Monday, 02/27/2023, my office released records to Mr. Jason Followell concerning a major drug investigation from 2014 in response to his open records inquiry. Unfortunately, we only hold a portion of those records, as we abandoned the state case and opened a federal investigation through our two assigned DEA Task Force Officers.
Still, with incomplete information, Mr. Followell insists on twisting and painting the facts with a broad brush of falsities rather than trying to seek and understand the truth. This reckless, malicious approach to carrying out one’s private agenda is dangerous and damaging to the community and those who work closely with their police department to improve the quality of life for all by reducing crime. My office is and remains open to you, Mr. Followell, and anyone else seeking the facts to hold one’s police department and government officials accountable. However, there is an expectation that one will be responsible with the information. Likewise, the PD shares the responsibility to correct any missteps or statements, especially when shared with mal-intent.
Drug trafficking cases of this nature are long and complex, as was the case here. Ultimately, this 2014 APPD investigation resulted in the following, as shared in the attached U.S. Attorney’s Office press release from 2018. Additionally, I share the attached image to help illustrate just how significant this multi-year criminal investigation was.
Mr. Followell alleges that the PD stating it was awarded the truck is false. This Followell statement is not true.
The following court order shows the truck and an amount of currency was awarded to the PD. The email he shared from the district attorney’s office was in error when sent by that office. Mr. Followell received this information but did not publish it in his post. The seized vehicle was later sold at auction.
Mr. Followell alleges the statement about seizing the surveillance footage was wrong information pushed out by my office. But, again, this is a falsity by Mr. Followell. The system was seized, held as evidence, and later returned to the homeowner after we were done with it and told to do so. Again, Mr. Followell was provided this information, attached below, but failed to share it publicly in his post.
Mr. Followell alleges that no search warrant was issued until later that evening. Again, another falsity shared by him. This post, which Mr. Followell shared a screenshot of shows a picture of the search warrant both date/time stamped and signed by the judge.
Again, it is both disappointing and time-consuming to continually have to respond to malicious allegations that are meant to divide our community. But, in the spirit of transparency and accountability, I am responsible to our residents to provide all the facts regarding these allegations, so that you, Aransas Pass, can make the most informed decision regarding your police department’s effectiveness. Thank you for your close attention and continued support.