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Regional Champs

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Congratulations to our Boy’s Powerlifting Team on winning the Regional Championship. Also to Coach Cedric White being named Coach of Year. Winners were: first place, Rudy Morales, Lain Baker and Joel Weekes; third place, Gage Murphy and Leithan Beck; and fourth place, Carlos Guevara and Kelvin Hernandez. Outstanding lifter on the light platform and Outstanding deadlift was Rudy Morales; and Lain Baker was named for Outstanding Bench and Outstanding Squat on the light platform. Courtesy photo

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Two dead, one injured in Cleveland shooting

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Sheriff Capers reviewing the facts of the murder suicide case with his detectives.  Courtesy photoSheriff Capers reviewing the facts of the murder suicide case with his detectives. Courtesy photo

Special to the News-Times

CLEVELAND — Two people died and one was seriously injured in a Monday shooting incident in the southwest part of the county.

Police were contacted for a emergency during the evening hours to the 900 block of , and when deputies arrived, Mingli Shannon, 52, was found dead and Siqi Zhang, 30, was wounded, both by a gun.

Witnesses told police that Shannon’s stepson, 43-year-old Kenneth Rutledge, was responsible.

Roadblocks using several area law enforcement agencies were set up; however, a short time later a shot was heard near the home. Investigators found the suspect in a Chevrolet pickup suffering from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Emergency medical personnel attended to Rutledge and Zhang and transported them to a Cleveland hospital where Rutledge was pronounced dead. On Friday, Zhang reported was recovering and will survive the shooting.

Sheriff Greg Capers said Rutledge may have been under the influence of methamphetamines or some other controlled substance at the time he took the life of his stepmother and seriously wounded his stepsister. 

Further investigation indicated that Rutledge was in fear of cartel members looking for him for an unknown reason. 

Capers said cases like this are saddening.

“In my line of work you see this too often, but it’s something you never become accustomed to and it’s the thing that keeps me up at night,” he said.

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Sheriff raids cockfighting operation

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Some of the animals were kept in air-conditioned pens, others in wire cages. Courtesy photoSome of the animals were kept in air-conditioned pens, others in wire cages. Courtesy photo

Special to the News-Times

CLEVELAND — A raid on a cockfighting operation in southwest San Jacinto County resulted in numerous arrests and the seizure of thousands of dollars in property.

The raid Perry Lane in North Cleveland, which is in San Jacinto 

was the result of months-long investigation.

Sheriff Greg Capers said that on Sunday, seven people, whose names are not yet being released, were arrested on charges of engaging in organized criminal activity. During the raid, officers seized about $20,404 in cash, a 2016 Kia sedan, a 2014 Toyota Sienna, a 2019 Mercedes van, and a 2018 Ram 3500 pickup.

Additionally, 12 roosters valued at $10,000 apiece were taken, along with thousands of dollars in stolen property.

Capers said that aside from it being against the law, the activity is intensely cruel to the animals, and since he raises cattle, he finds it reprehensible. 

“There is no place in our society for such inhumane treatment of these innocent animals,” he said.

Capers said the birds are placed in an enclosed pit to fight for the primary purpose of gambling and entertainment with thousands of dollars being waged. A typical cockfight can last anywhere from seven minutes to more than a half hour and usually results in the death of one or both birds. 

The birds have steel blades tied to their legs for the purpose of injuring or in most cases killing the opponent. Capers said gamecock owners themselves have been killed when accidentally slashed by their own birds.

Additionally, according to the Sheriff, federal and state law enforcement often associate cockfighting with other criminal activities such illegal gambling, drug trafficking, assaults, human trafficking, illegal weapons sales and even murder. 

Federal investigations have uncovered international drug cartels running sophisticated cockfighting operations as a means of distributing drugs across the country, he said. 

More arrests are expected as the investigation continues. 

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San Jac officer killed in Houston

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SJCSO logo

By Tony Farkas

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

HOUSTON — San Jacinto Deputy Constable Neil Adams was killed during an altercation on Wednesday afternoon.

