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‘It was like out of a movie’: Meth, loaded guns found in mail fraud bust, authorities say

HOUSTON – It was an alarming situation for residents when authorities in full military gear raided a townhome in the Midtown area.

The incident happened Thursday morning at some townhomes near Tuam Street and St. Emanuel Street close to Emancipation Park, authorities said.

Authorities said three people were arrested and they are searching for three more in what started as a mail fraud ring and ended as a massive bust.

“I would say that this is one of the largest fraud cases that I’ve been involved in,” said Leslie Martinez, captain of the Precinct 5 Constable’s Office. “What they were doing with that mail was they were fraudulently creating fake IDs, they were applying for loans (and) they were making large purchases in people’s names.”

Authorities said they also found large stacks of fraudulent checks all in the range of $20,000 to $25,000, three kilos of crystal meth, counterfeit cash, credit cards and dozens of guns.

“The level of danger that all of these guns pose is pretty significant,” Martinez said. “Each one of them (was) loaded. It’s a bad situation all the way around.”

Neighbors said the whole incident felt unreal.

“It was like out of a movie,” Lamont Ratcliff said. “I have never seen anything like it before in my life. Everyone was in full military gear. It wasn’t regular police officers, so you kind of knew that it was a violent situation.”

Authorities said suspects will face at least three charges: theft, forgery and mail fraud. Officials plan on releasing their identities soon.


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