05/16/2014 2:44PM

Illegal racing shut down in Texas


Authorities arrested two individuals in connection with an illegal racing and gambling operation near Grandview, Texas, on May 3, the third such bust in the state in less than six months. Last fall, arrests were made in cases in Crosby and Royse City.

The Grandview arrests were made following an undercover investigation that discovered the operation, said Lt. Tim Jones, spokesman for the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office. Jones said the sheriff’s office assisted in the case led by the Texas Department of Public Safety Criminal Investigations Division.

“It was undercover and they observed multiple races with gambling and betting,” Jones said. “We assisted in shutting down that operation. DPS was the lead agency. We were a support agency.”

William C. Barton, 60, and Rogelio Garza, 61, were arrested for allegedly racing without a license, according to a statement from the Texas DPS. Racing without a license is a third-degree felony and can carry penalties of up to 10 years in prison and a fine of $10,000.

The investigation is ongoing, said Sgt. Lonny Haschel, spokesman for the Texas DPS.

Texas authorities in Harris County near Houston arrested 10 individuals, including some licensed police officers, in October after an 11-month undercover operation allegedly revealed an illegal racing operation in Crosby.

Less than two weeks later, on Oct. 26, Texas DPS officials, after a months-long investigation with other agencies, busted an illegal horse-racing operation in Royse City in Rockwall County. The next court date for some of those involved in the cases is May 22.