Weatherford Democrat

August 14, 2013

9 in alleged theft, drug ring indicted

Suspect in alleged kidnapping also charged


Weatherford Democrat

— By CHRISTIN COYNE



A Parker County grand jury Thursday indicted nine men accused of organized criminal activity involving numerous property thefts and drug trafficking in Parker County.

Weatherford-Parker County Special Crimes investigators say the organized crime suspects stole more than $100,000 in property across North Texas over several months and distributed methamphetamine.

Property crimes the group are believed to be responsible for include attempting to steal an ATM from a bank in Cool while using a stolen truck, burglaries and thefts at several Azle-area restaurants, burglaries at Morrison Supply Company in Weatherford and numerous vehicle, trailer and equipment thefts.

More than $125,000 in stolen property, including vehicles, trailers and heavy equipment, was recovered at four Parker County residences in April, according to search warrants.

James Carroll Mathews, 43, a parolee, is believed to have been distributing methamphetamine and directing many of the suspects involved in the property crimes, according to SCU.

They also located approximately 2.5 ounces of methamphetamine in his vehicle during a traffic stop and located stolen property at his Azle-area residence, according to court documents.

Investigators say some of the suspects are also believed to be responsible for an attempted ATM theft in Cool, an ATM theft from a topless bar in Tarrant County and several other unsuccessful ATM thefts.

Jimmy Earl Freeman reportedly admitted responsibility for a burglary of an Azle fast-food restaurant in January that resulted in a police pursuit. Freeman broke into the restaurant, wrapped a chain around the safe, and used a stolen pickup to pull the safe from the building, according to authorities. The safe fell out of the pickup, disabling it, during the resulting police pursuit, but Freeman was able to get away on foot, he reportedly told authorities.

One suspect, Coleman Wayne Hampton, 41, indicted on a charge of engaging in criminal activity by conspiring to distribute methamphetamine, was a substitute teacher at Boyd ISD at the time, according to an investigator, who said he notified the school district of the charge against Hampton.

Related indictments include:

• Juan Carlos Avila-Gonzalez, engaging in organized criminal activity.

• Stanley Spencer Davidson, engaging in organized criminal activity.

• Ricky Dean Easthom, two counts of engaging in organized criminal activity.

• Jimmy Earl Freeman, engaging in organized criminal activity.

• Fred Fuentes, two counts of engaging in organized criminal activity.

• Coleman Wayne Hampton, engaging in organized criminal activity.

• Eddie Duane Lindsey, two counts of  engaging in organized criminal activity.

• Eddie Duane Lindsey, theft of property, more than $1,500, less than $20,000.

• Eddie Duane Lindsey, theft of property, more than $20,000, less than $100,000.

• James Carroll Mathews, possession of a controlled substance, more than 4 grams, less than 200 grams.

• James Carroll Mathews, two counts of engaging in organized criminal activity.

• James Carroll Mathews, unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon.

• Bradley Scott Teague, two counts of engaging in organized criminal activity.



Kidnapping

The Parker County grand jury Thursday also indicted a man accused of abducting a woman at knifepoint and assaulting her in February.

James Dean McConnell was indicted on charges of aggravated kidnapping and aggravated assault.

Springtown police say McConnell’s ex-girlfriend was brought to the police station the evening of Feb. 27 after she flagged down a passing vehicle.

The woman reportedly gave McConnell a ride before McConnell took her cell phone and car keys and, according to a witness, threatened to kill and cut the woman.

When a witness called Azle police, McConnell reportedly forced the woman into her vehicle and made her drive to her parents’ house in Springtown, according to Springtown police.

She told police that McConnell struck her, causing her to hit her head, grabbed her around the throat and held a pocket knife and screwdriver to her face.

After arriving at his parents’ home, the woman reportedly said McConnell wouldn’t let her out of the car, bit her on the arm when she began honking the horn and struggled with her before forcing her into the back seat.  

The woman said she later ran into the road and flagged down a passing vehicle when McConnell held a knife to her and threatened to cut her.



Ambulance ride

A man who authorities allege stole an ambulance from the hospital last month was indicted by the grand jury as well.

Jason Frederick Christiansen, 40, was indicted on charges of theft of property, more than $100,000, less than $200,000, and unauthorized use of a vehicle.

When police pulled over the LifeCare ambulance in the 1300 block of Santa Fe Drive around 11:30 p.m. July 11, Christiansen reportedly told officers that he was ready to go home when he was asked about the incident.

“It’s better than walking,” Christiansen reportedly told the officer when asked why he took the ambulance.



Others charged

Others indicted Thursday include:

• Mark Gilbert Alcala, theft of property, more than $1,500, less than $20,000.

• Ibanez Jeremy Alonso, theft of property, less than $1,500, with two or more previous convictions.

• Denise Ann Combs, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

• Charlotte Ann Crawford, theft of property, more than $1,500, less than $20,000.

• Tracy Lynn Davis, driving while intoxicated, third or more offense.

• Danten Reese Hallman, theft of property, less than $1,500, with two or more prior convictions.

• Jason Levi Jeanes, two counts of obstruction or retaliation.

• John Dale McClure II, theft of property, less than $1,500, with two or more prior convictions.

• Zachary Cash McDonald, theft of property, less than $1,500, with two or more previous convictions.

• Gary D. Phillips, theft, less than $1,500, with two or more previous theft convictions.

• Charles Henry Ragsdale, credit or debit card abuse.

• Chase Levi Ramsey, burglary of a habitation.

• Ryan Joseph Riley, injury to a child/elderly/disabled with intent to cause bodily injury.

• Ralph Alford Robinson Jr., burglary of a habitation.

• Timothy Allen Ross, possession of a prohibited weapon.

• Roger Williams Sadousky, possession of a controlled substance, less than a gram.

• Eric Christian Sanders, forgery.

• William Charles Usher Jr., assault of a family member by impeding breathing or circulation.

• John Wayne Vasquez, assault of a family member by impeding breathing or circulation.

• Samantha Anne Watson, theft of property, more than $1,500, less than $20,000, enhanced.