CROSBY Nine people, including six law enforcement officers, have been charged with racing without a license, a felony punishable from two to ten years related to activities at Rancho El Herradero on Sralla Road, according to a release from the District Attorneys Office.
An eleven month investigation turned up allegations of illegal racing and gambling at the 12402 Sralla Road location, south of FM 1942. According to Teresa Buess, head of the Public Integrity Division of the Harris County District Attorneys Office, soon after the Department of Public Safety launched an investigation in November, 2012, the office in Harris County got involved due to the presence of law enforcement offices.
The press release alleges that the law enforcement officers were providing security at the location. They were named as Department of Public Safety Trooper Richard Rivera, 57; Secar Guadelupe Rangel, 34, and Joel Garcia, 31, deputy constables with Harris County Precinct 1; David Green, 37, and Edward Scott, 34, reserve deputy constables for Fort Bend County Precinct 2 and Carlos Garza, 64, a reserve deputy in Maverick County south of here.
The Deputy Constables from Fort Bend County were reportedly fired on the spot.
Three arrested were civilians Diana Marie Salinas, 19; Cosuelo Rivera, 61; and Reginaldo Mandujano, 53.
Cosuelo Rivera, wife of Richard Rivera, was charged with impersonating a peace officer.
According to the Harris County Appraisal District, Reginaldo Mandujano owns the property.
All nine charged were freed on bail, according to records.
The prosecutor will allege that for two years the 70 acre tract has been the scene of illegal horse races brought to the attention of authorities due to complaints of heavy littering, loud music and other nuisances behind a sign that says training center.
At first the T.A.B.C. was alerted but the training center had been granted a beer and wine license in 2008. A sign near the grandstands indicated that gambling, outside food, and firearms were not permitted.
It is said there are about 25 to 50 unregulated tracks across Texas. The Texas Racing Commission admitted that limited resources and frail relationships with law enforcement agencies makes it difficult to enforce state laws. One might guess a thousand training centers are a front for something, nobody knows.
A referendum in 1987 made races one of the few legal gambling venues. A license ranges from $70,000 to $1/2 Million per year.
Credit was also given to the US Department of Homeland Security, Texas Department of Criminal Justice Inspector Generals Office, Harris County Sheriffs Office and the Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners.