Texas Crimes of the Year, 2012

As it turns out, Texans indulged in all seven of the deadly sins.

Dante's punishment for gluttons: a perpetual force-feeding of frogs, toads and snakes. That seems a little harsh for some of these folks, but not tough enough for Michael Daniel, who might enjoy a meal like that. Especially after a few hits of K-2.

GREED

Holyspiritinteractive.com has a threefold definition of Greed: an obsessive desire for ever more material goods and their attendant power; a fearful need to store up surplus goods for a vaguely defined time of want (Hoarders, Preppers and Mormons — you are all gonna burn); and a desire for more earthly goods for their own sake.

Angela Buchanan could spin a story.
Angela Buchanan could spin a story.
Crystal Mosquera didn't see any reason to pay Walmart for all her stuff.
Crystal Mosquera didn't see any reason to pay Walmart for all her stuff.

And as Austin nightlife legend Eddie Wilson once said, "Greed never sleeps," and Texas in 2012 was no exception. German Ramos, 36, and Kendrick Ferguson, 33 , both uniformed Houston cops, tried to rob a drug dealer. That plan went awry when the dealer was revealed to be a pawn in an HPD internal-affairs sting. The two cops and an accomplice now face 15 to 99 years in prison.

Richard Cano, another greedy cop (this one on the HISD force), was charged with fraud after federal prosecutors accused him of conspiring with tow-truck companies to illicitly impound vehicles and then split the fees with the wrecker-drivers. Cano, 46 and an 18-year veteran, faces charges of extortion under color of official right and could get up to 20 years behind bars.

Two Walmart-related incidents this year featured greed enhanced by stupidity.

This fall, Abilene's 52-year-old William Keltner devised a cunningly ingenious plan to obtain a cut-rate TV from a West Texas Wally World. He would grab a $228 set, replace the barcode with one reading $1.17 and then purchase the TV at a self-checkout line. With no pesky employees to call for a price check on aisle nine, what could go wrong? Just as Keltner was probably wondering why nobody had ever thought of his bold scheme before, he was collared by Walmart security and taken to the store office, and later arrested.

A more grievous and still dumber sin was allegedly committed by former Walmart employee Buddy Olvera. The Pasadena man allegedly helped himself to a customer's debit card he found in a wallet mislaid in the store's parking lot and went on a buying spree. That's bad enough, but Olvera chose to compound wickedness with stupidity by using the card at the very same store at which he was employed, blithely ignoring what he must have known full well: that not even the Eye of Sauron takes in more of what goes on around Mordor than Walmart's security cams take in around them. Confronted with what must be a documentary-length DVD of video evidence, Olvera has reportedly confessed, though he has yet to be convicted.

Higher up the socioeconomic ladder, all the way up in one-percenter territory, 2012 saw multiple convictions and sentencings in the Allen Stanford debacle. Stanford himself was handed a bracing 110-year term for perpetrating his $7 billion Ponzi scheme.

Dante wrote that the greedy were dipped in pots of boiling oil face down and remained there for eternity, so Stanford should count himself lucky. As should the many Wall Street bankers whose day of reckoning has yet to come, and may never.

SLOTH

Old-timers defined Sloth as both underachieving in general and standing idly by while evil was done. It was also seen as something of a catch-all sin for people who did not do what they were supposed to do, as opposed to people who did things they shouldn't do, a mortal sin of omission rather than commission.

As such, terrible parents fall in the sloth box, and Texas abounded with absolutely horrendous moms and dads. There was the Catt family — a father who reportedly took his twentysomething son and teenage daughter along on several bank heists in several states, for example.

Still worse was 34-year-old Torina Ann Gutierrez of Del Valle, just outside Austin. Gutierrez's six-year-old daughter reportedly ate a sandwich that had somehow become tainted with PCP at mom's house, and the poor girl was at school complaining of "banging in her head" and feeling "crazy and dizzy," all because of that sandwich she described as tasting like "fireworks."

It's open for debate, but you could make a case for Houston's Stephanie Irene Santana as 2012's worst Texas parent. According to police reports this summer, the 20-year-old left her one-year-old baby in the car while she tried to get a body piercing at a North Freeway tattoo parlor at three in the morning.

And did we mention? She had driven there drunk. While seven months pregnant. And under legal drinking age. And on probation. And then when police arrived, they found some Xanax, in a car strewn with empty and half-full bottles of Corona. In her child's diaper bag.

But the purest example of the medieval conception of sin came from a case handled by the U.S. Attorney's Office. The feds claimed that Demi Mishel Muniz, 33, and Luis Aceituno, 26, were transporting illegal immigrants in a van from Houston to Los Angeles when one of the illegals fell ill.

Muniz reportedly called the man's wife twice. First, she wanted to make sure that the man's wife had deposited $650 in Muniz's account. Later, she called again to say that the man had become sick. The man's wife told Muniz that he was an insulin-dependent diabetic and would need treatment. Muniz had other plans. She said she would drop the man off near Amarillo.

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4 comments
lineardyna
lineardyna

Excellent story - I learned something from it, e.g. hoarding = greed. Early in the New Year of 2013 is as good a time as any to review the "seven deadlies." Though not all of us are at all likely to do any of these sins exactly the same way, IMHO we need to periodically perform a self-appraisal to see where we may be missing the mark and it sure couldn't hurt to try to learn from the mistakes of others especially since we won't live long enough to make them all ourselves.

Schitt.Rumpney
Schitt.Rumpney

The "man and his dog".....why did I have to read itn..lol

HeyYoJos
HeyYoJos

@bomani_jones @smartfootball @blackmanusa Want all 50 states rt @hairballsnews 2012: The Year in #Texas Crimes http://t.co/WJUhGDhg

Geezy
Geezy

"It's something that you really can't imagine. I see my neighbor out there with his pants down — molesting my dog. I wasn't prepared to see that that morning,"

This killed me when I read it, hahaha. Lomax you should consider doing a "memorable quotes" 1 off to this article here, considering the stupidity of some of these crimes I'm sure there's some great ones. 

Awesome way to sum up the year. Hilarious. 

 
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