Weatherford Democrat

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May 31, 2013

Drug, theft rings broken

Authorities say investigation leads to 16 suspects, recovery of $125,000 in stolen property and seizure of methamphetamine and tales of ATM thefts

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.

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