News Item: HPD officer charged in illegal-immigrant guard business
(Category: Blue GANG News)
Posted by
Saturday 17 June 2006 - 15:26:23

A Houston police officer and his father were charged in federal court today with falsifying forms so that illegal immigrants could be armed and licensed to work as security guards for their company.

Officer David Rodriguez, 38, and Manuel Rodriguez, 65, appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Calvin Botley after the unsealing of an indictment charging that they conspired to hire and arm illegal immigrants, falsified forms during the purchase of firearms and sold firearms without a license.

Botley said the Rodriguezes' security company, Bayou City Patrol Division, is charged separately as a corporation and must have its own legal representation.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Abe Martinez asked Botley to keep them in custody because of what he called David Rodriguez's unruly behavior at a hearing for one of his employees in another federal courtroom in February.

Martinez said Rodriguez, a 13-year police veteran, was banned from the federal courthouse after he fought with deputy U.S. marshals and threatened a federal judge. Witnesses in the case were reluctant to come forward because they feared David Rodriguez, Martinez said.

Botley scheduled a detention hearing for Wednesday, when the government will have to present evidence that the Rodriguezes should be denied bail because they are a risk to flee or a danger to the community.

Martinez said the security guards, many of whom cannot speak English, were illegal immigrants, mostly from El Salvador, Honduras and Mexico.

A federal investigator who asked not to be named said Bayou City employed about 50 guards, primarily for apartment buildings and some of the most notorious bars on Houston's west side.

Martinez said the company's guards worked at bars where violence, drug dealing and child prostitution flourished. The investigator said some guards were suspected of involvement in criminal activity.

The indictment, handed up Wednesday, charges Bayou City and its operators with conspiracy. The father and son are charged with making a false statement in connection with the acquisition of a firearm and selling firearms without a license. Manuel Rodriguez also is charged with unlawful sale of a firearm to a prohibited person.

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metropolitan/3977092.html


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