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  • Dangerous drug kills 1, sends 3 to hospital

    PCSO logoPCSO logo

    From the Polk County Sheriff's Office

    One person is dead and three more in the hospital after they consumed a dangerous drug earlier last week.

    On Tuesday, Polk County Sheriff's Office deputies responded to a location in the Ace area of Polk County concerning the death of a local individual and two others that were believed to have consumed methamphetamines. Polk County Sheriff Byron Lyons suspects that due to the evidence located at the scene along with drug evidence all three individuals consumed the unknown drug laced with an unknown chemical.

    Later that day another individual was discovered in a different subdivision with the same symptoms stating that he also consumed drugs associated with the three individuals from earlier. This person was transported to a local hospital.

    At this time detectives are conducting investigation and awaiting information from the Jefferson County Medical Examiner’s Office as well as hospitals the individuals were transported to for treatment.

    Lyons wants to make the public aware of drugs such as crystal meth and heroin being sold to individuals in Polk County that is suspected of being laced with an unknown chemical or possibly fentanyl. He asked that anyone with information as to the illegal use and sale of narcotics to contact and report to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office or Crime Stoppers at 936-327-STOP (7867).

  • Former PCSO Deputy arrested

    AUSTIN TYLER MCCRACKENMUGSHOT Austin Tyler McCracken

    From the Polk County Sheriff’s Office

    A former Polk County Sheriff’s Office narcotics detective is in trouble with the law.

    Austin Tyler McCracken, 27, was arrested on Monday after a warrant for his arrest was issued. The charge was misuse of official information.

    On April 12, PCSO received a complaint in reference to possible improper conduct involving former Detective McCracken following a traffic stop. The complaint stated McCracken had sent unsolicited private social media messages to the female subject shortly after the traffic stop.

    Feeling uncomfortable regarding the nature of the communications, the female subject reported the matter to law enforcement and an internal investigation was started by the PCSO. McCracken was suspended pending the outcome of the investigation.

    On April 14, McCracken was terminated from employment by Chief Deputy Rickie Childers. McCracken immediately appealed the termination to Sheriff Byron Lyons.

    Prior to his appeal hearing with the sheriff, however, McCracken resigned from the Sheriff’s Office while under investigation. The criminal aspect of the investigation was reported to the Texas Rangers for an independent investigation.

    On Monday, McCracken was arrested and charged with misuse of official information, which is a third-degree felony. McCracken was booked into the Polk County Jail and given a $5,000 bond by Justice of the Peace Darrell Longino.

    Anyone having information regarding any other instances of possible improper conduct on the part of McCracken is encouraged to contact Texas Ranger Sgt. Ryan Clendenen at (936) 327-6836. Sheriff Lyons expressed that he expects his deputies to always adhere to the highest standards of professionalism and law enforcement ethics in their dealings with citizens.

  • Jailer abuse under investigation

    logoDPS file photo

    From the Polk County Sheriff’s Office

    A Polk County jailer was put on leave last week after a complaint of excessive use of force was filed.

    On Feb. 22, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office received a complaint where a jailer allegedly used excessive force on an inmate in the jail. PCSO administration notified theTexas Rangers and requested the Rangers’ assistance in conducting the investigation.

    The jailer was placed on administrative leave pending the investigation.

  • PCSO seeks shooting suspect

    RamirezRalph Ramirez

    From the Polk County Sheriff’s Office

    The Polk County Sheriff’s Office is looking for a suspect involved in a shooting early last week.

    Polk County Sheriff Bryon Lyons said his office received a 911 call on Feb. 15, at approximately 12:03 p.m. of a gunshot victim at a residence on Plum Pudding Rd. off FM 2798 in the Votaw area of Polk County. Deputies along with Americare EMS and South End First Responders arrived at the location and found Gregory Basham, 37, with a single gunshot wound to the abdomen area who was later transported to an out-of-county Hospital.

    Polk County Detectives arrived at the location and identified the shooter as Ralph Ramirez, 44, of Liberty County. An altercation was reported to have occurred between Basham and Ramirez at which time Ramirez retrieved a 22 rifle from inside the residence and shot Basham.

    The firearm was recovered at the scene. Ramirez left the location prior to law enforcement’s arrival.

    Sheriff’s Office Detectives have obtained an arrest warrant for Ramirez for the offense of Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon issued by JP 4 Jamie Richardson.

    If you know the whereabouts of Ralph Ramirez, Sheriff Lyons asks that you contact the Polk County Sheriff’s Office at 936-327-6810 or Crime Stoppers at 936-327-STOP (7867).