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  • Writer's pictureLucas Nava

HSI Houston's Dawson: "Organized theft rings... have bred chaos and terror in our communities"

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Six Texas residents were detained during a multi-department investigation into a catalytic converter theft ring.

Homeland Security Investigations Houston, the Harris County Sheriff's Office, the Houston Police Department and the Texas Department of Public Safety detained six individuals July 28 for allegedly taking part in a large-scale theft ring suspected of fencing stolen catalytic converters for the three people accused of killing HCSO Sheriff's Office Deputy Darren Almendarez in March, according to an Immigration and Customs Enforcement news release.

“For far too long, violent criminal networks and organized theft rings like this have bred chaos and terror in our communities,” HSI special agent Mark Dawson said in the release. “Together with our fellow law enforcement partners, HSI Houston is committed to bring every resource to bear to vigorously pursue these dangerous criminal elements and will not rest until we can restore peace and order for the hard-working and law-abiding residents of Houston.”

Houston residents Jose Martinez, 19; Armando Martinez, 18; Isaac Castillo, 21; Terance Elder, 20; and Armando Martinez Sr., 39, and Jose Sanchez, 21, of Dayton, were named as the arrested suspects, according to the release. Authorities also executed six federal search warrants at five Houston residences and one storage facility as part of the multi-agency investigation into the theft ring.

“Our community has been increasingly plagued by these types of crimes,” HCSO Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said in the release. “I am thankful for all efforts made to arrest these dangerous individuals. This operation would not have been a success without the strong collaboration of several agencies within our region.”

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