New barratry charge filed against state rep.

State Rep. Ron Reynolds accused of illegally obtaining clients

HOUSTON - A state representative who recently had barratry charges against him dropped found out Monday that similar charges have been filed against him again.

State Rep. Ron Reynolds was served an arrest warrant on Monday. He has again been charged with barratry, which is more commonly known as ambulance chasing.

"Basically, it's against the law for anyone, especially attorneys, to make direct contact with individuals that have been involved in an accident within the first 31 days after that accident," said Phil Grant with the Montgomery County District Attorney's Office.

Grant and investigators raided law offices and clinics Monday morning after, they said, they got a tip earlier this month that 47-year-old Robert Valdez was helping attorneys illegally obtain clients.

Valdez would download police reports from the Houston Police Department website and solicit attorney names to individuals involved in the report, detectives said.

Grant said Valdez had a contractual agreement with attorneys and would receive a cut for each client he provided them.

Investigators believe Reynolds was one of the attorneys.

"An arrest warrant did issue for state Rep. Ron Reynolds today for the offense of barratry, which is a third-degree felony punishable anywhere from two years to 10 years in prison and up to a 10,000 fine," said Grant.

They contacted his attorney and told him to turn himself in.

Investigators said there will be nine people arrested, all accused of employing Valdez. They will be sent to the Montgomery County Jail.

Investigators said Valdez received anywhere from $500,000 to $750,000 during the alleged barratry scheme.

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