Bounty Hunters Terrorize Liberty Community
LIBERTY, April 17, 2013 – This may sound like something out of the old west but you may recall i-dineout.com’s article of February 20, 2013 New Source of Funding for Illegal Drug Industry which explains the role of the Car Title Loan in funding drug purchases. This article was written based on research gathered by having a known drug house in Liberty under surveillance for more than a month and recording the license plate numbers of vehicles making visits to the drug house.
Through the efforts of local law enforcement drug activity at the drug house appeared to have slowed dramatically and residents living near the house have enjoyed a period of reasonable tranquility and peace for about a month until yesterday.
Starting around 5:00 PM on Wednesday residents notified i-dineout.com that an unmarked maroon pickup drove up to the house and two men wearing black bullet proof vests with weapons got out and confronted the man who lives at the house. They left a short time later.
Around 6:00 PM the truck and the men came back for at least the second time each time causing verbal disturbances with the resident of the house.
No one knew who these people were as their vehicle was unmarked and they wore no badges or had any law enforcement agency markings at all to identify them or what agency they were with.
Around 10:00 PM on Wednesday neighbors getting ready for bed, heard a very loud verbal disturbance accompanied by vulgar language at the house again causing a breach of the peace late at night.
The same unmarked vehicle and the men had returned to the house for at least a third time late Wednesday night.
At this point a resident contacted Liberty Police to respond to the verbal disturbance and settle things down for the evening and were informed that the two men were in fact bounty hunters out of Harris County seeking the whereabouts of a person with an outstanding felony warrant they thought may be at the house.
Shortly after the residents called the authorities three Liberty County Sheriff’s Department marked units arrived.
i-dineout.com responded as well parking near by. While waiting to see what happened, one of the men with the black bullet-proof vest began shining his flashlight toward our vehicle and slowly walked up to the driver’s side window.
The man stated, “You’re with the news media.” I replied, “I’d like to see a badge and some identification so that I’ll know who I’m taking to.”
Since the man was NOT a member of law enforcement and was not acting under the color any law enforcement agency he replied, “I’ll let these other guys talk to you,” and walked away.
After a quick search of the area around the house by Deputies and with no apprehension or arrest of anyone everyone left and the peace was restored.
What ever information the bounty hunters may have been acting upon must have proven false since the man they were looking for was not there even after coming to the house at least three times causing problems all day yesterday looking for him.
In the United States of America, bounty hunters have varying levels of authority in their duties with regard to their targets depending on which states they operate in. As opined in Taylor v. Taintor, and barring restrictions applicable state by state, a bounty hunter can enter the fugitive's private property without a warrant in order to execute a re-arrest. They cannot, however, enter the property of anyone other than the fugitive without a warrant or the owner's permission.
Seven states (Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, North Carolina, Oregon, South Carolina, and Wisconsin), as well as the District of Columbia heavily restrict bounty hunting, or have banned the practice altogether. Several of these states have also banned the commercial bail bonds industry within their borders.
Residents in the area after suffering the problems of drug activity and achieving a relative peace never imagined they would have to suffer breaches of the peace caused by bounty hunters out of Harris County on a wild goose chase pursuing leads as to the whereabouts of a fugitive that proved false.
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