‘I thank God Kevin never gave up’ – FBI task force

Six Shooter Junction – Kevin Fisk’s phone rang one day, and out of the blue, an associated arson investigator with the BATFE’s arson unit asked, “Why aren’t you down here?”

Here. That would be Houston, regional headquarters for many things federal due to its central administrative status as the Southern District of the U.S. District Court for Texas.

Jose Viegra, an assisting Special Agent of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the man who had provided  K9 accelerant detection services at the fire scene when Fisk originally eliminated the possibility that Ashley Dawn Rogers somehow caused her own death through arson and those of two of her children on February 16, 2012, was on the line.

In fact, the delay in removing their bodies from the fire scene during that part of the investigation as Fisk waited for Viegra, a certified fire investigator for ATF, touched off a lingering squabble with the charge investigator from the joint investigation run by the Waco Police Department, John Rosyzski. The detective was in a rush to remove their remains and resented Fisk’s insistence on a thorough elimination of causes for the blaze then and there, a meticulous approach to what would prove to be a tortuous and protracted, interrupted and highly contentious feud between members of the investigative bureaus of the City of Waco’s two public safety agencies, the police and fire departments.

The two agencies wound up at contretemps over the difference between an undetermined origin of a fire and a ruling of an accidental cause of a fire. Somehow, the two agencies had agreed to disagree that the case of that of an arson fire of either undetermined, or accidental origin, or both.

The ATF agent quizzed Fisk at length to make certain he was aware of, but he hadn’t been permitted by his superiors to take statements from a star witness, an accused offender turned informer who could put as many as six accused offenders under indictment for offenses in connection with the alleged capital murders of Ms. Rogers’ family.

Fisk’s investigation at that point had all but totally eliminated all other possible causes for the sudden fiery explosion.

Players in multiple agencies were assured the Rogers fire at a N. 19th St. Bosqueville trailer park was a murder case in which fire was used as a weapon.

At that late date, October 9, 2013, the agent was incredulous that he, Fisk, was not in attendance at the concluding operations of the combined federal and state task force investigation that brought down 73 members of the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas in federal indictments for ongoing criminal enterprise, extortion, murder, arson, dope trafficking and other antisocial behavior. Those 73 indictments resulted in 73 convictions.

An additional 25 alleged offenders faced indictment in the Western U.S. District Courts for similar offenses centering around the brisk Central Texas  trade in Waco and Temple in methamphetamines in what a combined task force labeled “Operation La Flamma Blanca” – the white flame, burning brightly from its highly explosive constituent precursor chemicals of ether, phosphorus, acetone – in deadly combination with lithium and phenyl acetic acid.

At this point, it’s well to let the Waco operative attached to the FBI Violent Crimes Task Force, Lieutenant Fred Rhea of the Office of the Inspector General of the State of Texas, take up the narrative.

In a memo to the Waco Fire Department supervisors in charge of arson investigation, Rhea reported, “As you are aware, we have been assisting Lt. Kevin Fisk of the Waco Fire Marshal’s Office with the Arson Investigation which claimed the lives of three victims.

“I can emphatically say that Kevin has, and continues to be, a credit to your department. Together we have been able to uncover all the intricate details of what we believe to be one of the most horrific crimes I have ever investigated.

“I believe that with your tacit approval, we can bring this case to a successful conclusion with indictments on as many as six individuals, if we can devote several solid weeks for to finalize our interviews, and complete our case preparation to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.”

He requested permission for Fisk to accompany him to Houston to help finalize “two separate investigations, one on the federal side involving a criminal enterprise case, and on the state side, a Capital Murder case that Kevin has so diligently worked…

“I thank God that Kevin never gave up, even in the light of what other agencies determined,” Rhea declared.

In the next phrase, he named the informant who would put the six offenders on the scene in the capital murder investigation. That name has been redacted from the public record.

Lt. Rhea tagged out his memo by explaining just how the Federal Bureau of Prisons could assist with having prisoners transferred to Houston to finalize the interrogations and await indictment on cases developed by the FBI, ATF, Bureau of Prisons, and all the elements of the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas/ATF Task Force, an ongoing investigation spanning the previous four years.

He emphasized that the transfers of the prisoners and of Fisk would be temporary, something that “could greatly benefit these three agencies.

Today, discredited, uncommissioned as a peace officer, his investigation in disarray and operating under the threat of what his attorneys have suggested is the very real possibility of both civil and criminal litigation for the interference with an ongoing investigation that is stymied and going nowhere, Kevin Fisk is still awaiting official word of the invitation by the federal violent crimes task force and never relayed by his superiors at the Waco Fire Department or at City Hall. Though he was carbon copied with Rhea’s insistent e-mail to his superiors, their approval somehow never arrived on Fisk’s desk.

Today, he involves himself in the meticulous details of the proper organization of a private investigations bureau operating under a permit from the Texas Department of Public Safety.

A student of the sweet science of pugilistic boxing in his earlier life, he resembles a member of the ancient Greek cult of athleticism, in whose faith and practice, the only true sin was to fail to even try to hit the mark so boldly displayed for all who would aspire to take the challenge.

So mote it be.

 

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