Sheriff Hammonds reported that recent weeks activity have been relaxed throughout the county. Sheriff Hammonds stated that the Mills County Commissioners have been aggressively working on the new law enforcement center to prepare for the incoming contractors for construction. “I want to Thank the Mills County Commissioners and their staff for their diligent work in the recent weeks” Sheriff Hammonds said. Sheriff Hammonds also wanted to extend a big Thank You to Lee Hoffpauir and his staff at the Outdoor Superstore during construction. Mr. Hoffpauir has donated all the material from behind the Outdoor Superstore at no cost to the county saving the local tax payers what could have been an enormous cost in the construction. Sheriff Hammonds is currently using inmate labor to off-set cost that might otherwise be expended by local tax payers.
In other news Sheriff Hammonds reported that on Friday, August 4, 2015 at approximately 5:54 PM, Sheriff’s Officials arrested 26 year old Christopher Mantia of Goldthwaite for class B misdemeanor theft warrant. Mantia is charged with one count of theft from the Mills County General Store prior to this date when Mantia entered the store a stole a game camera. Mantia had fled on foot and was seen by citizens in an alley acting suspiciously. The citizen obtained a license plate of the suspect vehicle which led deputies to identifying Mantia in this case. Mantia is also suspected in other recent thefts from business’s here in Goldthwaite. Mantia is currently free on bond and is awaiting a court date.
On Wednesday, August 26, at approximately 2:34 PM, Inv. Stephanie Brown responded to a report of theft in progress at the Dollar General. The suspect had already left the scene and a vehicle description was provided. Inv. Brown located the suspect vehicle at a local gas station and identified the suspect as 31 year old De Juan Antonio Taylor of Comanche, Texas. Inv. Brown was able to obtain a confession and recover the merchandise that had been stolen. The merchandise was worth approximately $25 and consisted of hygiene products. Taylor was charged with a class c theft and was transported to the Mills County Jail where he later pled guilty and paid a fine and was released.
On Thursday, August 27 at approximately 9:00 AM, felony warrant was served on 32 year old Phillip Eugene Jones of Lometa, Texas. Jones came to the Mills County Jail where he surrendered on charges of unlawful possession of firearm by felon. Jones is currently in custody in the Mills County Jail and is awaiting trial.
Mills County Sheriff’s Office uncovers counterfeiting ring and makes numerous arrests.
Sheriff Clint Hammonds reported that his deputies have been very busy in recent weeks responding to routine calls and conducting extensive investigations. Sheriff Hammonds stated that on Wednesday, July 15 at approximately 9:00 PM, Deputy Johnny Brown stopped a vehicle for speeding south of Goldthwaite. Deputy Brown made contact with and identified the driver as 27 year old Angela Goldschmeding and a passenger 31 year old Larry Dwane Farmer Jr. both of Austin, Texas. During the contact Goldschmeding admitted to possessing marijuana in the car. A probable cause search revealed a small amount of marijuana, approximately 219 grams of hash in the form of edible cookies and a 9 millimeter pistol from inside the vehicle. Bothe individuals were arrested for misdemeanor possession of marijuana, second degree felony possession of controlled substance penalty group 2 under 400 grams and unlawful carrying of a weapon.
On Wednesday, July 22 at approximately 5:03 PM, Mills County Deputies executed felony warrants at a residence located in the 1900 Block of Fisher Street. 24 year old Valorie Shelton was arrested for motion to adjudicate for the offense of felony theft and 28 year Daniel Kolb was arrested for motion to revoke for the offense of delivery of marijuana. Both individuals are from Goldthwaite and are currently in the custody of Mills County.
The Mills County Sheriff’s Office received reports of counterfeit US currency being passed with several merchants in Goldthwaite during mid-July. Investigator Stephanie Brown began following up leads through witness’s and surveillance video where these bills were passed. Inv. Brown identified the first suspect as 46 year old Richard Wayne Humphries of Blanket, Texas. During the investigation it was discovered that 30 year old Michael Ross Burnett was residing with Humphries and was currently a fugitive from Mills County for two counts of felony theft from the elderly. Inv. Brown went to the Humphries residence in Blanket, Texas with Humphries and arrested Burnett on the outstanding warrants. A small of marijuana was recovered from Burnett during the arrest and Brown County Sheriff’s Officials were notified to assist. Also while at the residence deputies obtained consent to search a vehicle that Burnett was during the arrest. Deputies recovered numerous counterfeit $20 bill from indie the vehicle where Burnett was sitting. Through the course of interviews Deputies were then led to a barn behind the residence where electronic device and uncut printed counterfeit money was being stored. During the search deputies found that there was small room in the barn being occupied by 22 year old Richard Wayne Humphries Jr. A consent search of his room revealed that he was in possession of methamphetamine. Further investigation revealed that a clandestine methamphetamine lab was located in the attic of the barn that was being searched. All of these individual have been arrested and are currently in the Brown County Jail. The Mills County Sheriff’s Office is currently working with the Brown County Sheriff’s Office and the United States Secret Service as the investigation progresses. Sheriff Hammonds noted that all the deputies hard work and long hours from both agencies involved in this investigation have paid off.
On Friday, July 31, 2015, at approximately 7:55 AM, Mills County Deputies were dispatched to a residence on Farm Road 573 north of Mullin in regards to a possible active shooter. Information received was that an individual from Illinois had showed up at a residence and opened fire on the house with an automatic weapon. Numerous local and state law enforcement officers assisted in the call and perimeter was formed around the residence. Officers were in communication with the supposed victim who also stated that he was armed as well. Through the course of a couple of hours it was determined that the victim identified as a 72 year old male was have medical issues and was hallucinating as result of these issues. The individual was disarmed by a family member and was transported to the hospital for evaluation. Mills County was assisted by Texas Parks and Wildlife Wardens, Texas Department of Public Safety, Goldthwaite and Mullin Fire Volunteer Fire Depts.
