Texas readers expect police officers to uphold the laws they are charged with enforcing. Unfortunately, that isn't always the case. On July 18, a former South Texas police chief was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison after being convicted of multiple drug charges.
A Texas pharmacy owner has pleaded guilty to federal charges related to the manufacture and sale of dangerous drugs for racehorses. As part of the negotiations, he has agreed to forfeit over $612,000 in profits that authorities confiscated from his bank accounts.
Anyone who has ever watched a police procedural television show or a movie that involves the arrest of a criminal has likely witnessed officers advising defendants of their Miranda rights. Although many laws and legal procedures vary from state to state, there are certain basic civil rights that those accused of crimes have regardless of where they are at the time of the arrest.
A 30-year-old Texas man faces several years in federal prison after being found guilty of conspiracy to possess methamphetamine with the intent to distribute, witness tampering, and obstruction of justice. The Panola County resident was found guilty by a jury on June 28 following a trial that lasted for two weeks. He was originally indicted along with 10 other individuals in December 2017. He was the only defendant who chose to face a jury rather than enter into a plea agreement with the prosecution.
Despite the claims of law enforcement associations, one study indicates that civil asset forfeiture has little impact on solving or reducing crime in Texas and across the country. Civil asset forfeiture allows police departments to seize property that they suspect of being connected in some way to criminal activity. According to the report by the Institute of Justice, there was no link between the amount of forfeiture funds received by state and local law enforcement agencies and drug use rates or the percentage of cases solved.