Suspects connected to large catalytic converter theft ring bust appear in court

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Monday, August 1, 2022
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The ring is responsible for $11 million in converter thefts across Houston and is said to be linked to the fatal shooting of Harris County Deputy Darren Almendarez.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The six people accused of their roles in a large catalytic converter theft ring made their probable cause court appearances on Monday, court documents reveal.

RELATED: 6 people arrested for role in large catalytic converter theft ring linked to death of HCSO deputy

Armando Martinez Sr., 39; Armando Martinez Jr., 18; Jose Martinez, 19; Isaac Castillo, 21; Terance Elder, 20; and Jose Sanchez, 21, were taken into custody after multiple authorities made arrests on July 28.

Investigators believe they were dealing stolen converters to three suspects who were charged in the murder of Harris County Deputy Darren Almendarez in March.

Martinez Sr. was charged with engaging in organized criminal activity and was released on bond. Court documents show that he was taken back into custody on two charges with a $75,000 bond on each charge.

Martinez Jr. is in custody and being held on three charges. One count for aggregate theft and two counts for organized crime. His bond was set for a total of $200,000.

Court documents revealed Martinez Sr.'s other son, Jose Martinez, was out on bond for a separate unrelated charge when he was arrested. The 19-year-old was charged with engaging in criminal activity and was given a $200,000 bond.

Court records show that Elder appeared in court at 4 a.m. on Friday, was charged with engaging in criminal activity and was given a $35,000 bond.

No further information has been given for the two remaining suspects, Castillo and Sanchez. Records show Castillo is in custody, but neither he nor Sanchez has appeared in court.