Meth, high-caliber weapons found during raid at luxury condo near downtown Houston

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Three people are in custody and five more are wanted after a mail theft ring bust that uncovered two dozen high-caliber weapons, hundreds of rounds of ammunition and meth inside a luxury condo Thursday morning near downtown Houston.

Deputies with the Harris County Precinct 5 Constable's Office raided the condo on St. Emanuel at Tuam, where authorities initially reported a bazooka was among the stash. They later said it was not. The condo is a $650 per night rental, they said.

"Maybe 30 to 40 officers," said neighbor Lamont Ratcliff of the raid. "It was like out of a movie. I've never seen anything like it in my life."

Deputies said the bust was the culmination of a months-long investigation into a mail theft ring that court records say cost at least one victim more than $400,000.

According to investigators and court documents, Dustin Anthony Nelson would steal mail from mailboxes that contained personal and account information and give it to Steve Nguyen who, using equipment like a 3-D printer, would create fake I-Ds so that his alleged accomplices could cash stolen and fake checks and buy luxury cars. They have been identified as Maygan Turner, Patrick Feng and Tajmia Moore. Jermel Elkins, also known as "Swag," was the ring's so-called enforcer. Investigators believe he was also in on the crimes.

"It's safe to say there are hundreds and hundreds of innocent victims," said Precinct 5 Constable Ted Heap.

Authorities said they found 25 to 30 weapons during the bust, calling the stash "staggering." Some guns are worth $10,000.

"The level of danger that all of these guns pose is pretty significant. Each one of them was loaded with high caliber ammunition and the whole condo was full of ammunition as well," said Pct. 5 Capt. Leslie Martinez.

Deputies are asking for the public's help in finding Nelson, Feng, Turner, Moore and Elkins. Nguyen was arrested. He had been wanted on several fraud charges and was the subject of an ABC-13 report in 2019 when he was accused of victimizing his former attorney after he had gotten him a good deal in a previous fraud case.

"Enough is enough and that's coming from a defense attorney," said Val Zuniga, Nguyen's former attorney. "I'm always trying to explain to judges why a person deserves a bond but in this case, he has shown a pattern of criminal activity time after time and he doesn't appear to have any desire to change his behavior."

The suspects face charges of mail fraud, forgery, and theft.

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