Lufkin-area Texas Ranger retiring

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - By Jeff Awtrey - email

LUFKIN, Texas (KTRE) - Lufkin-area Texas Ranger Pete Maskunas, who played key roles in high-profile criminal investigations and tragedy recovery efforts over the past nine years is retiring from the position at the end of the month.

Maskunas, 47, who has been in that office since 2002, said he plans to continue teaching at Angelina College and explore his options from there.

"Who knows? I may look into some other police-related job," he said.

Maskunas came to Lufkin after working six months as a ranger in Conroe. Before that, he worked as a state trooper all over the state.

His job will become open in March, and will be open for transfers, he said.

Maskunas said he took a lot of pride in being able to help get convictions in child abuse cases, like the one of Candice Alexander, a teen girl who died when her mother and stepfather injected methamphetamine into her arm.

One case Maskunas did not expect to be involved in was the recovery of debris from the space Shuttle Columbia.

"Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be involved in something like that," he said. "But I went to San Augustine County and headed up the recovery effort until the FBI and NASA could arrive."

Maskunas also worked in recovery efforts with Hurricanes Rita and Ike.

"It's just one of those deals where you go back to training and experience and hope what you do is good enough until someone with more expertise can make it there," he said.

Maskunas' office covers Angelina, San Augustine and Trinity counties. He said he will remain in Lufkin.

"Lufkin's my hometown and I have not problem staying here the rest of my life," he said.

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