Nacogdoches Sheriff’s Office Busts Major Fraud Operation
According to a press release from the Nacogdoches County Sheriff's Office (NCSO), five subjects were arrested Saturday morning (11/24/18) after a search warrant was executed on a residence on County Road 978 between Sacul and Cushing. The investigation has been ongoing for several months.
Sheriff Jason Bridges stated that the main target of the investigation was Roy Allen Butler who investigators believed had been distributing large quantities of methamphetamine. During the course of the investigation, officials also obtained information from the Trinity County Sheriff’s Office. Investigators there had also gathered information that Butler may have been involved in fraud cases that had occurred in their county.
During the course of the investigation, the NCSO was able to conduct several undercover purchases of methamphetamine from Butler. Sheriff Investigators learned that Butler was also allegedly conducting other criminal activity including making false checks, stealing people’s identity and making counterfeit money.
Around 6:00 am Saturday, the NCSO conducted a raid of the residence. There were seven adults inside the house along with some young children. After the residence was secured, a search was conducted. The search of the residence revealed several grams of methamphetamine, along with numerous fraud documents and computer equipment that Butler was allegedly using to produce illegal documents. Investigators also discovered several sheets of paper that were hanging up to dry that could be used to produce counterfeit money. A small amount of counterfeit money that was in denominations of twenties and tens were also found hidden inside the residence. Investigators found one fraudulent check printed out in the amount of 1,200 dollars. Also found were fake social security cards, a computer from a local business that is believed to be stolen, numerous people’s names that had personal information attached to it, such as social security numbers and several counterfeit checks that had not been fully printed yet.
Investigators collected several computers, hard drives, printers, credit card skimmers and other fraud devices from the residences. Also seized was one sawed off shotgun, along with methamphetamine, scales, and other material being used to package and distribute narcotics.
Roy Butler, 28, was arrested at the scene for Possession of a controlled Substance, a 3rd degree felony, three counts of Forgery, a 3rd felony, one count of Forgery, a State Jail felony and a warrant was served on him for Delivery of a controlled substance, a 1st felony. Total bond was set at $92,500.
Coty Whitehead, 37, was arrested at the scene for Possession of a controlled substance, a state jail felony and bond was set at $5,000. Dustin Cooper, 24, was arrested for unlawful possession of a firearm by felon and bond was set at $15,000. Tia Meshell, 29, was arrested for an outstanding warrant for Motion to revoke Probation- original charge of Burglary of a Habitation out of Shelby County. James Edwards, 31, was arrested on a Class C theft warrant out of Nacogdoches. All subjects were booked into the Nacogdoches County Jail.
Sheriff Bridges stated that more charges are likely against the main target in this investigation, Roy Butler. The NCSO believes that the hard drives on the computer will have a wealth of information on how deep Roy Butler was involved in stealing people’s identity and producing fraudulent checks and money. Investigators have had several reports in the past of local businesses having fraudulent checks written along with several people having their identities stolen. From evidence recovered so far, this may possibly be one of the largest fraud cases in Nacogdoches County history.
Sheriff Bridges stated that Child Protective Services was also notified of the case, and that the conditions of the house were horrific that the children were living in.