On the night of March 6, 2009, the Polk County Sheriff's Office Narcotics Patrol Division and the City of Livingston Police Department Patrol Division conducted an investigation into several complaints from the community regarding methamphetamine distribution and abuse at the Sunset Tattoo Shop located in the City of Livingston. Sergeant Howard Smith advised that the owner/operator of the shop, Wesley Shillings, 35, of Livingston, was contacted and was advised of the information that had been given to law enforcement. Smith advised that Shillings denied knowing anything about the information and gave full consent for the search of his shop. During the search of the shop, methamphetamine, scales used to weigh meth, and a pipe used for smoking meth were found on the premises. The discovery led to the arrest of Daniel Ross Rachal, 24, of Livingston (possession of meth), Jesse Lee Branham, 34, of Livingston (possession of meth), Katrina Brooke Done, 23, of Livingston (arrested later on a warrant for possession of a controlled substance). Shillings who stated that he knew nothing about the complaints charged by the community later changed his story and said that he had already had to fire 3 people from his shop for meth related problems. Shillings was also arrested a short time later on a warrant for possession of a controlled substance. All four arrests were felony charges.
Daniel Ross Rachal
Jesse Lee Branham
Katrina Brooke Done
March 10, 2009
Alfredo M. Ruiz is a non-citizen of the USA.
On March 10, 2009, Sheriff's detectives responded to a residence off of Old Tram Road near US-146 in reference to a Crime Stoppers tip from within the Polk County Jail. The tip was information that an inmate Alfredo Mendoza Ruiz, 35, of Livingston (serving time in Polk County Jail and waiting to be transferred to state prison), and his wife, Avelina Martinez Ruiz. The tip made light of the plans for Mrs. Ruiz to continue to distribute methamphetamine and cocaine for Mr. Ruiz while he was serving prison time. Once narcotics detectives arrived on the scene Mrs. Ruiz gave consent to search the residence, in addition a search warrant was obtained. Detectives uncovered a large quantity of methamphetamine and cocaine with a street value of $5,000. Lieutenant Andy Lowrie stated that information obtained during the investigation indicated that this operation turned out to be a large supplier of meth and cocaine to the Polk County Area.
Alfredo M. Ruiz was sentenced to prison for a prior arrest for possession of methamphetamine and cocaine. Avelina Martinez Ruiz was charged with two first degree felony charges of possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver. William Dominguez was also charged with two first degree felony possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver. Ruben Ruiz will also be charged with possession of a controlled substance (a state jail felony). Alfredo Ruiz, William Dominguez, and Ruben Ruiz are all non-citizens of the USA.
March 20, 2009
On March 20, 2009, Lieutenant Andy Lowrie with the Polk County Sheriff's Office received information from a local pharmacy in the city of Livingston in reference to two people in their store wanting to purchase pseudo ephedrine. Lowrie was told that the two suspects were from the Lufkin/Nacogdoches area. Lowrie advised that due to new laws in place to keep track of who and how much pseudo ephedrine was being purchased that out of town subjects purchasing the drug in Polk County has increased. Lowrie explained that pseudo ephedrine is used in the manufacturing of methamphetamine and subjects up to no good will travel out of their home towns to purchase boxes of it in order to stay "under the radar" from their local law enforcement. Lowrie stated that one of the subjects in the store checked out to be legitimate and the other subject, Karl Layton Sitton from Douglas, Texas was stopped on traffic after he had left the store. According to Lowrie, Sitton gave consent to search his vehicle. The search rendered a boxes of pseudo ephedrine sitting on the front seat of the car and the center console that Sitton had purchased from Brookshire Bros. Lowrie then located two more boxes that had been purchased at Wal-Mart in Livingston. Additionally, Sitton was in possession of Marijuana. Sitton was arrested for possession of marijuana. A further investigation into the purchase of the pseudophedrine by Sitton has been initiated. Further, all of Sitton's information has been forwarded to the local law enforcement in his area.
Lieutenant Andy Lowrie asks that all pharmacies in the Polk County area continue to call the Sheriff's Office when they feel a criminal activity is taking place. Hopefully, this will discourage subjects from migrating to Polk County to purchase items needed to manufacture methamphetamine.
March 23, 2009
Keith D. Burks had 20 marijuana plants growing in his house and other drugs with paraphanelia
On March 23, 2009 Narcotics Deputy Randy Turner and Deputy Chris Lima responded to a Crime Stoppers tip in reference to an indoor marijuana operation located of FM-1987 just outside the city limits of Corrigan. Upon arrival they contacted Keith D. Burks, 46, of Corrigan and advised him of the tips that had been received about his marijuana grow. According to Deputy Turner, Burks admitted that he was growing marijuana inside and led Turner into the bathroom of the residence where marijuana plants were found. Burks gave consent to search the residence. Detectives uncovered a pipe commonly used for smoking methamphetamine and more marijuana. Deputy Turner and Lima collected approximately 20 marijuana plants ranging in size from 6 inches to 3 feet. Keith Dewayne Burks was arrested possession of marijuana. An associate of Burks, John Ratlif will have a warrant issued for his arrest for possession of marijuana for his part in the growing operation.
Also on March 23, 2009...
Narcotics detectives investigated America's Best Inn located on US-59 south of the City of Livingston in reference the distribution of methamphetamine from room number 228. Upon arrival, Lieutenant Andy Lowrie verified that room 228 was rented to the suspect that was named in the Crime Stoppers tip. Detectives contacted James Steelhammer and Kimberly Whittenburg and they were both questioned about the tip that had been received by the Sheriff's Office. Both suspects were checked for warrants and Whittenburg was wanted for issuance of a bad check. Steelhammer was on parole for drug related charges. A search warrant was obtained for room 228. A search of the room turned up methamphetamine and prescription drugs. James Steelhammer was arrested for the parole warrant and for possession of meth (a state jail felony). Kimberly Whittenburg was arrested for the issuance of a bad check warrant and for possession of prescription medication.
James H. Steelhammer, 29, of Coldsprings
Kimberly L. Whittenburg, 38, of Livingston
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