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Sheriff’s Department looking for man who fled on foot following high-speed chase

by Emily Waldrep

The Tyler County Sheriff's Department is looking for information or tips on the whereabouts of a suspect who ran from deputies on foot near the Town Bluff area after a high-speed pursuit.

Deputies in a marked patrol were assisting TPWD Officer Taylor Jones with a felony traffic stop near the Jasper county line on 190 East. When deputies went to assist, Jones reported that he was in pursuit of the vehicle and they were traveling south on Highway 92. Jones identified 33-year-old Euell Riser as the passenger of the vehicle, who bailed out of the vehicle while it continued to travel south.

"The red Ford Ranger truck was still traveling at a high rate of speed with Officer Jones and Tyler County Deputies in pursuit," said Chief Deputy Phil Ryan of the Tyler County Sheriff's Department. "Jones reported that the driver was throwing objects from the vehicle as he was being pursued."

Deputies observed a white male with brown hair wearing a white T-shirt operating the vehicle, who was later identified as Daniel Hooks, age 25, of Town Bluff.

"Hooks was operating his vehicle of 90 miles an hour in that pursuit on highway 92," Ryan said. "He also continued to wreck the vehicles that were pursuing him by slamming on the breaks and swerving back and forth across the lanes."

The pursuit turned onto County Road 4400, where Hooks was traveling over 70 miles per hour on a county road and almost wrecked into a vehicle that was backing out of a driveway. Hooks eventually lost control of the truck and wrecked into a tree and left the vehicle on foot, but left behind many items identifying him in the vehicle when he fled.

There are warrants out for Hooks arrest and anyone with any information on Hooks should contact the Sheriff's Department at 283-2172. Hooks is mainly associated with the Town Bluff area but could be located anywhere in or out of the county.

Three arrested on drug charges following traffic stop

by Emily Waldrep

A Tyler County Sheriff's Deputy was patrolling in the FM 1746 and FM 2992 area where there have been reports of several thefts and burglaries, at approximately 8 p.m. on July 24. The deputy observed a red Volkswagen pulled over on the side of the road with its hazard lights flashing.

"The deputy turned around to check on the vehicle to check and see if someone needed assistance and because he was concerned the vehicle had been involved in the recent burglaries," said Chief Deputy Phil Ryan. "It had also been reported to dispatch that a male and a female had been sitting outside next to the vehicle."

The deputy approached the vehicle and found that the back window of the vehicle was broken and that there was a lot of damage to the drivers side of the vehicle, but found no occupants near the vehicle.

The deputy ran the vehicle's license plate and it came back to a Cori Elizabeth Fisher, age 28, of Groveton. Fisher was reported to have several outstanding warrants out of Trinity County for a parole violation and drug charges. The deputy moved his vehicle down the road, suspecting that the occupants had possibly hidden when they saw the patrol car.

The deputy then saw Fisher and one other occupant come back to the vehicle with another driver, in a white Chevrolet Suburban, with paper tags. The deputy pulled in behind the vehicle and turned on his lights.

He identified the driver of the suburban as John William Morris III, age 30, of Spurger and knew from previous contact with Morris that he did not have a driver's license. The second occupant was identified as Shawn Andrus, age 30, of Groveton.

"The deputy asked Morris why he seemed so nervous and was sweating so bad, and asked if he could search the vehicle," Ryan said. "He was granted permission to do so."

After all the occupants were removed from the vehicle and the search was conducted, deputies found a glass pipe with residue commonly associated with the use of methamphetamines and a black pouch containing several maroon baggies with a white crystal substance that appeared to be methamphetamine.
Fisher, Morris and Andrus were detained at that point and handcuffed.

According to Ryan, deputies continued the search and found a green backpack with syringes, butane lighters and other items used to consume methamphetamine along with additional maroon plastic bags.
The preliminary field test on the substance did come back indicative of methamphetamine and the substance will be sent to the DPS crime lab for further testing.

All three occupants said they didn't know anything about the glass pipe or substances in the vehicle.
"Since nobody claimed responsibility of the substance, they were all three arrested and their vehicles were towed," Ryan said.

Fisher, Morris and Andrus were charged with Possession of a Controlled Substance, Penalty Group 1.

"A lot of times we may not solve a burglary or a theft, but we stay in that area and patrol and these people may very well be responsible for those cases because a lot of drug users are," Ryan said. "Even if it's not closing one case, it is getting these people off the streets."

Two arrested in Spurger drug bust

Drugs and a rifle recovered as a result of a July 21 traffic stop.Drugs and a rifle recovered as a result of a July 21 traffic stop.

by Emily Waldrep

A Texas DPS officer who wanted to conduct a home visit on someone in the county contacted a Tyler County Sheriff's Department narcotics officer on July 21. Once they arrived in the Spurger area they saw a green Dodge pickup driven by a white female who was not wearing a seat belt. The officers turned around to initiate a traffic stop and the vehicle turned left onto County Road 4560 and then into a driveway.
While pursuing the vehicle, deputies noticed several items being thrown from the vehicle.

