The Office of the Attorney General conducts criminal investigations and apprehensions including cases involving cyber-crimes such as child pornography, online solicitation of minors, identity theft, election fraud, locating and apprehending convicted sex offenders who have failed to comply with mandated sex offender registration requirements, and conducting digital forensics investigations.
The Office of the Attorney General also operates the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit which investigates criminal fraud by Medicaid providers, abuse and neglect of patients in health care facilities operated by the Medicaid program, and helps local and federal authorities with prosecutions.
A key component of the Office of the Attorney General’s mission is to secure justice for Texans by investigating and prosecuting criminal activities, including crimes of human trafficking, internet crimes against children, election fraud, and assisting local law enforcement in prosecutions and appeals.
CHILD EXPLOITATION UNIT
• Bexar County
Mel Alan Loeffler was arrested on March 3 on five counts of possession of child pornography. Loeffler provided a voluntary statement and confessed to downloading and viewing images and videos of child pornography. He was then transported to the Bexar County Jail where he was booked without incident. This case was received as an NCMEC CyberTipline Report.
• Bexar County
Rudy Jesse Garza was arrested on March 2 for one count of possession of child pornography. Garza was?transported to the Bexar County Jail where he was booked without incident and will appear before a magistrate. This case was received as an NCMEC CyberTipline report.
• Brazos County
Wayne Marcus Silva was arrested on March 8 after being charged with three counts of possession of child pornography. The 49-year-old Brazos County resident gave a full confession to posing as a 16-year-old male to communicate via social media with a 12-year-old female in Seattle. Silva requested the child send him nude photographs and videos of herself. Silva’s case will be presented to a Brazos County grand jury for five counts of possession of child pornography and sexual performance by a child. This apprehension first came as a referral from the Seattle Washington Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Taskforce.
• Johnson County
Peter Tkatschenko III was arrested on February 22 on two outstanding warrants for two counts of Possession of Child Pornography. Tkatschenko III was transported to the Johnson County Jail without incident, after refusing an interview.?The Burleson Police Department will follow up with additional charges for Burglary.
• Kerr County
Christopher?Allen Cuellar pled?guilty to three counts of aggravated sexual?assault of a child, three counts of?indecency with a child through sexual contact, and two counts of promotion of child pornography on?March 1.?Cuellar is scheduled for a sentencing hearing in May.?This case was referred from a proactive undercover ICAC?investigation in?North Carolina.
• McLennan County
A Grand Jury returned a one-count indictment for possession of visual depictions of sexual activities by minors against Steven Rathbun on March 8.?This case was referred by the NCMEC CyberTipline report.?
• Palo Pinto County
Travis Benton Bounds was arrested on February 11 on five arrest warrants for Promotion of Child Pornography and pleaded guilty to five counts of Possession of Child Pornography. He was sentenced to six years confinement. This case was referred by NCMEC CyberTipline Report.
• Trinity County
Timothy Michael Zawodny was arrested on February 22 for one count of Possession of Child Pornography and one count of Promotion of Child Pornography. Zawodny confessed to manufacturing child pornography where his 8-year-old daughter was the subject of the image. Zawodny was?transported to the Trinity County Jail and booked without incident. Zawodny was also served with an arrest warrant for Indecency with a Child with Sexual Contact on February 23, after his 6-year-old daughter alleged that she was a victim of sexual contact by Zawodny. The additional charge was placed on Zawodny at the Trinity County Sheriff’s Office Jail, as Zawodny was already booked on CEU charges from the day prior. This case was received as an NCMEC CyberTipline.
• Williamson County
Aidan Wix was sentenced to 10 years deferred adjudication on four counts of possession of child pornography on March 2. He confessed that he downloaded and possessed multiple images of child pornography. Wix was previously arrested on four counts of possession of child pornography
FUGITIVE APPREHENSION UNIT
• Bexar County
Rudy Cantu, a Mexican Mafia Gang member, was arrested on February 18 for an outstanding warrant for Felon in Possession of a Firearm?by the Drug Enforcement Administration. The United States Marshals Lone Star Fugitive Task Force assisted with this arrest.
• Bexar County
Ryatt Ryan Aguilar was arrested on February 18 for an outstanding warrant for Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon. The United States Marshals Lone Star Fugitive Task Force assisted with this apprehension
HUMAN TRAFFICKING UNIT
• Smith County
Brandon Lee Mon Johnson pled guilty to continuous trafficking of persons and?sexual assault of a child on February 28 in Smith County. Johnson was sentenced to 40 years confinement in a Texas Department of Criminal Justice prison.
SPECIAL CRIMES UNIT
• Gregg & Harrison County
Douglas Andrew Burks was arrested on February 24 after previously being indicted by a Gregg County grand jury on charges of Theft – a second degree felony, Misapplication of Fiduciary Property – a second degree felony, and False Statement to Obtain Credit- a state jail felony. Burks is the president of White Oak Cemetery, Inc., a non-profit, and is alleged to have misused approximately $300,000 in cemetery funds for personal gain. His home was seized pursuant to a seizure warrant. This case was referred by the White Oak Police Department for investigation and is being prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Dorian Cotlar. Sgt. Stan Head originally investigated this case and Sgt. Adam Madore is currently the lead investigator. Supervising Forensic Auditor Kyle Swihart completed the forensic audit for this case and Members of the Special Crimes Unit.