HOUSTON - The man accused of holding four men against their will for years appeared in court Monday morning.
The men were found on Friday in the garage of a home in north Houston. Police said they didn't have a restroom and the conditions were deplorable.
A source close to the investigation told Local 2 that Walter Jones enticed the men to the home with offers of cigarettes so he could take their social security checks. The source said Jones would apparently hang out in front of Ben Taub Hospital and the Salvation Army and lure men with promises of beer, cigarettes and food.
Officials said the men found at the house had been moved there at the end of June from another house in Harris County where they were living in similar conditions. The other house is where Walter Jones lived with a woman by the name of Alfreda Ball. Detectives are still trying to locate the specific address of that house.
Officers found several years worth of Veterans and Social Security checks being cashed by Jones, the police source told Local 2. The officials said the checks were not all from the men found at the north Houston home. Detectives are now trying to track down all the people who handed checks over to Jones.
The source close to the investigation said Jones' grandmother owns the house, and had no idea what was going on in the modified garage. The officials said Jones' grandmother is in her 80s and is of diminished mental capacity.
Jones faces two charges of abuse of the elderly and abuse of the elderly by omission.
Authorities said more charges are expected to be filed.
The judge set Jones' bond at $200,000 on each charge.
At this time, officials don't expect any charges be filed against Ball.
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