The driver was identified as Misty Loftin, age 32, of Spurger. Loftin admitted that she did not have a valid drivers license.

A passenger was identified as Leonard Wain Essary, age 33, also of Spurger.

DPS assisted deputies in picking up all the items that had been thrown from the vehicle and then conducted a search of the vehicle.

According to Chief Deputy Phil Ryan, deputies recovered a syringe and a broken pill in the cup holder, which Essary admitted to owning. The items thrown from the vehicle were a small blue bag with money in it, a large plastic baggie, a few medium sized baggies and several small baggies all containing a white crystal substances indicative of methamphetamine.

Another box contained a pill, a straw, several scoop spoons, a scale, four large plastic baggies and another baggie containing a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana. There were also empty medium and small-sized baggies with white residue.

"All of the bags found were the same type of bag and appeared to be packaged for sale," Ryan said.
Loftin was charged with Driving While License Invalid, Manufacture or Delivery of a Controlled Substance, Penalty Group 1.

Essary was charged with Possession of Drug Paraphernalia and Manufacture or Delivery of a Controlled Substance, Penalty Group 1.

Both were taken into custody, and since Loftin was previously on probation she gave consent to search her residence, which is in compliance with her probation orders.

On the same day, DPS went to CR 4565 to perform that search, along with Tyler County Sheriff's Department and Matt O'Neil, Loftin's probation officer.

The house was searched and multiple paraphernalia items were found, including baggies for the packaging of narcotics, scales, baggies containing a white crystal substance indicative of methamphetamine, several prescription pills in a plastic container and a .22 caliber rifle.

"The rifle was found in a bedroom where Misty Loftin and Troy Bohler stay," Ryan said. "Bohler is a convicted felon and cannot be in possession of a firearm"

All of the illegal items were photographed and brought to the Sheriff's Department where they were recorded into evidence.

"Everything was consistent with the sale and manufacture of methamphetamine or other type of drugs," Ryan said.

Bohler was also charged with Manufacture and Delivery of a Controlled Substance and Unlawful Possession of a Firearm by a Felon.

Tyler County loses three longtime residents in motor vehicle accidents

by Emily Waldrep

Three tragic car accidents in Texas have taken three respected members of Tyler County from the community this summer and the county is mourning the loss of these influential and beloved men.

Buddy Wilkinson
Buddy Wilkinson died in a car accident on July 19 in Longview, Texas. Wilkinson was the father of three children and had five grandchildren. According to his daughter, Danasa Rawls, he was very involved with his kids, grand kids and Tyler County.

"Beauty pageants, dance recitals, cow shows, baseball games and football games, no matter what was going on, Daddy was there," Rawls said. "He took us deer hunting, coon hunting, truck riding, fishing and even camping in the back of a lowboy trailer filled with haybales and blankets."

Wilkinson also coached little league, served on the school board and hosted numerous benefits at his farm.
"We will always continue to help our little town because that is what he would have wanted us to do," Rawls said.

Wilkinson had a huge passion for his five grandchildren – Kaleb, Hunter, Sunnie Madison, Ty and Rankin Tuff. "He was all about his grandkids," his son, Matt Wilkinson said.

"They made that man turn into mush," Rawls added.

Wilkinson was married to his wife, Janice, in 1969 and they would celebrate 45 years of marriage together.
Wilkinson joined the Army and served from 1969 to 1973 and served his country in the Vietnam War. He received a purple heart and congressional medal of honor. Wilkinson began as an infantry man and later became a machine gun operator, then went back for a second tour and was made crew chief.
He also owned several Tyler County Businesses, G&W Logging, W&G Trucking and NAPCO.

"God broke the mold when he made my Daddy," Rawls said. "There are parts of him in myself and my brothers. He was proud of his family and we are proud of him."

James Nichols
James "Jim" Nichols died in a three-car accident near Doucette on July 16 that caused his death and injured one other driver.

According to his wife, Elaine Nichols, Jim was a strong, hard man with a soft, warm heart who loved his grandchildren and made sure they all knew.

"Jim was always there to help out anyone in the community," Nichols said. "He would help neighbors bail hay, let someone borrow a trailer or try to teach the local boys the importance of hard work. In his younger years he participated in Dogwood and Western Weekend, and was an avid rider."

His family says that they believe Nichols would say that his greatest accomplishment was his family. He had five children, 18 grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren. "He celebrated with us at graduations, marriages and births," Nichols said.

Jim Nichols was known by many within Tyler County and made a difference in many people's lives.

"I can definitely say he influenced numerous individuals within the county," said Nichols. "He was also there to offer guidance and assist anyone. He always saw the best in people, no matter what they had done in their past and I believe that helped a lot of people."

