Task force launched to fight crime in east Harris County a success so far, officials say


People we've talked to who live in east Harris County say they're glad for the increased law enforcement presence.

Authorities announced two things Wednesday: the task force is a success so far, and the law enforcement presence is about to get bigger.

It was March 21 when Harris County Sheriff's Office deputies say a man crashed his SUV into a sewer pipe while running from them near Wallisville and Maxey Roads.

"The subject jumped out after he hit a sewage line, splashing sewage all over the deputies that were running after him on foot," HCSO Capt. Jasen Rabelais said.

Gil Pagan was found in Greens Bayou after a six-hour search. It was a success, says Sheriff Adrian Garcia, for a law enforcement task force that was just six weeks old at that point.

"We make sure that the bad guys are on notice," Garcia said.

Garcia and Precinct 3 Constable Ken Jones announced the successes of the still-new task force Wednesday. Dozens have been arrested for misdemeanors, hundreds of traffic violations have been ticketed and 40 felons have been arrested.

Stanley Freeman is a young father who says he was robbed and beaten in January. He wants even more.

"Dang, 40 [felons arrested]? Wow," Freeman said. "Wish it was like 50, you know? I really wish it was 50."

More deputies are joining, and the task force is now more than a pilot program.

"We're also moving forward as a permanent program," Garcia said.

They advance in hopes of catching more people like Pagan, who investigators say left a pound of crystal methamphetamine and thousands of dollars in cash in the SUV before he fled into the bayou.

"This is just one, one case that we worked on that they just got from a small traffic stop," Jones said.

Officials tell us the task force responds to citizen complaints as well as doing proactive patrols. If you're in east Harris County and see something suspicious, call HCSO or the Pct. 3 Constable's Office, or you can download the HCSO app to your phone and file a complaint that way.

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