New Tip Reward Program to Target Stash Houses
AUSTIN, November 13, 2014 - The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), in conjunction with the Office of the Governor and Texas Crime Stoppers, today announced the implementation of the Texas Stash House Rewards Program. The new program, funded by the Governor’s Criminal Justice Division, is designed to encourage Texans to help combat transnational crime by anonymously reporting information on stash houses used to facilitate human trafficking, drug smuggling and smuggling of people.
“Crime Stoppers is an important part of our state’s law enforcement efforts, empowering Texans to take a stand to ensure their communities aren’t victimized by crime,” Gov. Rick Perry said. “Texas has taken strong steps to fight transnational crimes associated with our porous border, and the Texas Stash House Rewards Program is another way for Texans to help stop crimes in their neighborhoods.”
“Stash houses play a significant role in the ability of Mexican cartels and their criminal associates to successfully smuggle people and drugs across the Texas-Mexico border,” said DPS Director Steven McCraw. “This new program will leverage the public’s awareness to help law enforcement shut down these criminal safe havens and protect our communities.”
Texas Crime Stoppers will pay rewards up to $2,500 for information leading to the identification of stash houses used in transnational crimes.
“As Texans we need to do our part to assist our local, state and federal law enforcement agencies in detecting and arresting individuals responsible for the trafficking of humans and drugs,” said Texas Crime Stoppers Council Chair Jorge E. Gaytan. “Rewards to anonymous tipsters have proven to be a powerful tool in locating and arresting criminals, and recovering property and drugs. We are confident the Texas Stash House Rewards program will strengthen that effort and further empower citizens to fight crime.”
For decades paying rewards to anonymous tipsters has been a proven method in the apprehension of criminals in Texas. The Texas Stash House Rewards Program builds on the success of the state’s existing tipster reward programs: the Texas 10 Most Wanted Fugitives and Texas 10 Most Wanted Sex Offenders programs. Through those two programs – in 2014 alone – DPS and other agencies have already arrested 22 Texas 10 Most Wanted Fugitives and Sex Offenders, and $48,000 in rewards has been paid for tips that resulted in arrests.
To be eligible for the cash rewards, anyone with information on stash houses can provide anonymous tips in four different ways: