1999 Tulia Drug Bust Follow-Up - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

11.16.06

1999 Tulia Drug Bust Follow-Up

Aggravated assault, robbery, D.W.I., theft. Those are a few on the laundry list of charges that have brought many of those pardoned from the Tulia drug sting in 1999 back to jail. 
 
It's been seven years since 43 people in Tulia were arrested for dealing drugs essentially on the  testimony of one undercover cop. 35 of them were convicted and sentenced to prison.
  

In 2003, Governor Rick Perry pardoned all of them, setting them free. 

   Newschannel 10's Marissa Bagg has been investigating who has been in trouble since then, who is wanted now, or still on the run. 

More than one-third of those pardoned from prison by Governor Perry, have been back in jail - some of them many times. Right now at least one of them is a fugitive. 
 
William Cash Love is no stranger to the law. He is currently wanted in Potter County for violating his parole and jumping bail. There is only one problem, no one knows where he is. 
In the last three years he's been arrested for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, and several drug charges. He's even been featured on NewsChannel 10's Fugitive File.
  

The next biggest offender Kareem White, has a record for drug possession in Randall, and Swisher counties. Last year he was arrested for aggravated robbery in Tulia.  He also has been booked in Potter County three times in the last three years. This past Monday he was in Tulia for a hearing on a misdemeanor charge against him.
  

Benny Robinson has been in trouble for allegedly escaping police custody. Robinson is charged with assault for allegedly fighting with an inmate at the Swisher County Jail last month, it was just one day before he was set to be released. 
  

There are 10 others with very similar backgrounds.
  

A Tulia man writing another book about the drug sting talked about what it meant that many of those pardoned had been back in jail.  "They were wrongfully convicted because they were convicted without real evidence, but whether they were innocent or guilty who knows. "It's natural that a certain percentage of that kind of people would have issues with law enforcement down the road," says Alan Bean.
  

But not all of them have criminal records.
  

We met with Freddie Brookins Junior who spent four years in prison after being convicted in the drug sting. Since he was pardoned, he has  a earned a Phlebotomy Degree from Amarillo College, had two daughters, and holds down a job at the local grocery store.  nd he plans to become a nurse.  To finish my schooling hopefully this next semester, but I also want to do other things like coach, football baseball whatever, I just want to coach  it's something I really enjoy doing," says Brookins.
  

As far as he has come, he can't shake the memory of life in prison. "Being away from your family that's a hard deal, that's a hard pill to swallow. I really thought it was a bad dream when everything first happened, but now when I get up in the morning I can't believe it happened, it stays in your mind 24/7."
  

Natives in Tulia are frustrated their town is infamous for the 1999 sting, but time may be the only way to heal. "I wish we could turn this town back the way it use to be, be positive, instead of people looking at Tulia saying they are the ones with the drug sting," says Brookins.

Several of those pardoned have also moved away from Tulia. Two of them have died.

James Barrow: Arrested for Assault Causing Bodily Injury in Swisher County

Jason Fry: Arrested for Aggravated Robbery in Swisher County

Willie Hall: Arrested for: Possession of Marijuana less than 2 ounces in Swisher County and 3 counts of Theft by check between $20-$500

Cleveland Henderson: Arrested for Evading Arrest

Christopher Jackson: Arrested for Assault on a Peace Officer & Evading Arrest in Pampa

William Cash Love: Arrested in Randall County for Evading arrest & Possession of Marijuana less that 2 ounces, DPS reports he was arrested for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, at least four drug related charges. He is wanted for violation of parole and bail jumping in Potter County

Vincent McCray: Arrested For Bond Forfeiture, a misdemeanor, Arrested for Theft by Check

Kenneth Powell: Arrested in Swisher County for Burglary, Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle, Arrested in Taylor County for Possession of Marijuana

Benny Robinson: Arrested in Swisher County for Escaping while under Arrest, Awaiting Trial for alleged assault inside the Swisher Co. Jail

Donnie Smith: Arrested in Potter COunty for Escaping Custody, Arrested for Possession of Marijana and Forgery and Theft of a Check

Kareem White: Arrested in Randall County for Possession of Marijana under 2 ounces,  He was arrested in Swisher County for Aggravated Robbery and Posession of Marijuana, He has been arrested in Potter County three times in the last 2 years, twice for possession marijuana and once for possessing gambling devices and paraphenalia.

Kizzie White: Warrants were issued for DWI and Furnishing Alcohol to a Minor

Alberta Williams: Arrested for a parole violation on drug charges she faced prior to the 1999 Sting

More on the Web:

'Never Again!' Rally Keeps Drug War Spotlight on Panhandle Town

The Crime Library: Tulia Drug Sting  

Cornyn opens inquiry into Tulia drug bust

Austin Chronicle: The Color of Justice

USA Today: Tulia residents awarded $5M after discredited drug bust

Read the book:Tulia: Race, Corruption, and the Search for Justice in a Small Texas Town by Nate Blakeslee

 

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