Hidden camera inside Pct. 1 sheds light on probe

January 17, 2012 3:15:16 AM PST
13 Undercover gets a hidden camera inside a Houston constable's office and wait till you hear what they said when they didn't know we were listening.

The FBI has made the arrests, and now 13 Undercover has the video even the feds haven't seen.

Long before the FBI moved in, 13 Undercover was already watching Precinct One by surveillance of deputies using our hidden cameras. And we got an earful. We want to warn you, too. Some of the language here may not be right for kids.

Let's take a trip downtown, headquarters -- Precinct One Constable Jack Abercia. Wouldn't you have loved to have been a fly on their wall? You can, thanks to our 13 Undercover hidden camera.

"This man is gonna stand so far back from that s*** like he didn't know what the f*** was going on," Michael Butler says on hidden camera.

That's the second in command, Chief Deputy Michael Butler, and this was recorded back in October. We were already knee-deep in our investigation of constables -- Victor Trevino, May Walker. Let's just say at Precinct One, they worried they might be next.

"You think Jack Abercia is going to go on f****** camera? Are you nuts? Are you f****** nuts?" Butler says on hidden camera.

Abercia did say no, but we were there just minutes after he turned in his retirement papers this month.

"I don't have nothing to say to y'all at all. Y'all trying to burn somebody that don't need to be burned," Abercia told us.

"I resent the hell out of you," he told us.

"What did I do?" we asked.

"You talk too much that's not true," he said.

But we had only reported the FBI was investigating Abercia's office for alleged bribery in the hiring of a deputy named Alan James.

"They can do what they want. I haven't done nothing that I'm afraid of ever coming out," Abercia said.

James was hired even after a Precinct One review committee said he should not be given a badge and gun. The constable now blames Chief Butler.

"That was his problem. I told him I didn't want him," he said.

Abercia denies he got a penny for the James hiring, but last week, both the constable and the chief were in handcuffs, charged with accepting bribes in the James case.

Long before FBI moved in for the arrest, we'd already been watching Precinct One for months -- the possible misuse of deputies, county equipment. Listen closely as the chief deputy is questioned by a Precinct One deputy about the integrity of the guy in charge.

"Can Jack Abercia go on TV and say I'm not a crook?" the deputy asks Butler on hidden camera.

"No, he can't, he can't say that. He can't say that," Butler replies.

And wait for it. Here comes the punch line:

"Let me ask you this question: Are there nuts in a Snickers?" Butler adds, then laughs.

We told the constable how they talk about him behind closed doors.

"I haven't done anything, Wayne. I ain't done anything. I know they have all things that we can take pictures of everywhere but I just don't stoop like that at all and I'm not a crook," Abercia said.

It's a denial chief Butler had predicted Abercia would make long before that FBI trouble began.

"He was your right hand guy," we told Abercia.

"Well, I would challenge him to a polygraph. I would, 'cause Wayne, I don't do those things. My mother didn't bring up a fool," he replied.

Chief Butler is now gone from Precinct One. He turned in his badge just days after FBI agents showed up at his house asking about possible bribes. And the constable, he got out days later.

"Is Michael Butler a crook?" we asked Abercia.

"I'm not going to answer that question. I knew something was wrong," he said.

And Michael Butler had predicted what Abercia would do if the trouble ever came.

"He gonna be up out of here, son. It'd be every man for themselves," Butler says on hidden camera.

Tuesday, our hidden cameras follow some of the constable's men. Were they getting paid to be high-priced errand boys?