Michael Berry

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Social Media Post Leads To Houston Catalytic Converter Theft Ring Bust

HPD working in conjunction with DHS, the Harris County Sheriff's Office & Texas Department of Public Safety announced the arrest of six people for their involvement in a "large-scale" catalytic converter theft ring.

Officials say they recovered 455 catalytic converters, 2,800 oxygen sensors, and 29 guns.

Law enforcement believe this ring is responsible for at least $11.6 million in catalytic converter thefts.

Two of the suspects arrested even posted on social media a picture of them with wads of cash along with a stack of catalytic converters behind them.

DHS says in a press release:

"Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Houston, Harris County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO), Houston Police Department (HPD), and Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) arrested six individuals July 28 for their alleged roles in a large-scale catalytic converter theft ring that is suspected of fencing stolen catalytic converters for the three individuals charged with murdering HCSO Sheriff’s Office Deputy Darren Almendarez.
Authorities also executed six federal search warrants at five Houston-area residences and one storage facility as part of the large-scale, multi-agency criminal investigation into the organized theft group.
The individuals arrested pursuant to state arrest warrants for their alleged roles in the theft ring were Jose Martinez, 19; Armando Martinez, 18; Isaac Castillo, 21; Terance Elder, 20; and Armando Martinez Sr., 39; all residents of Houston, and Jose Sanchez, a 21-year-old resident of Dayton, Texas.
“For far too long, violent criminal networks and organized theft rings like this have bred chaos and terror in our communities,” said Mark Dawson, special agent in charge of HSI Houston. “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.”

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