Fire official arrested on drug charge

June 6, 2008 10:59:06 PM PDT
The acting volunteer fire chief in Kendleton is under arrest, accused of drug possession. Early Friday morning, the Fort Bend County Narcotics Task Force served a search warrant at the home of Dannie Conner, 43. Inside, they found what agents believe is crack, marijuana weighing scales and packing materials. Investigators believe Conner was selling the drugs out of his home.

"There was a number of area residents that complained about suspicious activity going on at the fire chief's house which resulted in the narcotics unit conducting a lengthy investigation," said Chief Craig Brady of the Fort Bend County Sheriff's Office.

Over the course of several months the task force gathered enough probable cause to get a warrant to search his home.

Authorities say undercover agents even made at least one buy from the chief inside his home. All of it happening with his fire department issued chief's vehicle sitting in the driveway.

"I think he was trying to use that to lessen the suspicion that he'd be involved in anything like that," Chief Brady said.

The Kendelton Volunteer Fire Department is made up of five people. Conner is their leader. Those who work with him say these accusations should mean little. It's a conviction that counts.

"Innocent until proven guilty, that's what we're going toconsider him as," Kendleton Volunteer Firefighter Darryl Lee said.

"He has not been convicted of any crime so far, we will not make a judgment till we have all the facts," Kendleton Volunteer Firefighter Ken McNeal said.

Conner is currently in the Ft. Bend County Jail, held without bond. Firefighters say Conner has not been placed on any type of leave. Conner refused to tell us his side of the story when we visited him in jail. Back in March, a former assistant chief with the same department was arrested on charges of indecency with a child. Brian Johnson, 47, was a registered sex offender when the alleged incident happened. He spent three years in prison for the sexual assault of a 14-year old girl.

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