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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Texas

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Normangee, TX Police Chief Arrested In Connection With Methamphetamine Trafficking Investigation

Normangee Police Chief Joseph Ray “Jody” Navarro, age 40, is in federal custody charged with allegedly using a law enforcement computer system to aid a methamphetamine trafficker announced United States Attorney Robert Pitman, Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) Director Steven McCraw and Leon County Sheriff Kevin Ellis.

A criminal complaint, filed last Thursday and unsealed today, charges the Madisonville, Texas, resident with one count of intentionally exceeding authorized access to a protected computer.  According to the criminal complaint, in May 2013, Navarro ran a background check on a name supplied to him by suspected methamphetamine trafficker and Normangee resident Brenda Antanette Evans, age 45. 

A separate, but related, criminal complaint filed last Thursday and unsealed today, charges Evans and 25–year-old Joshua Troy Thomas of Normangee with one count of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine.  According to that complaint, on April 26, 2013, during an undercover investigation, Evans purchased close to one ounce of methamphetamine from Thomas on behalf of an undercover agent for approximately $1,200.

Authorities arrested Navarro and Thomas yesterday without incident.  Both had their Initial Appearances in Federal court this morning and are scheduled to have a detention hearing on September 3, 2013, before United States Magistrate Judge Jeffrey C. Manske in Waco.  Evans has yet to be apprehended.  Upon conviction, Navarro faces up to five years in federal prison and a maximum $250,000 fine; Thomas and Evans, up to 20 years in federal prison and a maximum $250,000 fine.

This ongoing investigation is being conducted by the Texas Department of Public Safety Criminal Investigation Division, Leon County Sheriff’s Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  Agents with the Drug Enforcement Administration as well as Deputy U.S. Marshals assisted with the arrests.  Assistant United States Attorney Mary Kucera is prosecuting this case on behalf of the Government. 

A criminal complaint is merely a charge and should not be considered as evidence of guilt.  The defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Updated December 15, 2014