Former collegiate football player Chad Ward reading warrant
A FED-UP CONFIDENTIAL INFORMANT FLIPS TO TELL HIS STORY ABOUT ‘MONEY FUNNELS’ AND MAKING DEALS
Georgetown, TX – Police had been watching Chad Ward, shadowing his movements, and they had a case against him they felt was good enough to persuade a judge to revoke his probated sentence for marijuana possession.
Ward is a string-bean 6-foot, two-inch 26-year-old jitterbug with a California Medical Marijuana card in his pocket, a little souvenir of his trip out west where he addressed his attention deficit disorder with a holistic approach through ganga and the Earth Mother, Gaea. He is a former Central Texas high school football player who went on to a college career playing ball at San Marcos, according to court papers.
When he emerged from his house at 2100 Juniper Trail about dark-thirty on February 24, 2015 – a bungalow located on a corner near the drug-free zone of a public park in this bedroom suburb where Ostentatious starts getting weird – they followed him as he drove away, according to a complaint authored by McGregor Police Department Detective Joe Coy.
A search of his car turned up contraband, including enough cash money – $713 in seven bundles of five twenties each – to detain him for investigation of money laundering in connection with drug transactions.
Acting on a no-knock search warrant for his residence, Coy found Ward’s girlfriend Ashley White had 13 one hundred dollar bills in a coin purse in addition to another $80 in currency.
Since the door-knockers had already confiscated the car, they just helped themselves to the house key on the key ring and strolled on in with no announcement because, as the warrant explains, “drug traffickers fear arrest…”
Further search turned up a stash of $2,700 in an envelope located in a night stand. The total, $4,793, is just under the legal limit of five thousand iotas that divides the punishment for the offense of money laundering between a State Jail Felony, punishable by a maximum of two years behind bars with no obligation to the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles, and a “high power” jolt that could ball an offender up for many years to come, all things considered.
INTERSTATE MONEY FUNNELS
Ward says the money came from his income tax returns and employment.
Coy pointed out to the judge who issued the arrest warrant that deposit records from Wells Fargo Bank showing large sums in twenties and hundreds “is not justified by Ward’s employment.” He also pointed out that it’s a common indicator in the drug trafficking world, that he, Coy, is “aware that individuals involved in the trafficking of high grade marijuana obtained from California often utilize bank accounts referred to a ‘funnel accounts’…” which allows cash to be deposited in one location while withdrawn in another.
“These funnel accounts are a means of transporting currency derived from the illegal distribution of narcotics without personally transporting the currency from one state to another.”
Similarly, an affidavit for a search and arrest warrant for marijuana turned up more than four ounces and less than five pounds of “high grade” marijuana – the kind cultivated in California for discerning consumers of green, leafy, herbaceous substance. Ward referred to it as “a half pound of buds, flower tops…” Coy said it was worth just a little less than five grand.
That offense, too, is a State Jail Felony, so somebody knows what’s going on up in here.
All this took place on February 24, 2015.
The arrest warrant return shows that it was not until April 30, 2015, that officers arrested Ward for the marijuana offense, and on the same date for the money laundering charge.
According to Ward, he was placed under arrest, “after I stopped responding to Coy’s calls and text messages.” That’s when he figured out that he was never going to get his car back, that his money was gone, and there would be no deal with the Williamson County District Attorney’s Office.
In the meantime, he claims, he helped Coy make four felony drug cases.
What went on between those two events is a study in the politics of marijuana, California’s largest cash flow crop, Texas forfeiture and seizure law, and one of the goody-grabbing key components of the new militarization of police forces and law enforcement agencies nationwide, in tandem with discounted sales of military hardware purveyed by the Department of Defense.
It’s a brave new world in which the civil police forces have been militarized, just like those in any other third-rate banana republic.
Items such as armored cars, body armor, special weapons and sophisticated gunsights, night vision gear, radios and improved 9-1-1 systems, patrol car mobile data terminals – the works – are bought with funds seized and assets sold at auction, funds from which can then only be converted into bells, whistles, toys and tools for the use of the cop shop and the prosecutors’ offices. It’s all done through law enforcement assistance grants funded by the Department of Justice and requiring matching funds in the form of cold, hard cash.
Some law men and politicos see a gushing gold mine; others perceive a slush fund.
The money is transferred through interlocal agreements made by cities and DA’s, Counties and state agencies. Auditors are close-mouthed, County Commissioners Courts are loath to release public information regarding the set-ups and DA’s – well, you know, everything under the sun is under ongoing investigation, including the rumor that the Earth is actually flat.
As Jimmy Breslin always said from his perch in Brooklyn – it’s all mirrors and blue smoke.
JOE COY IS FAMOUS in Texas law enforcement circles, and it’s a degree of fame that carries a certain amount of controversy among lawmen.
Retired from the Department of Public Safety Narcotics Division, he is widely known for the type of meticulous preparation of affidavits of probable cause and in support of warrantless arrests he has prepared throughout his career.
In fact, examples of his work are used in academies far and wide to teach baby narcs just how to make cases that don’t splatter all over their boots, according to knowledgeable sources.
What follows is a study in a couple of cases of what, exactly, became of the grand promises to bring back the glory days of the drug task force in the McLennan County Sheriff’s Office, Central Texas – and word around the campfire is that Sheriff Parnell McNamara’s Organized Crime deputies stopped cooperating with service of Coy’s warrants back in early 2014 because they don’t approve of his methods.
No problem. Woodway P.D., Bellmead, and others such as Round Rock throughout the heart of Texas are still on board, and it’s very difficult to obtain any details about their dealings, since every inquiry is routed through Chief Steve Foster of the McGregor Police Department, a retired Texas Ranger who is known to go into towering rages and outright tantrums when pressed in appeals to the Attorney General’s office for more information – public information of which he is simply the custodian of record and We The People the true owners.
The establishment media hounds are thrown some vague bones, ceramics in the dialect of high glaze suitable for another day, another dollar in the war on drugs – or that is, the cost of doing business in the game of getting high and getting away with it – California style.
As that dean of bullet lettres, Jim Thompson of the Ft. Worth Startlegram, once made so clear, it’s not what you do when you do it that counts. Anyone can do that. It’s what you do after you do what you do that really matters. That’s what you call the getaway.
He should have known. He wrote the novella that led to the hit Steve McQueen movie by that title – “The Getaway” – and got paid only his option money following the failure of extensive Writer’s Guild mediation. But that’s another story. Oh, well, Thompson started out as the night bell captain at the Texas Hotel in Cowtown. He had only one direction to go, and that was up, up, and away.
Said Chad Ward going into The Legendary interview, “I had just got back my income tax money. It was still in the bank envelopes and everything.” He will let a jury decide on his claim that another confidenial informant put bogus information out on him and Joe Coy acted on it.
No doubt, the proof will be in the details. Coy made note of a detritus of residual fuzzball paperwork from California consisting of old car rental agreements and other impedimenta of kicks on Route 66.
Listening to an hour-long interview of Chad Ward, fomer confidential informant who quit playing ball and is now insisting on a jury trial in the 277th State District Court in the ultra-conservative Williamson County seat of Georgetown, one learns of the intense struggle for the kind of tightly controlled information that will help a defendant his legal representation prepare an adequate defense. Here’s how it’s done.
– The Legendary
2100 Juniper Trail, Round Rock, a shady bungalow near a park