Texas ranger winding down final days on duty

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - By Holley Nees - email

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) – He's been the top investigator on hundreds of high-profile cases in Deep East Texas.

"I can't really say that there's any one that sticks out," Sgt. Pete Maskunas said. "It's like I said before a couple of the child assault cases. If you can really see where you've actually helped somebody, particularly a child or a family, those things make it where it makes it all worthwhile."

Maskunas is a member of an elite group.

"I've considered it a privilege to be a ranger and to be able to serve the people in this area," Maskunas said.

After 26 years in law enforcement and nearly a decade as a Texas ranger, Maskunas is packing up his office and retiring.

"I've got a young family and I'm very involved with them in sports and stuff like that and after a while when you start seeing that you want to spend a lot more time with your family and want to do more things," he said. "This job requires a lot of time away."

He's stayed busy covering Angelina, Trinity, and San Augustine counties and keeping a reputation for an extremely high conviction rate.

"I don't pat myself on the back for the wins and I don't beat myself up too much for the losses," he said. "I just understand that that's the nature of our business and that's the beauty of our system that we have checks and balances."

Maskunas will stay in Lufkin and plans to finish his college degree, get a teaching certificate, and still have a hand in law enforcement.

The change is still sinking in.

"Waking up next Tuesday morning where I'm not part of it any more, that's going to be a little different because it won't be 'Well, I'm going to the office today,'" he said.

His last official day is Monday and Tuesday he's set to finish his career testifying in a brutal Huntington murder trial.

A fitting way to end his career as a Texas ranger: trying to round up one last conviction.

A new ranger should be assigned to replace Maskunas by the first of April.

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