Danny Self
Danny Self died on June 28 near Hillister in a car accident. For years, he was an influential businessman in Tyler County, but his family says he was first and foremost a family man.

"He loved his wife and children, but his grandchildren were the reason that he got out of bed every morning," Lorrie Johnston said. "He loved spending time with his 'kids.'"

Self lost his right leg in 1981 in an oilfield accident, but he felt that he had to show the world and himself that he could still do what he wanted to do, from riding a bike to flying an airplane to becoming the first amputee to graduate from the Kilgore Police Academy.

"Being able to help others was a passion of his," Johnston said. "He was someone you could count on and he always put others before himself. If you went to him with a problem he would do everything he could to solve it."

His family says they will cherish the wonderful memories that they have of him until they see him again.

Silsbee man arrested on Silsbee warrants, Tyler County drug charges

by Emily Waldrep

A Silsbee man was arrested in Woodville for several serious Silsbee warrants, as well as new drug charges in Tyler County.

Mike McCulley with the Woodville Police Department said that they had been notified by the assistant police chief in Silsbee that a wanted suspect had been staying at a residence in Woodville. Shortly after, Woodville police, along with Silsbee police, obtained the address of the home and set up a short surveillance on the property.

It was determined that the suspect, identified as Keniel J Elam, age 28, of Silsbee, was in the residence. Elam was wanted in Silsbee for several felonies, including felony evading, assault on a public servant and deadly conduct.

After identifying the suspect,, officers went to the residence, located on the 1000th block of Albert Drive. The adult residents gave officers permission to search the home, and Captain McCulley, Sergeant Borel, Chief Yosko, and Officer Deshazo of the Woodville Police Department, and Officer Blackwell and Officer Rogers of the Silsbee Police Department, all converged on a sweep and search of the house.

Elam was found in a bedroom underneath the bed and was arrested without incident.
"Lying next to Elam on the floor was a blue duffel bag that contained narcotics and money," McCulley said. "The drugs consisted of 200 grams of cocaine, 3 ounces of hydro marijuana, 3 grams of what appeared to be ecstasy tablets, 3 grams of xanax, along with $1,000 in cash."
The bag also contained Elam's ID card.

"It's always nice when you have that happen when you are eliminating any other possible suspects," McCulley said.

Elam was charged with Manufacture Delivery of Controlled Substance Penalty Group 1, with Manufacture Delivery of Controlled Substance Penalty Group 2, with Manufacture Delivery of Controlled Substance Penalty Group 3, Possession of Marijuana, along with the Silsbee Warrants.

An additional resident of the home, identified as Kedra Lee, age 20, who claimed to be Elam's girlfriend, was also charged with Hindering Apprehension or Prosecution of a Felon.

Elam is currently in custody on the Silsbee warrants in the Hardin County jail. There is a hold on him for the Tyler County warrants. The Texas Pardon and Parole Board also wanted Elam for a Blue warrant.

Sheriff’s Deputies crack down on drugs, crime in Ivanhoe

by Emily Waldrep

Deputies recently arrested a man in Ivanhoe on drug charges after finding what appeared to be crack rocks and drug paraphernalia in his vehicle during a simple traffic stop.

On July 11, at approximately 5 p.m., Tyler County Sheriff's Deputies stopped a green Dodge truck for speeding and not maintaining a single lane in Ivanhoe on Lakewood Drive. When deputies made contact with the driver, who was identified as Daniel King, age 54 of Woodville, they advised King that he had been driving over the speed limit and King told deputies that he agreed that he was doing 10 miles over the posted speed limit.

"King seemed extremely nervous so officers were suspicious of what he might be carrying," said Phil Ryan with the Tyler County Sheriff's Department. "Deputies asked King if he had any illegal weapons or narcotics in the vehicle."

According to Ryan, King said that he had no weapons but refused to provide an answer about the narcotics.

King granted permission to search his vehicle and when deputies began the search they found some pieces of white substance in the drivers seat, which were consistent with the use of crack cocaine. They were field tested by the deputies and were indicative of cocaine.
King was then arrested for Possession of a Controlled Substance Penalty Group 1 and his bond was set at $2,500.

After King's arrest, deputies continued the search of his extremely cluttered vehicle and found a piece of foil that contained four crack rocks which were also field-tested and came up positive for cocaine. Deputies also found a glass cylinder with a brillo pad inside, which is also indicative of someone smoking crack cocaine, Ryan said.

"All the evidence gathered was packaged and sent off to the DPS crime lab for verification of the substance and the weight of the substance," Ryan said.

Charges against King could escalate once those test results come back.

"We have had quite a few drug arrest in Ivanhoe and our deputies are cracking down on that area, so this was a good way to get someone in the Ivanhoe area off the streets," Ryan said.

"We would love anyone with information about drug use in Ivanhoe to contact the Sheriff's office."