VIDEO: Man on the run after chase through SW Houston
Chimene Hamilton Onyeri of Houston, Marcellus Antoine Burgin of Cypress, and Rasul Kareem Scott of Marrera, LA, have been indicted in the case.
Onyeri had his initial appearance in federal court in Austin. He remains in federal custody. A detention hearing is scheduled for 9:30am on October 6.
Scott made his initial appearance in federal court in New Orleans today. He remains in federal custody. His detention hearing is scheduled for 2:00pm on September 26, in New Orleans. Burgin is a fugitive.
VIDEO: Police chase ends in SW Houston
According to a 27-page indictment unsealed Friday, Onyeri ran a criminal operation, enlisting Burgin and Scott as key players but he also had other workers including a mail carrier, tax preparer, bank manager and a number of store and restaurant employees participating in fraud schemes.
The indictment says they would use skimming devices to steal credit and debit cards, steal identities to file false tax returns and open fraudulent bank accounts to access thousands in cash. The operation lasted for at least 3 years.
Last year, when it appeared State District Judge Julie Kocurek was going to shut it all down by revoking Onyeri's probation on a 2012 charge, the government says, the three men drove to her Austin home to try to kill her. Onyeri has been in custody since a few weeks after the attempted assassination.
Thursday night, an eyewitness saw Burgin and another man try to run from federal agents after a short chase in Southwest Houston. Taher Baro says he saw the suspects' car drive the wrong way down Westhollow, past Richmond, before it came to a stop outside his Mediterranean restaurant.
Central Texas judge targeted in shooting returns to bench
"The police were following him after when the car stopped, two guys run away," Baro said. Burgin took off through the woods and the other man ran around outside the building.
"We saw the movement, police grabbing somebody and talking to somebody and then we saw they grabbed his hands and put him around the back and put them in handcuffs," eyewitness Norma Lewis said. The FBI says that unidentified man was arrested on warrants unrelated to the federal indictment.
Burgin managed to get away despite officers on the ground and Houston Police Department's helicopter in the air. He remains a fugitive and should be considered armed and dangerous. Crime Stoppers of Houston is offering up to $5,000 for information leading to his arrest. If you have information about him or his whereabouts, please call the Crime Stoppers tip line at 713-222-TIPS (8477) or the FBI San Antonio Field Office at 210-225-6741. Tips may also be submitted to the FBI online at https://tips.fbi.gov/.
Kocurek was shot on November 6, 2015.
She was hospitalized for nearly two months after the attack. The shooter had placed an object in the driveway of her home, forcing the driver of her car to get out and move it. At that point the gunman opened fire.
After months of rehabilitation, she returned to the bench.
All three men face 11 counts including racketeering, wire fraud, mail fraud, money laundering as well as offenses involving murder. Onyeri faces six additional counts. If convicted, they could face up to life in federal prison.