HPOU recognized Narcotics Officer Steve Magness as its Investigator of the Month in the December general membership meeting.
Officer Magness is a member of the Houston Money Laundering Initiative, which consists of law enforcement officers from the federal, state and local levels.
As part of his duties, Magness investigated a suspect who allegedly was a primary distributor of crystal methamphetamines in the Houston area. Magness “galvanized his task force, using various methods of surveillance of the suspect. The team observed the suspect delivering drugs to several small level distributors. After gathering information about the main collaborator’s living quarters and distribution mechanism, Magness arrested the suspect.
Then the real work began. Magness developed a rapport with the suspect which was helpful in obtaining consensual searches of two apartments.
“Upon entering the first apartment, evidence made it obvious that this location served as a meth lab distribution center,” according to information in the form nominating Magness for this monthly honor. “Due to the hazardous nature of these drugs, Officer Magness notified the High Hazard Clandestine Lab Unit who retrieved the drugs and processed the scene.”
Magness’ investigation found that the main suspect was a member of the La Linea Cartel in Mexico. The arrest severely impacted the cartel’s distribution ability. Confiscated were the following:
• 144 pounds of crystal meth
• 186 grams of the highly dangerous fentanyl
• $50,240 cash
• Three firearms
• An additional six pounds of crystal meth from related investigations
It was later learned that several children and elderly individuals resided in this same apartment building exposing them to harsh fumes and the danger of explosion of these highly explosive dangerous drugs.
HPOU commended Magness for his tenacity, dedication and commitment to duty for his work.