Former Lt. Jennifer Howell, McLennan County Jail, felony booking
Waco – Federal and state sleuths continue to classify and correlate persons targeted as undesirable “local militants” under the JADE HELM 15 program, a Special Operations project directed from Ft. Bragg, North Carolina.
Be it remembered that JADE HELM, which was scheduled to begin on June 1, stands for Joint Assistant Directive Executive – Homeland Elimination of Local Militants, 2015.
As the long and meticulous investigation into the roots of a dispute between Cossacks and Bandidos Motorcycle Clubs winds down, the public learned at least one phone confiscated on May 17 after the shoot-out at Twin Peaks contained criminal information.
That information led to the arrest on Thursday, April 7, of a former McLennan County Jail Lieutenant who had risen through the ranks quickly. The arrest by state police fulfilled a couple of weeks of rumors and speculation that she would fall for some felony offense after being allowed to resign on March 17.
According to an affidavit of probable cause, Texas DPS Criminal Investigation Division (CID) Officer Johnathan Estes learned that Jennifer Howell, 40, who gave a Robinson address, acknowledged last month that she had been romantically involved with an unnamed outlaw biker who was jailed following the Twin Peaks shootout.
Estes arrested her on the charge of misuse of official information, a third degree felony, by turning over information “not available to the general public,” according to the affidavit of probable cause.
A “confirmed member” of an outlaw motorcycle club, her lover’s phone when examined by DPS investigators yielded information obtained from the Texas Law Enforcement Telecommunication System (TLETS).
At age 40, the crazy hours worked since her hiring out in 2009, the lost weekends, the inevitable divorce, the constant exposure to outlaws through fulfilling a social contract as a professional required for men who have placed themselves outside the protection of the law and are obliged to spend at least some part of their lives depending on guards for needs as minor as an aspirin, a phone call, or a trip to the commissary to buy a candy bar. The lines between right and wrong, once so well-defined, blurred, warped and – at least momentarily – disappeared.
Somewhere, the social contract between The State of Texas and a licensed, certified corrections officer broke down.
Howell filled the request her lover made for information about the ownership of a motor vehicle after an associate of her boyfriend found himself run off the road prior to the shootout.
According to the document, “The defendant admitted to directing another law enforcement officer to ‘run’ the license plate. The defendant admitted to providing this information that is prohibited from disclosure to the public to the confirmed gang member…”
The evidence was contained in a text message Howell sent to the biker.
Though the affidavit does not state the particular incident about which the outlaw sought information, it is a matter of record that in March of 2015, a Bandido was forced from the road near Lorena by multiple members of the Cossacks Motorcycle Club and severely injured in a beating.
It was just one of a string of attacks that began in 2013 stretching from the Permian Basin petroleum capital of Odessa to San Antonio and an arson of the Cossacks’ clubhouse at Mexia.
Both federal and state authorities have been involved in a nationwide investigation over the rivalry between the two clubs in which much tension exists over the identification of Bandidos as a “Texas” club as evinced by the “rocker arm” on their colors.
Official reports obtained in the aftermath of the shooting that left 9 dead and 20 wounded, 177 arrested for engaging in organized criminal activity, and many indictments indicate that months of meticulous planning went into police activities by DPS, ATF and the Waco Police Department.
Members of both clubs and their support groups decry the FBI’s contention that the Bandidos “declared war” on the Cossacks.
The arrest of Jennifer Howell brings to light at least a couple of allegations against the administration of Sheriff Parnell McNamara.
First, he knew or should have known that Howell had withheld information lawfully requested by The Legendary on at least one occasion, marked by a complaint unacknowledged at the time.
Secondly, he chose to promote her, from Sergeant to Lieutenant, in spite of that.
A second incident of abuse of TLETS information came to light in the case of a dog handler who was involved in a domestic violence dispute with his wife. Evidence showed he had used the system to obtain the identity of a man who was visiting her at her home.