HOUSTON - by Jeff McShan and Nakia Cooper/KHOU TV and www.khou.com - A northwest Houston car wash owner who was busted for selling drugs, alcohol and raccoon meat to customers last year was arrested again Wednesday for conducting some of the same illegal activity at his business, according to Houston police.
Police said Michael Maxwell was selling more than just hot washes and waxes to customers at his full-service shop on Yale and E. 43rd Street. Customers could also purchase drugs and liquor.
But Maxwell said there was no illegal activity going on; the hundreds of pills and bags of marijuana allegedly found on his property belonged to him because he is a cancer patient and suffers from anxiety.
“When I bonded out of jail the last time I had over 30 bottles of pills that the city gave me, that the county gave me to take care of this cancer. I had a big old bag of them. I have to have pills to live. I have stomach cancer.”
The liquor, he explained, belonged to his friends who came by to play cards and dominoes with him and this was all just one big misunderstanding.
“Do you see anybody doing anything wrong? Is anything out here obvious besides people playing dominoes? I own International Dominoes Hall of Fame. That’s my DBA, I’m licensed to play dominoes,” Maxwell said. “They old, retired men out there. So they buy it (the liquor) and put stuff in the cooler, you don’t see it in the freezer because if you do, it would look like it was a "for sale" item, so I put it in the cooler.”
In May 2011, HPD's deferential response team raided the business after receiving numerous complaints from neighbors.
Back then, they found weapons—including a stolen 12-gauge shot gun—and more than 1,000 prescription pills. Undercover officers said there was card and domino-playing taking place, but rather than being an innocent game among friends, it was high-stakes gambling.
Maxwell was given dozens of citations last year, including one for selling raccoon meat to customers and allegedly telling them it was chicken. Maxwell said that was all a lie. And while no raccoon meat was found this time, he said police knew about it and were making a big deal out of nothing.
"Yes, I got raccoons. Police bring me raccoons. And when they give me one, I clean one for them. I cook raccoons, I’m from Mississippi. I eat raccoons, squirrels, rabbits, quails, possums. I eat that, I was raised off of that. I ain’t never sold no coon!”
Maxwell, who just got out of jail two months ago, feels the police are just picking on him. He says he and his friends are just trying to enjoy the time they have left.
“They are old, retired men playing dominoes every day; this is the only place they got to go. They not gambling. You can go ask any one of them, they are just playing a three-man game of dominoes. Where else can old people go that are retired?”
Maxwell said these run-ins with the law are not good for his illness.
“It’s frustrating to go through to have cancer. If you had cancer, you would understand,” Maxwell told KHOU 11 News reporter Jeff McShan. "Jeff, they are trying to do me in. If they want to take care of me in jail, I guess they'll have to because I am very expensive to take care of."
It was not known what charges, if any, were filed.
This story comes to us through KFDM's media partnership with KHOU-TV in Houston