According to information from the Houston Police Department, officers are investigating the fatal shooting of Adams, 62, who was transported to Memorial Hermann Hospital and pronounced dead.

The identity of the suspect, 35, is pending verification by the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences. He was transported to Ben Taub General Hospital where he was pronounced deceased.

County Judge Fritz Faulkner said Adams’ death is a sad thing.

“We lost one of our best. I don’t know what kind a monster would do such a thing,” he said. “He was a fine police officer, good-natured, as good a guy as you’d ever want to meet.”

Reports indicate that Adams, who was working at a second job apart from his duties in San Jacinto County, got into an altercation with the suspect at about 4 p.m. Wednesday. During the fight, the suspect took Adams’ weapon and shot him.

Adams was working security at PlazAmericas Mall on Bellaire Boulevard.

Two Houston officers, T. Salameh and M. Nasser, were dispatched to an assist, and upon arrival, were met by crowds of people exiting the mall stating that a black male wearing a blue shirt was involved in a physical altercation with an officer inside of a business, reports state.

The two Houston officers entered the mall and located the suspect coming from the second floor; the suspect was wielding a knife, reports state.

Salameh and Nasser attempted to get the suspect to surrender, but the suspect refused to comply and then charged at the officers.

The two officers discharged their duty weapons, striking the suspect, who fell, got up and attempted to flee. Officers then used a taser, causing the suspect to fall to the ground, reports state.

The suspect continued to resist but officers eventually were able to place him into custody. Paramedics then transported the suspect to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead, reports state.

Officer Salameh was sworn in as an officer in May 2020 and Officer Nasser in February 2020. Neither officer was injured.

San Jacinto County Sheriff Greg Capers said the San Jacinto County Sheriff’s Office extends its sincerest condolences to the friends and family of Deputy Constable Neil Adams, who paid the ultimate sacrifice.

“Our hearts are broken; God has prepared a special place for him,” Capers said. He was a great guy — he was an up-and-comer, as was his wife; they were bound to do good things in this county.

On Thursday, Gov. Greg Abbott issued a statement.

"Our hearts are with the family of Deputy Constable Neil Adams, who passed away (Wednesday) evening in Houston while working an off-duty security job at a local mall," Abbott said. "We are grateful for the dedication of our law enforcement officers who are committed to keeping us safe, whether on or off duty, and their immeasurable sacrifices are not lost on us.

“The State of Texas has offered assistance and support to the City of Houston as they investigate the shooting,” he said.

Adams, who was San Jacinto County’s Environmental Officer, also served as deputy constable for Precinct 1. He started as a dispatcher at the Sheriff’s Office, and then attended the Police Academy in 2012. He returned and went on patrol for the Sheriff’s Office, and in January 2020 began as the environment officer.

Precinct 1 Constable Roy Rogers said Neil was a conscientious officer, took care of job and was a people person.

The investigation will continue.

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Deputies seize guns, drugs, stolen property

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arrest 6Numerous rifles and other weapons, as well as ammunition, were taken during a raid Thursday. Law enforcement personnel at the federal, state and local level participated in the investigation.

Special to the News-Times

SHEPHERD — A multi-agency investigation has led to the arrest of one man believed to be responsible for numerous thefts as well as one suspected of selling narcotics in the area.

Justin Hope, 38, currently is being held in Polk County Jail on numerous charges, and will be transferred to San Jacinto County Jail at a later date.

Sheriff’s deputies, led by Chief Deputy Tim Kean of the San Jacinto County Sheriff’s Office, arrested Hope on Thursday in a room at the Executive Inn Motel, and seized numerous pieces of jewelry, weapons, ammunition, collectible coins, electronic equipment, power tools, computer equipment and more.

Kean said that this cache of weapons, many of which are more than likely stolen, along with a collection of a variety of drugs and paraphernalia with an estimated street value of $100,000, could have reached the streets of the county within hours.

Sheriff Greg Capers said that other suspects have been identified and are being sought as well.

Capers said federal, state and local agencies were involved in the investigation.

If you believe that you are a victim of one of these crimes, contact Detective Montaleo at the San Jacinto Sheriff’s Office at (936) 653-4367.

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