Beaumont man sentenced to 18 years for organized criminal activity
Jefferson County Criminal District Attorney Bob Wortham announced today that DARREL JEROME DUROUSSEAU, 30, was sentenced by a Jefferson County jury to 18 years in Texas prison following his conviction in Drug Impact Court. Prosecutors Robert Scott and Luke Nichols presented the case.
During the summer of 2016, the Southeast Texas Auto Theft Task Force investigated dozens of thefts from Hardin, Jefferson, and Orange Counties. These thefts all shared a common scheme of stealing trailers loaded with lawn-care equipment or recreational vehicles. Many of the trailers were found abandoned in Beaumont without a trace of any equipment.
The investigation culminated in September 2016 when multiple landscaping business owners banded together to investigate an anonymous tip. That tip led them to the residence of the Defendant, DARREL JEROME DUROUSSEAU.
Wesley Schaeffer, one of the victims, testified he saw DUROUSSEAU driving the same vehicle that he noticed prowling on his street just before his entire landscaping business trailer was stolen. Other victims observed the defendant meet up with a second truck towing a stolen trailer and decided to call the police.
Darrel Durousseau was arrested along with three other suspects in possession of numerous stolen landscaping tools and equipment. Several more stolen trailers were located in the backyard of the residence. Further police forensic investigations linked the defendant to dozens of other thefts through the locations and pictures stored on his cell phone.
The jury found the defendant guilty of Organized Criminal Activity in less than an hour. During the punishment phase of trial, the prosecution presented seven more victims who testified that lawn equipment and recreational vehicles stolen from them matched photos on Durousseau’s phone.
After further deliberating for another hour, the jury sentenced Durousseau to 18 years in a Texas prison. The jury also assessed a fine of $2,000 dollars.
Prosecutor Robert Scott stated, “The Defendant preyed upon men and women who use this equipment to earn their living. He was part of an organized crime ring that stole items worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. We are pleased with the jury’s decision.”
This case was investigated by the Southeast Texas Auto Theft Task with assistance from the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office.