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Calvin Walker in custody at Jefferson County Jail

JEFFERSON COUNTY - Calvin Walker was in custody at the Jefferson County Jail as of 12:30 p.m. Tuesday after a Special Grand Jury in Jefferson County indicted Walker on six felony charges.  There are six pre-set bonds at $50,000 each.

Watch Live at 5 and KFDM News at 6 and 10 for updated information and reaction to Walker's indictment.

According to District Attorney Cory Crenshaw, Walker was indicted on six felony charges of fraudulent billing practices and money laundering in connection with work for the Beaumont Independent School District and the City of Port Arthur.

Deputies say Walker will go through processing at the jail.

A federal grand jury returned a 37 count indictment against Walker in 2011. He was charged with money laundering, mail fraud and wire fraud.

Walker pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor charge of failing to pay taxes in a timely manner and in December of 2012 a federal judge sentenced him to one misdemeanor count of failing to pay taxes in a timely manner.  Judge Ron Clark sentenced Walker to 5 years probation, 400 hours of community service, more than $600,000 in restitution, and a $60,000 fine to the government. The U.S. Attorney, Malcolm Bales, had told the school board it could seek about $2 million in assets the government seized from Walker but the board never went after the money.

The new BISD Board of Managers says it plans to rebid the district's contract for electrician services.

In Tuesday's state indictment, Walker, 53, of Beaumont, was indicted on four felony charges of Securing Execution of a Document by Deception and two felony charges of Money Laundering. 

According to the indictments, from December 23, 2008, through September 10, 2009, Walker, who owns and manages an electrical contractor company, submitted fraudulent invoices to both BISD and the City of Port Arthur.  The fraudulent invoices resulted in Walker being compensated for labor, materials, and other expenses which were never incurred concerning his work as a contractor on various projects including temporary campuses at BISD's South Park and Regina Howell schools, a softball field at Ozen, and Port Arthur parks.

If convicted, Walker faces up to life in prison on each charge due to the amount of fraud being in excess of $200,000.  Criminal District Attorney Cory Crenshaw will pursue full restitution to ensure that all taxpayer funds are repaid.                                                                                                

The investigation leading to the charges was conducted by agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and investigators with the Criminal District Attorney's Office with the assistance of the Beaumont Police Department.  Assistant Criminal District Attorney Luke Nichols is prosecuting the case.

A grand jury indictment is not evidence of guilt and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.  

Special Grand Jury indicts BISD electrical contractor Calvin Walker on six felony charges

BEAUMONT, Texas -- From Jefferson County D.A.'s Office

A former electrical contractor for the Beaumont Independent School District and the City of Port Arthur has been indicted for fraudulent billing practices and money laundering, announced Criminal District Attorney Cory Crenshaw today.

Calvin Walker, 53, of Beaumont, Texas, was indicted on four felony charges of Securing Execution of a Document by Deception and two felony charges of Money Laundering.  According to the indictments, from December 23, 2008, through September 10, 2009, Walker, who owns and manages an electrical contractor company, submitted fraudulent invoices to both BISD and the City of Port Arthur.  The fraudulent invoices resulted in Walker being compensated for labor, materials, and other expenses which were never incurred concerning his work as a contractor on various projects including temporary campuses at BISD's South Park and Regina Howell schools, a softball field at Ozen, and Port Arthur parks.

If convicted, Walker faces up to life in prison on each charge due to the amount of fraud being in excess of $200,000.  Criminal District Attorney Cory Crenshaw will pursue full restitution to ensure that all taxpayer funds are repaid.                                                                                                  

The investigation leading to the charges was conducted by agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and investigators with the Criminal District Attorney's Office with the assistance of the Beaumont Police Department.  Assistant Criminal District Attorney Luke Nichols is prosecuting the case.

A grand jury indictment is not evidence of guilt and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.


Deputy fires shots to stop released prisoner who stole truck at jail

JEFFERSON COUNTY - from Jefferson County Sheriff's Office

On Tuesday, July 29, 2014, at approximately 8:38 am inmate, Jonathan Dewayne Gloston, was released from the Jefferson County Correctional Facility for a Public Intoxication charge.

At 9:13 am, he was witnessed running across the grass by the visitation center. This drew the attention of a deputy that was attending training at the correctional facility. The deputy witnessed Mr. Gloston jump on a maintenance department motorized cart. The maintenance personnel became engaged in an altercation with Gloston and was thrown from the maintenance cart.

The deputy entered his personal vehicle and gave chase to the maintenance cart. The maintenance cart left the correctional facility traveling SB on the service road. Mr. Gloston attempted to turn the maintenance cart onto a pipeline road South of the Correction Facility, where he lost control rolling the cart on its side. Mr. Gloston took off running on foot with the deputy in chase. The deputy lost his footing on the rocks and stumbled. Mr. Gloston ran past the deputy and entered the deputy’s personal vehicle. The deputy fired two shots flattening the rear tire of the vehicle as the vehicle took off SB on the Hwy. 69 Service Road.

At this time additional deputies arrived on scene and were able to initiate a pursuit of the deputy’s stolen vehicle. The vehicle traveled SB on Hwy 69 exiting FM 365, turning East. The vehicle traveled SB on 9th Avenue turning EB on Hwy. 73. The tire of the pick-up flattened with the vehicle coming to a stop on Hwy. 73 at the 32nd Street Exit.

The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank the Port Arthur Police Department and Groves Police Department who assisted bringing this pursuit to a safe conclusion.              

