CINCO RANCH, Texas - Six people were arrested Wednesday morning after federal agents raided a Cinco Ranch home in connection with a fraud investigation.
The arrests were made about 6 a.m. at a home near the intersection of Lemonmint Meadow Drive and Purple Cornflower Trail.
Neighbors said they were awoken by what they described as flash-bang grenades. They said about 25 people from both the FBI and SWAT were at the scene, and that several people were taken out of the home for questioning.
They said agents could also be seen carrying out what appeared to be drug equipment.
“As a father who has three kids and a wife it’s definitely something that causes you to think about what is going on with this area,” said Michael Higginbottom, who lives near the Cinco Ranch home.
Federal prosecutors identified the suspects as 31-year-old James Michael Curtis Johnson, 26-year-old Donald Ray Perry, 28-year-old Enitra Shante Pickett, 26-year-old D’angela Devonne Domio, 28-year-old Joshua Jacquez Britton and 44-year-old Joseph Edward Johnson.
All of the suspects appeared in federal court Wednesday afternoon, where a judge denied bond for James Michael Curtis Johnson.
The other five suspects did not wish to comment about the charges against them when they left the courthouse.
According to prosecutors, James Johnson, Joseph Johnson, Pickett and Britton conspired to steal money from bank accounts by posing as account holders and creating fake bank accounts online.
They would then transfer the money from the victim’s bank accounts on home equity lines of credit, prosecutors said.
All six people who were arrested are also accused of conspiring to file false tax returns and claiming refunds to which they were not entitled, prosecutors said.
The group is also accused of identity theft because they used the identification of their victims without authorization, prosecutors said.