FBI details recent cases at ‘Behind the Badges’ on Nov. 26

Special Agent Tracy Masington and Supervisory Senior Resident Agent Minique S. Crump address a group gathered for Behind the Badges on Nov. 26.

Daisetta Police Department hosted its seventh gathering of the “Behind the Badges” series on Monday, Nov. 26, 2018, the at the Hull-Daisetta Volunteer Fire Department in Daisetta.  The program is designed to introduce municipal, county, state, and federal law enforcement agencies, as well as prosecutors, to the public in an effort to exhibit the various services and methods that different agencies employ to accomplish their specific missions in serving the public.  The “Behind the Badges” series of meetings are also used to showcase the variety of techniques and varied specialized approaches that all agencies utilize to work together and achieve the common goal of law enforcement.

Daisetta Mayor Eric Thaxton, Daisetta police officer Bonnie McLaughlin, FBI Agent Minique Crump, FBI Agent Tracy Masington and Daisetta Police Chief Mike Parrish welcomed guests at the Nov. 26 Behind the Badges at the Hull-Daisetta fire station.

This week’s meeting featured the Federal Bureau of Investigation with a presentation delivered by Supervisory Senior Resident Agent Minique S. Crump and Senior Agent Tracy Masington.  Both agents work within the FBI Houston Division but are assigned to the FBI Beaumont Resident Agency.

The FBI is an agency that is steeped in a long and rich history of famous investigations involving colorful names such as Machine Gun Kelly, Bonnie and Clyde, Pretty Boy Floyd, Baby Face Nelson, Al Capone, and John Dillinger, to name only a few, since the bureau was founded in 1908 and originally dubbed the Bureau of Investigation (BOI).  Americans soon became familiar with the term “G-Men” as well as the names of celebrated agents, such as Eliot Ness who famously tracked down several notorious outlaws and, of course, J. Edgar Hoover who was appointed director of the bureau in 1924.  From bank robbers to prohibition, from murderers, kidnappers and terrorists, the FBI has been involved with investigations of America’s highest office, Watergate and the JFK Assassination, down to international spy rings bent on destroying our nation.

Agent Minique Crump began the presentation by thanking those in attendance for being a part of the “Behind the Badges” series then briefly spoke about the role of the FBI and how the agency strives to assist all other law enforcement agencies with resources and expertise.

“We’ve enjoyed working with Chief Parrish and the Daisetta Police Department in the past and we’re ready to help any agency or victim whenever called upon to do so,” said Agent Crump.

Law enforcement is often a difficult job and can easily take its toll on those serving.

“I first spent some time in the Marine Corps then joined the bureau where I met my husband and we have three children so I’m not just a badge, I’m a real person,” Crump said.

Agent Crump told the audience that as of Sept. 20, 2016, the FBI consisted of 36,216 employees; however, 22,457 of those employees held support positions such as intelligence analysts, language specialists, scientists, information technology specialists and other professionals.  Agent Crump conveyed that only 13,759 of the bureau’s 36,216 employees were special agents.

Crump gave an overview of the many FBI Divisions and Resident Agencies within the United States and spoke of the bureau’s work with foreign governments from American offices positioned in other countries around the world. Agent Crump related that, immediately following the terrorist attack of 9-11, the FBI re-evaluated its mission and objectives resulting in the FBI’s Top Priorities.  She listed those priorities as follows:

  • Protect the US from terrorist attack
  • Protect the US from foreign intelligence operations and espionage
  • Protect the US from cyber-based attacks and high-technology crimes
  • Combat public corruption at all levels
  • Protect civil rights
  • Combat transnational and national criminal organizations and enterprises
  • Combat major white-collar crime
  • Combat significant violent crime

“The FBI is able to continue to fulfill its priorities in many different ways but some of the best ways we can do this is by forming partnerships.  We continually work with our communities through programs such as the FBI Citizen Academies, CREST Programs, Adopt-A-School Program, and Junior Special Agent Programs,” Crump said. “We try to maintain a good working relationship with the media such as television, radio, and newspapers.  We utilize billboards to raise community awareness in particular areas for specific crimes like we did with the ‘Sock Hat’ bandit, a serial bank robber.”

Crump went on to speak of forming partnerships with law enforcement as with the forming
of the Joint Terrorism Task Force, Violent Crimes Task Force, Cyber Task Force, Human Trafficking Task Force, and the Safe Streets Task Force.

The veteran agent also spoke of the importance of maintaining solid working relationships with the private sector.  She quoted J. Edgar Hoover, “The most effective weapon against crime is cooperation … the efforts of all law enforcement agencies with the support and understanding of the American people.”

Special Agent Tracy Masington delivered the second half of the presentation by concentrating on case studies beginning with the FBI clearing a scene after a controlled detonation of an explosive device in south Beaumont on Feb. 8, 2018.  Agent Masington further conveyed to the audience more of the cases recently handled by the FBI such as the cases of aggravated kidnapper Cody Melton who stabbed his girlfriend, then kidnapped her 4-year-old child; four southeast Texans found guilty of racketeering; the FBI raids of Harbor Hospice and the offices of Beaumont’s infamous Dr. Arfeen; a case involving Beaumont ISD employees and the embezzlement of $4 million; and a Beaumont mayor charged with accepting bribes.

Some of the agency’s other interesting cases include the bank robber dubbed as the “Tall, Dark, and Handsome Bandit,” which was identified through the FBI working with the Daisetta Police Department.  John Steven Stark was believed to have committed several bank robberies during 2012 in the Houston and Beaumont areas and he was a resident of Liberty County.  After Stark was identified, the FBI was then able to track Stark and arrest him and he has since been sentenced to prison.

“This is the type of good working relationship all agencies should enjoy with all other law enforcement agencies,” said Chief Parrish.  “It takes all of us working together, from the victim, our communities, and law enforcement, regardless of whatever agency is in charge of an investigation, to effectively make the system work as it should.  This is the main ideology supporting our ‘Behind the Badges’ program.”

Parrish went on to say, “I appreciate our citizens whom continually show their support of law enforcement by attending Behind the Badges, and I’d like to give a special word of thanks to Agents Crump and Masington, as well as the FBI, for taking their time to come out and deliver such a great presentation.”

Daisetta Police Department will host the final chapter of “Behind the Badges” for the year of 2018 on Dec. 3 with a presentation from Liberty County Attorney Matthew Poston. Poston is the first prosecutor scheduled to appear and the department extends an open invitation to the public to attend the meeting, which will again be held at the Hull-Daisetta Volunteer Fire Department at 7 p.m.

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Before creating Bluebonnet News in 2018, Vanesa Brashier was a community editor for the Houston Chronicle/Houston Community Newspapers. During part of her 12 years at the newspapers, she was assigned as the digital editor and managing editor for the Humble Observer, Kingwood Observer, East Montgomery County Observer and the Lake Houston Observer, and the editor of the Dayton News, Cleveland Advocate and Eastex Advocate. Over the years, she has earned more than two dozen writing awards, including Journalist of the Year.

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