HOUSTON COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - After a brief pursuit and a search of a wooded area, Houston County Sheriff's deputies arrested three Crockett men and charged them with car theft and engaging in organized criminal activity Wednesday.
Cory McCowan, 25, of Crockett, was charged with unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, engaging in organized criminal activity, and making a false report to a police officer. Collectively, the bond for the three charges, which included a state jail felony, a third-degree felony, and a Class A misdemeanor was set at $24,000. McCowan has since posted bond and has been released from the Houston County Jail.
Also charged were Courtney Hamilton, 27, of Crockett, and Patrick Deshone Batts, 17, of Crockett. They were both charged with unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, engaging in organized criminal activity, and evading arrest, which is a Class A misdemeanor. Both men are still being held in the Houston County Jail, and their bonds have each been set at $24,000 collectively.
According to a press release, the Houston County Sheriff's Office received a 911 call about suspicious activity call near the intersection of FM 2076 and County Road 2065.
The caller reported that he had seen two vehicles on his property. One was an unoccupied Dodge Durango. The other vehicle was a silver-colored car that fled the scene when its occupants spotted the property owner.
Deputies responded to the area in an effort to locate the silver car. They spotted a vehicle that looked similar to the description provided by the 911 caller. The car contained three man later identified as McCowan, Hamilton, and Batts.
When HCSO deputies tried to stop the car, the driver fled. After a brief car chase, the driver stopped the car in a private drive just off FM 229, and two of the occupants fled on foot into a nearby wooded area. The driver who was identified as McCowan, stayed in the car with three small children.
Although tracking dogs were brought in from the Eastham Prison, the remaining two suspects were located just before the search dogs were deployed.
The charge for unauthorized use of a vehicle was due to evidence linking the suspects to the red Dodge Durango which had been reported stolen back in August 2012.