ANGELINA COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - A traffic stop conducted by Angelina County Sheriff's Office deputies, Texas Department of Public Safety troopers, and Diboll Police Department officers Friday resulted in three felony drug-related arrests and the seizure of methamphetamine and several guns.
All three suspects are still being held in the Angelina County Jail. Richard Jewell Harris, 39, of Center was arrested and charged with first-degree felony burglary of a habitation, first-degree felony capias for burglary of a habitation with the intent to commit another felony, second-degree felony capias charge impeding breath/circulation, a third-degree felony unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon, felony parole violation, and Class A misdemeanor possession of a prohibited weapon. Collectively, Harris' bail amount has been set at $19,000 for three of the charges.
Nicholas Dwayne Baker, 27, of Rusk, was arrested and charged with second-degree aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, two counts of state-jail felony possession of a controlled substance less than 1 gram, state-jail felony burglary of a building, and two misdemeanor traffic charges.
Tiffany Nicole Alexander, 25, of Lufkin was charged with state-jail felony possession of a controlled substance less than one gram and Class B misdemeanor failure to appear - release of surety for possession of marijuana. Her bail has been set at $7,500 for the possession charge.
Angelina County Sheriff Greg Sanches said that officers from the three law enforcement agencies made the traffic stop on Harris' car on US Highway 59 near the Diboll Depot gas station at about 4:45 p.m. Friday. Sanches said they acted on DPS information that a wanted subject had been seen driving in the area.
Sanches said Harris was wanted on numerous felony warrants, and that, at the time of the traffic stop, Harris was believed to be armed and dangerous. Alexander and Baker, who were passengers in Harris' vehicle were both arrested on outstanding warrants.
Meth and several pistols were seized as a result of the traffic stop, and Sanches said additional charges are pending.
According to an arrest warrant, Baker's aggravated assault charge stems from an incident that occurred back in July where a bloody 34-year-old man broke into a home on Atkinson Drive in search of help after Baker allegedly shot him in the foot after a dispute over a truck lift kit.
Lufkin Police Department officers picked Jose Antonio Cazares, the alleged victim, up at the scene of a home break-in in the 2200 block of Atkinson Drive. Officers noticed that Cazares had injuries, and they were told that he had been asking the home's occupants for help.
While Cazares was being treated for his injuries at a Lufkin hospital, he told officers that he and Baker had been involved in an argument a few days earlier over a lift kit for his truck that he had gotten from an acquaintance of Baker's.
Cazares told the Spanish-speaking LPD officer that on July 27, he met with the man who sold him the lift kit, the man's brother, and Baker and rode with them to a house in the 2900 block of Freeman. After an argument over the lift kit resulted in Cazares telling his sister to call the police to make sure nothing was done in his pickup, one of the men hit in the face with the butt of a pistol, according to the arrest affidavit.
Cazares told police that he had been riding in a car driven by Baker. Another man, who is still at large was in the vehicle with them, and he allegedly overheard them talking about killing him because he called the police.
When Baker took the Atkinson Drive exit ramp from the loop, he saw an opportunity to escape and started fighting with the second man. He also grabbed the steering wheel, according to the affidavit, and they pulled over near the Dairy Queen on Atkinson Drive.
The second man allegedly pulled a large knife on Cazares, but he was able to wrestle it away before he jumped out of the vehicle. He told police that as he was opening the door, he heard a click because the second man had drawn a gun, and it jammed after he pulled the trigger, the affidavit stated.
According to the affidavit, Cazares ran for his life, and the second man fired a shot that hit him in the foot. After Cazares jumped a fence at Atkinson Towing, he went to a residence in the 220 block of Atkinson Drive and banged on the door.
The home's occupants kept telling him to leave. Cazares told the LPD officer that he was desperate at that point because Baker and the other man parked across the street from the home and got out, so he used the knife he took from the second man to break through the glass door of the residence, the affidavit stated.
Cazares told the LPD officer that he tied to let the home's occupants know that he didn't mean them any harm.
LPD officers found Baker's abandoned 2010 Ford Fusion a short time later. When the officers looked inside the car, they saw what looked like blood stains on one of the seats and the gear shift.