Mr. Gloston is currently in custody at the Jefferson County Correctional Facility and is being charged as follows:                        

*Unauthorized Use of Motor Vehicle                        

*Robbery                        

*Evading detention in motor vehicle    

Man just released from jail accused of stealing deputy's truck from correctional center and leading officers on chase

PORT ARTHUR - KFDM News has learned a man who was just released from the Jefferson County Jail tried to steal a golf cart and then stole a deputy's Ford F-250 at the correctional center and led officers on a chase into Groves where Port Arthur Police caught him, according to information provided to KFDM News by PA Police Chief Mark Blanton.

Deputy Rod Carroll tells KFDM News a deputy fired a shot at the truck and it struck a tire.

Watch Live at 5 and KFDM News at 6 for reaction and updated information.

The inmate is accused of stealing the truck at about 9:30 a.m. Tuesday and leading officers on a chase that ended on Highway 73 East near Terrell Street in Groves, just outside of Port Arthur.

Investigators say the man first took a golf cart at the jail and officers chased him. He managed to get into a deputy's personal Ford F-250 that had been outfitted with equipment the deputy could use while working for S.O. A deputy fired a shot that struck a tire on the truck. The man sped away and officers and deputies chased him before PAPD caught him on Highway 73 East, about a half mile into Groves.

Port Arthur Police had arrested the man Sunday for public intoxication. He was released Tuesday morning when he's accused of taking the truck.

He's now facing charges of evading.

 

Man sentenced to 12 years for sexually assaulting child

BEAUMONT - A judge has sentenced a man to 12 years in state prison for sexually assaulting a child.

A Jefferson County jury was about to begin hearing evidence in the case against Rodney Adams, 37, when Adams entered a guilty plea in the 252nd District Court. 

According to offense reports, on September 25, 2013, Beaumont police were called to a investigate possible sexual assault of a child.  When police arrived on scene they met with the 16-year-old victim and a relative.  The relative told police she believed Adams had molested the teen.

The victim and relative provided sworn statements to investigators.  In the victim’s statement, she said the man made her perform oral sex.  She also told of other occasions where she was sexually abused by the defendant in another state.  The relative told investigators when she confronted Adams he first denied, but later admitted that what the victim said was true.

Sexual Assault of a Child is a Second Degree Felony punishable by 2-20 years in prison.  The defendant must serve at least one half of his sentence before being considered for parole based upon current parole law.  Additionally, should he ever be paroled, he must register as a sex offender for the remainder of his life.

Following formal sentencing by Judge Lindsey Scott, Assistant District Attorney Rachel Grove said, “The family is extremely happy that Mr. Adam’s took responsibility for his actions." Grove said the family is pleased the victim didn't have to relive the "terrible things he did to her. This is a new beginning for the family.”  

More than 44,000 marijuana plants uncovered in Polk County

POLK COUNTY - from CBS News

Officers in Southeast Texas are clearing thousands of marijuana plants today. The crop is part of sophisticated operation that could end up being the largest bust of its kind in state history, CBS News' Tim Wetzel reports.

The grow was discovered in Goodrich, about 70 miles northeast of Houston.

When officials were alerted to the presence of marijuana in Goodrich, an isolated part of Texas wilderness, they stumbled onto an operation so advanced it had avoided detection for months.

Inmates from the Polk County jail joined over 70 officers from up to 12 different agencies. They uprooted nearly every marijuana plant discovered on the massive grow operation, and found an elaborate hydration system that made use of a nearby creek.

"They had pumps that were set inside the creek banks and a hosing system that ran back to the fields to where they just turned the pumps on. The pumps would run through the hoses and subsequently through the fields," said Polk County Chief Deputy Byron Lyons.

A deer hunter scouting the area discovered the plants over the weekend and immediately called police. Nearby, a makeshift campground was found littered with food, clothing, and equipment. Officials say the growers had likely been living there for at least five months, avoiding detection by land owners and law enforcement.

"They'll go inside the overgrown area and they'll clean out a spot inside of it, to where unless you're actually right inside the plant area, you won't even know it that they're there," Lyons said.

Operations like this are a growing problem in east Texas, where dealers have set up shop to avoid heightened security along the U.S.-Mexican border.

In 2012, 30,000 marijuana plants were discovered on an 800-acre property near Ollie, Texas.

So far, more than 44,000 plants have been cleared away, but an aerial search revealed the existence of up to 16 additional fields.

Once finished, the total haul could top 100,000 plants, making it one of the largest busts in Texas history.

One person has been taken into custody in connection with the operation, and police are now running forensic tests to help identify additional suspects. They say more arrests could be made in the coming days.

Two hurt in accident on Old Voth Road

BEAUMONT - Beaumont police are investigating a collision that injured two people early Tuesday morning.

Paramedics and police responded to the accident at about 3:45 a.m. Tuesday on Old Voth Road near Guess.

Two people were hurt. Paramedics transported them to Christus Hospital St. Elizabeth. We're checking on their conditions.

 

BISD board seeks ways to cut spending during budget workshop
BEAUMONT - A budget workshop for the new Beaumont school district board of managers included information on the way things used to be done and how they should be done.

Representatives from the district's financial consultant group WCL Enterprises made a presentation to the board detailing the role of the purchasing department.

The presentation included what the firm has uncovered since it was hired in November.

Colleen Wells says the practices -- though not illegal -- have cost the district thousands of dollars.

Even the process for vendor contracts has been revamped to try and save the district money.
   
She explained what the district was doing with contracts for paint and supplies.

"For six years, that contract went out and the minimum increase was 8 percent. Over 5 and 6 years, that's an increase of 40 percent in every item," Wells said.

She said those problems have been fixed and -- in that particular example -- saved the district significantly.

The board of managers is expected to talk about the voluntary separation agreement with the superintendent and the reduction in force list at Monday night's board meeting.

Five jobs are on the reduction in force list, including special assistant to the superintendent Jessie Haynes.

KFDM's Justin Hinton is covering the meeting and will have a report Monday night during the at 10 p.m. newscast.

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