Ken Paxton

Friday, June 8, 2007

Brown County Grand Jury Indicts Texas Youth Commission Officer, Inmate for Drug Possession

BROWNWOOD A Texas Youth Commission officer and an inmate were indicted Thursday for possessing drugs at the Ron Jackson Juvenile Correctional Facility. Juvenile correctional officer Henry Ruben Firth, Jr., 29, and inmate Daniel Ochoa, Jr., 20, each face one count of possessing a prohibited substance in a correctional facility, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison.

Law enforcement officers with the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) arrested Ochoa at the facility and transported him to the Brown County Jail, where bond was set at $10,000. OAG officers arrested Firth in Bedford. He was transferred to Tarrant County Jail, where he is being held in lieu of $15,000 bond. Both defendants will be prosecuted by the Brown County District Attorney’s Office.

With these indictments, Texans can rest assured that state and local officials are aggressively pursuing allegations of wrongdoing at Texas Youth Commission facilities across the state, Attorney General Abbott said. We are grateful to Brown County District Attorney Michael Brandon Murray, TYC Conservator Jay Kimbrough, and the grand jury for their diligent attention to this matter. Together, we will ensure that order and justice will pervade at these facilities.

In March, Texas Youth Commission staff discovered marijuana in Ochoa’s possession. According to the indictment, Firth provided the illegal substance to the youth.

The OAG’s Special Investigations Unit continues to work with other law enforcement agencies to monitor allegations of wrongdoing at Texas Youth Commission facilities. The OAG’s participation in the joint effort stems from a March 2007 executive order, which provided for a collaborative effort with the Texas Dept. of Criminal Justice to provide assistance and support. This case was investigated by the OAG as part of that ongoing effort.