violent crime

Two Men Are Arrested over a Slaying and Beheading in Arlington

By Peek & Toland on February 22, 2018

Most crimes are run-of-the-mill and involve theft or the loss of property. However, some crimes are so extreme they send shockwaves through a community. Recently, Arlington was reeling from a slaying and beheading in the city.

A report in The Star-Telegram said the second suspect wanted in connections with the killings of two people in Arlington was arrested in Fort Worth in September.

The two victims were found buried in a shallow grave in Arlington. One of them had a severed head.

Police described 28-year-old Hector “El Cholo” Acosta-Ojeda, as armed and “extremely dangerous.” He was booked into the Arlington Jail in September 2017.

Police make arrests over slaying and beheading in Arlington

Slaying and beheading reported in Arlington

The Star-Telegram reported 17-year-old Iris Chirinos, 17, was identified as one of the people in a shallow grave in Burton Drive in Arlington. Chirinos died from multiple gunshot wounds, according to the Tarrant County medical examiner’s office.

Authorities did not release the identity of a man whose body was found buried along with Chirinos, a former Sam Houston High School student who dropped out of school earlier this year, according to reports.

Witnesses suggested the body belonged to Chirinos’ boyfriend, known as “Diablo.”

Police found the bodies two days after the discovery of a severed head and a note near a walking trail in a wooded area west of East Sanford and Truman streets. The head was thought to belong to Diablo.

Police also arrested Mariano Sanchez-Pina, 18, on suspicion of murder over the killings. He was later transferred to the Tarrant County Jail where bail was set at $50,000 on a murder charge and $1,000 on a drug possession charge. Acosta-Ojeda was also booked into the Arlington Jail.

Media reports stated investigators tracked Acosta-Ojeda to a Fort Worth home where U.S. marshals arrested him without incident.

Violent crimes of this nature shock members of communities in Texas and elsewhere. They also carry heavy sentences and the prospect of capital punishment in some cases. If you have been charged with a violent crime, please call our Texas criminal defense lawyers at (512) 474-4445.

Posted in Criminal Defense

Tagged with: ,

New Evidence Suggests Heroin is Behind Crime Spike

By Peek & Toland on September 14, 2016

Violent crime has spiked in many American cities since 2014 but opinions differ on the reasons for the increase. One theory is that the uptick in the heroin trade has fueled the increase.

Recently, an article in Forbes noted the massive increase in heroin abuse in parts of the United States. The upsurge comes at a time when the use of other drugs is falling.

Peter Shumlin, the Governor of Vermont, warned heroin use in his state rose by a staggering 770 percent since 2000.

An increase in violent crime is linked to heroin abuse

More cheap heroin has flooded the US market

His concerns were echoed by U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. The SAMHSA warned heroin abuse among new users rose 60 percent from 90,000 to 156,000 a year.

An article in Insight Crime charted the change in the source of the drug. It noted the Mexican cartels took over from Asian drug rings and Colombian suppliers to become the top supplier of dangerous narcotics.

Media reports suggest the Mexican heroin is cheaper and, therefore, more affordable for Americans. As the market for the drug has expanded, rival gangs took to the streets to fight battles, leading to spikes in crime in many cities.

The Sinaloa Cartel was the biggest player in the market. The arrest of its kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman in 2014 led to more chaos as rival gangs fought to fill the vacuum he left behind.

In July 2016, Newsweek reported that cheap heroin was leading to a surge in crime across America. It named Austin, Dallas, San Antonio, Houston and Waco as places with associations to the Mexican heroin cartels. Turf wars have been documented in cities like St. Louis in Missouri.

The Penalties for Heroin Trafficking

The authorities take drug offenses very seriously. A charge of drug trafficking or possession could land you in federal court where the penalties are harsher than in state courts.

The penalty for a first offense of trafficking heroin, cocaine or another drug like methamphetamine is at least 10 years in jail, the Drug Enforcement Administration states on its website.

Many people get caught up in the drug trade. They are often forced into a life of crime and fear for their lives.

If you have been charged with a drug offense you may be facing the loss of your livelihood. It’s important to contact an experienced Texas criminal defense attorney to fight for your rights. Contact us here or call (512) 474-4445.

Posted in Drug Crimes

Tagged with: ,

Violent Crime Levels Are Rising in Many Smaller Texas Cities

By Peek & Toland on June 15, 2016

Violent crime is the most feared kind of crime, and there are grounds for alarm in some Texas cities where it appears to be on the rise.

Recently, an article in the Dallas Morning News highlighted a spike in violent offenses in a sizeable number of Texas’s smaller cities last year.

This month, an article this month in Tucson News Now rated the central Texas cities of Killeen and Waco as being among the 15 most violent in the state.

Smaller Texas cities see violent crime rise

Violent crime levels are rising in many Texas cities

The larger cities are not immune either. Recently Dallas Police Chief David Brown outlined a plan to tackle what the Morning News described as “a drastic rise in violent crime.” The city has seen a 75 percent jump in murders year-on-year, according to reports.

Traditionally, parts of western Texas have the highest levels of violent crime with the city of Odessa establishing itself as the most dangerous in the state, according to the FBI’s Uniform Crime reports. Austin has remained one of the safest cities in the state The Daily Post reported. Its homicide rate of 2.8 per 100,000 is the lowest of Texas’s big four cities.

The Dallas Morning News article quoted 2015 statistics for cities of at least 100,000 people in northern Texas.

In Irving, a city of more than a quarter of a million people, robberies rose in 2015, and the city recorded its highest number of homicides since 2007. However, overall crime has fallen steadily in the last decade and is about half of what it was in 2004.

Few Identifiable Trends in Violent Crime

The article quoted Alex Piquero, a University of Texas at Dallas criminology professor, who said there were few identifiable trends in the violent crime rates and people should not “read too much into the numbers.”

There is certainly little consistency in the trends from city to city. For example, Richardson saw crime fall by 7 percent overall from 2014 to 2015. The number of robberies fell, but simple assaults rose by a massive 28 percent.

Garland experienced a 10.6 percent increase in violent crimes from 2014 to 2015, which included an 11.5 percent in rapes. The police department suggested more rapes were being reported.

Lewisville experienced a year-on-year increase in violent crimes, according to the Dallas Morning News report.

The FBI’s Uniform Crime Report for 2013 found San Antonio, Corpus Christi and Victoria were in the top 10 most dangerous cities in Texas. Like Amarillo, Victoria has a “surprisingly high number of reported rape cases, at 71.5 per 100,000,” reported Texas Monthly.

Our Texas criminal defense attorneys represent people accused of aggravated assault and family violence. These offenses fuel the violent crime statistics, but they are not always proved in court. In order to prove an aggravated assault has occurred, the prosecution must not only show that an assault took place but that a dangerous or a deadly weapon was used. The attorneys at Peek & Toland , can help people facing aggravated assault or family violence charges, as well as all other violent crimes.

If you have been charged with a violent offense, you could be facing incarceration. It’s vital that you hire a knowledgeable and competent Texas criminal defense attorney to defend you. Contact our office at (512) 474-4445.

Posted in Criminal Defense

Tagged with: , ,

How Can We Help You?

Our team is standing by to help. Call us at (512) 474-4445 or complete this form to send a message about your legal situation.