Investigators with the Ellis County Sheriff’s Office continue to make arrests and recover property relating to the recent bust up of a theft ring.
Searches were initially done at two locations, one in Ellis County and the other in Hill County, with several trailers believed stolen from the Ellis County area, as well as numerous four-wheelers and mule-type all-terrain vehicles, welders and saddles, among the recovered items.
Several days later, sheriff’s investigators conducted a search of a residence and property in southern Dallas in connection with information received during the investigation of numerous theft and burglary offenses that occurred in Ellis County during a several-month period.
During the search, investigators recovered numerous items believed to be stolen from the Ellis County area, including welders, hand tools, cordless drills, saws, electronics and various other construction equipment.
Authorities also have recovered several lawnmowers, four-wheelers and other property from various locations in Ellis County. The items were reported stolen to the sheriff’s office and other local law enforcement agencies.
Although an exact value of the recovered property has not been determined at this time, the amount is estimated to be in excess of $100,000.
The sheriff’s office has taken several suspects into custody on various charges relating to the property and investigation. Those include:
• James Smith, a 22-year-old male from Red Oak, has been charged with engaging in organized criminal activity and burglary of a building, with bonds totaling $100,000.
• Jason Poer, 18, of Red Oak, has been charged with engaging in organized criminal activity with bonds totaling $75,000. He had previously bonded on a burglary charge related to the investigation.
• William Jacob Lane, 31, of Red Oak, has been charged with engaging in organized criminal activity with bonds totaling $75,000.
• Nicholas Vaughn, 20, of Red Oak, has been charged with engaging in organized criminal activity with bonds totaling $75,000.
• Arnold Moya, 23, of Red Oak, has been charged with engaging in organized criminal activity, three counts of theft/possession of stolen property and multiple other offenses, with bonds totaling $28,000. Moya was already in custody for multiple other offenses and warrants.
Additional arrest warrants have been issued for other suspects and their arrests are pending, with authorities saying investigators continue to follow up leads they expect will lead to the recovery of other stolen items.
The sheriff’s office is being assisted by the Red Oak Police Department, as well as the Auto Theft Services Division of the Texas Department of Public Safety in the investigation.
Investigators with the sheriff’s office and local law enforcement agencies are reviewing the items recovered and will notify property owners if their property is identified.
The Criminal Investigations Division of the sheriff’s office has fielded hundreds of phone calls regarding the recovered stolen items and would like for the residents calling to know that investigators are working diligently to identify the items recovered and notify property owners.