Arrest highlights growing area use of dangerous synthetic marijuana

by Emily Waldrep

Synthetic marijuana is not just illegal, it can be dangerous and Woodville Police want the city to know its use will not be tolerated.

On July 24, Officer DeShazo was dispatched to the local Wal-Mart store parking area in reference to reported suspicious activity. DeShazo arrived and located a vehicle matching the description given occupied by two subjects. While talking with the two subjects, DeShazo saw drug paraphernalia inside the vehicle in plain view, which included a greenish, leafy substance in the passenger seat along with rolling papers in the center console. The passenger was identified as Kristian A. Felts, age 18, of Woodville.

According to Woodville Police Captain Mike McCulley, DeShazo asked about the paraphernalia in the vehicle, and asked occupants if any additional would be found if a search were to be conducted. One of the occupants said that he had a prescription medicine bottle belonging to him. A search of the vehicle revealed a brown paper bag containing three baggies of synthetic marijuana hidden between the console and passenger seat near Felts.

Felts was subsequently arrested for Possession of a Controlled Substance penalty group 2-A.
"This type of arrest is becoming more frequent and officers are seeing this substance at various calls to include family disturbances," McCulley said. "This substance has become an alternative to traditional marijuana because of the misconception that it is not illegal or it is not as bad as Marijuana. Truth is, synthetic is more hazardous than Marijuana."

Officers have reported that persons ingesting this substance are more likely to have dramatic mood swings and health issues that require medical attention.

"The obvious problem with the substance is that its intended use was not produced to be ingested, but to be used as an incense or deodorizer," McCulley said. "The chemicals in this substance are changing constantly, and are hard to identify and are regulated to include their intended use only, and not to be ingested."

McCulley reported that after having spoken with medical staff, they confirmed that the patients that use this substance are showing up at emergency room more often in the past several years.

"Medical staff have stated that patients that end up in the ER are ingesting this substance and are observed to have conditions that include high anxiety, blood pressure issues and violent mood swings," McCulley said. "The bottom line is that this stuff is dangerous and should not be ingested. There will also be legal consequences as well."

Criminal charges can begin as misdemeanors but can increase to a Felony very quickly. These substances are found listed in the Texas Health and Safety Code and are treated in the same manner as other narcotics.

"Parents, please be aware of this and don't be fooled by other excuses that young people use to possess this substance," McCulley said.

Three men, including a Warren resident, dead in electrocution accident

by Emily Waldrep

Three men, including one Warren resident, died on Wednesday, August 6 in an electrical accident on US 69 near Village Mills.

According to Hardin County officials, the three men identified as Samuel Anderson, age 20, of Warren; Trevor Riddick, age 26, of Silsbee and Gary Wortman, age 31, of Silsbee, were putting up a metal building for Streamline Well Testing when they pushed a metal scaffold into a 7, 260-volt power line. All three men were severely electrocuted.

The men worked for a construction company out of Silsbee called Pro Steel Buildings.
Anderson lived with his fiancé and her family in Warren and had two children.

According to Texas statutes 752.003, workers must report to the line operator within 48 hours of work being done on lines over 600 volts.

It is unknown whether the men contacted the line operator in this case.

July 31 arrest clears numerous area burglaries

by Emily Waldrep

Tyler County Sheriff's Department, with Texas Game Wardens, were able to make a huge arrest and return a large number of stolen items to the citizens of Tyler County on July 31 after Game Wardens located a stolen four wheeler.

Robert Edward KeysRobert Edward KeysDeputies were notified by Game Warden Brandon Mosley, who was out at a residence on Bush Lake Road, that he had located a Polaris ATV, confirmed that it was stolen and identified the person at the residence as Robert E. Keys. Keys had outstanding warrants in Hardin County, Tyler County and Liberty County, and some of the warrants would require Keys to be held without bond.

"The four wheeler was stolen on one of the county's case numbers that we had worked," said Chief Deputy Phil Ryan. "We had been looking actively and searching daily for this suspect."
Wardens Mosely and Eddins entered the residence and tried to search it. A female at the residence said that Keys was not home, but the Game Wardens found him in a room that had been padlocked from the outside.

Keys was arrested and Mirandized, and was cooperative with officers.

In a truck that belonged to Keys, Wardens found a .22 rifle outfitted with a silencer that belonged to Keys. Because he is a convicted felon, it was unlawful for him to be in possession of a weapon. They also found seven other rifles and two shotguns in the residence. The guns had been reported stolen, along with two other black powder rifles.

According to Ryan, Keys had also entered a residence and stolen a safe which contained nine additional guns. The safe was unlocked and open, so deputies and game wardens were easily able to retrieve and identify the stolen items inside, as well as the stolen safe.

Deputies also found a stolen ATV 4-wheeler, jewelry, tool boxes, tools, chain saws and other saws, electric drills, impact wrenches, wood splitters, deer stands, speakers, stereo systems, welding machines, generators and additional smaller items.

Ryan said that they were able to contact many of the victims who were then able to come claim their stolen belongings.

"We have turned over quite a bit of the items pictured to the victims," Ryan said.

Key was arrested on charges of two counts of Burglary of a Habitation, two counts of Burglary of a Building, one count of Unlawful Possession of a Firearm by a Felon, Possession of a Prohibited Weapon and several warrants out of Hardin and Liberty County.

His bonds totaled $134,000 out of Tyler County, and warrants out of the other counties will hold no bond.

"This was a huge bust for our county and all the surrounding counties," Ryan said. "Due to Keys involvement in the drug trade, he was a thief on a spree and it was important he be taken off of the streets. We had been inundated with reports that had to be taken from people losing their property."

Tyler County Sheriff Bryan Weatherford also says that the arrest of Keys will be extremely beneficial to the county.

"We know we are in a fight each and every day, but one thing this department takes personal is people who will take property from another person, and the drug users," Weatherford said.

"You are not welcome here in Tyler County and we want to make sure we are sending that message. We want to continue to make sure our citizens are protected each and every day."

Another DWI arrest in Ivanhoe July 25

by Emily Waldrep

On July 25, a Tyler County Sheriff's deputy was traveling west on Lakewood Drive in Ivanhoe in a marked unit and observed a dark colored minivan travelling east in the westbound lane. The deputy was almost hit by the vehicle, but was able to maneveur around it, turn around, and activate the emergency lights and initiate a traffic stop.

According to Chief Deputy Phil Ryan, the vehicle pulled over and the deputy made contact with the driver, who was identified as Kenneth Evans, age 57 of Woodville. When she spoke with Evans she could smell an alcoholic beverage on his breath. Evans told her he had a few drinks with a friend.

The deputy asked Evans if he realized how close he came to a major accident and Evans laughed and said, "It was close, wasn't it."

Ryan says that the deputy detained Evans until a Trooper could arrive to perform the standard field sobriety test.

"Trooper Greg Evans arrived and administered a field sobriety test, and Evans was placed under arrest at that time," Ryan said. "He had a red solo cup in his vehicle with an alcoholic beverage in it and an open container of whiskey."

Evans was arrested on charges of Driving While Intoxicated 3rd or More, which is a State Jail Felony.

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.