stolen truck. Freeman, however, said he successfully fled on foot from the police.
Investigators also say Freeman, Scott Eugene Warnell and Mathews, acting as a lookout, were involved in an attempt to steal an ATM from a bank in Cool.
The suspects reportedly stole a pickup truck from the Sherwin Williams store in Weatherford and used it in an attempt to steal the ATM.
However, the chain they were using broke several times and the suspects reportedly fled the area, abandoning the truck on Newberry Road, authorities charge.
Suspects also stole an ATM from a topless bar in Tarrant County and made several other unsuccessful attempts at other locations, according to investigators.
Coleman Wayne Hampton, 41, who has been charged with engaging in criminal activity by conspiring to distribute methamphetamine, was a substitute teacher at Boyd ISD at the time, according to the investigator, who said he notified the school district of the charge against Hampton.
Days after investigators executed a search warrant at Mathews’ residence at Walnut Creek Drive in Azle and arrested Mathews, a 13th suspect in the investigation, 40-year-old Timothy Jason McBride, died at the house. The Tarrant County Medical Examiner ruled McBride’s death an accident as a result of methamphetamine ingestion.
In addition to the suspects charged with organized crime, two other suspects connected to the group are also being charged with drug possession - Sheila Reyanee Mathews and Linda Carol Scroggins.
The several month investigation across multiple counties involved various area law enforcement agencies including the Parker County Sheriff’s Office, Weatherford Police Department, Azle Police Department, Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office, Fort Worth Police Department, Justin Police Department, Boyd Police Department and Corsicana Police Department.
Suspects named in probable cause affidavits in the case include:
James Carroll Mathews, 43.
Jimmy Earl Freeman, 50.
Eddie Duane Lindsey, 39.
Scott Eugene Warnell, 36.
Bradley Scott Teague, 39.
Stanley Spencer Davidson, 48.
Coleman Wayne Hampton, 40.
Ricky Dean Easthom, 54.
John Earnest Carmane, 57.
Fred Fuentes, 47.
Rhiannon Raquel Jent, 36.
Juan Carlos Avila-Gonzalez, 42.
Sheila Mathews, 46.
Linda Scroggins, 45.