Later that evening at approximately 5:15 PM, Deputy Rick Pickard was on patrol on Farm Road 573 north when he stopped a 2007 GMC pickup for a traffic violation. The driver was identified as 39 year old Chad Lee Seider of Mullin and during the stop Deputy Pickard began a driving while intoxicated investigation. During that time consent was given to search the vehicle that resulted in the recovery of approximately one ounce of methamphetamine inside the vehicle. Numerous firearms were also discovered inside the vehicle and Seider was placed under arrest for first degree felony possession of a controlled substance penalty group 1 over 4 grams but less than 200 grams. “This was another major seizure by Mills County Deputies that again has interrupted the distribution of methamphetamine in our community, more especially Mullin” said Sheriff Hammonds. Sheriff Hammonds also said “I hope the area drug dealers are paying attention to our endless efforts put them behind bars and get the hint that they need to stay away from Mills County”.
On Sunday, August 3, at approximately 1:00 PM, Deputy Brown responded to a report of an assault family violence that had occurred in the 900 block of Roseman Street in Goldthwaite. During the investigation it was discovered that the suspect 37 year old Margarita Lara had left the residence and was possibly located in Mills County. Mills County Deputies located the suspect at a residence on Private Road 224 where she was placed under arrest for assault family violence.
The Mills County Deputies have been busy during the past few weeks and here are just a few of the cases and arrests that have been made during that time. On Monday, June 29, 2015 at approximately 10:00 PM, The Mills County Sheriff’s Office received information that there was possibly a Federal Fugitive staying in a local motel. Mills County Sheriff’s Deputies assisted the United States Marshall’s Office in surveillance of the area and interviewing individuals of the motel. Through the course of the investigation officers were able to confirm that 33 year old Luis Moriel of Seminole, Texas was staying in a room and officers were given permission by a roommate to enter the room. Deputy US Marshalls and Mills County Sheriff’s Officers entered the room a were able to quickly effect the arrest of Moriel. Moriel was under sealed Federal drug indictment out of the Western District of Texas. Moriel was housed overnight before being transferred to a federal holding by US Marshalls.
On Wednesday, June 24, at approximately 4:16 PM, Mills County Sheriff’s Deputies received a call that there was a fight in progress in the 3000 Block of US 84 east in the middle of the highway. Deputies arrived and found a tractor trailer blocking the road and mini-van on the shoulder. Witnesses informed deputies that the drivers of both vehicles stopped in the road and began fighting. Deputies identified 79 year old John Miles of Hernando, Mississippi and 66 year old Daniel Thatcher of Hamilton, Texas. During the course of the investigation it was determined that Hernando had missed a turn and failed to yield onto US 84 nearly colliding with Thatcher. Thatcher then got in front of the tractor-trailer and forced him to stop. Both individuals exited their vehicles and a verbal argument ensued. Both individuals then began to physically assault one another briefly until witness’s intervened. Both Miles and Thatcher were cited for class C misdemeanor assault and will have a court appearance date before Justice Of the Peace Leland Knight.
On Friday, June 26, at approximately 6:00 PM, Mills County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a suspicious vehicle in the city park. Deputy Rick Pickard responded and located the vehicle leaving the park driving south on Texas 16. Deputy Pickard initiated a traffic stop and made contact with driver identified as 22 year old Jacob Martinez of Goldthwaite, Texas. During the stop it was determined that Martinez did not have a valid driver’s license and was placed under arrest for no driver’s license.
Wednesday, July 1, at approximately 12:41 AM, Mills County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a suspicious vehicle parked on County Road 403. Deputy James Purcell responded and located the vehicle occupied by 31 year old Brandon Verette of San Saba, Texas just sitting in the car. Deputy Purcell determined that Verette was under the influence of some type of chemical other than alcohol. During the investigation Verette admitted that he was there to smoke “K2” a street term for synthetic marijuana. Verette was placed under arrest for public intoxication. Verette entered a plea and served 5 days in the Mills County Jail for the offense.
On Friday, July 3, at approximately 5:00 PM, Mills County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a female subject possibly intoxicated walking in the middle of Farm Road 1047 south in Star. Deputy Johnny Brown arrived first on scene and made contact with a 30 year old woman from Florida. During the contact the female became aggressive and assaultive which resulted in a brief physical fight before securing her in handcuffs. It was determined that the female was under the influence of an unidentified chemical or drug and was in need of medical attention. It took approximately 6 individuals to restrain the female and secure her to a stretcher. She was transported to Hamilton Hospital for treatment and her name is being withheld due to medical patients right of confidentiality. Then at approximately 8:00 PM, Texas Department of Public Safety Troopers stopped a vehicle on US 183 south of Goldthwaite for a traffic violation. During the stop approximately 9 ounces of marijuana was recovered and 32 year old Christopher Monroe of Abilene, Texas was arrested for felony possession of marijuana. Monroe is still currently in custody in the Mills County Jail.
On Tuesday, July 7, at approximately 1:07 AM, Deputy Johnny Brown was on routines patrol on US 84 west of Goldthwaite when a he conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle. The driver was identified as 28 year old Arion Thomas of Lubbock, Texas. During the stop it was determined that Thomas was driving on an invalid driver’s license and also was wanted out of Lubbock County, Texas for felony Tampering with evidence. Thomas was arrested and is currently awaiting extradition back to Lubbock County.