Alert county commissioner foils burglary

Released by Captain Mike Claxton, with the Gregg County Sheriff's Office:

Wednesday a home burglary was discovered in progress at a residence near 3800 FM 2011 west of the East Texas Regional Airport. "County Commissioner John Mathis observed a truck underneath the carport at the residence which Mathis knew did not belong at the home," Claxton said. Mathis reported the crime by radio and field units responded to the home. As deputies arrived a male suspect ran from the back of the home into the woods. Deputy Mark Brown located and arrested Christopher James Harrell, 24, of Longview at nearby Peatown Church. Investigation at the home revealed that Harrell had been inside and had taken money and a handgun which was found in his truck. Other weapons inside the home had been stacked together to remove from the home.

Controlled substances were found in Harrells truck. Harrell was arraigned Thursday morning by Judge Jameson on burglary of a habitation and possession of a controlled substance charges.

Bonds were set at $75,000.00 and $1,500.00.

"Commissioner Mathis served a vital role in interrupting this in-progress crime," Claxton said. "The Commissioner spends a lot of time on the roads in his precinct and is aware in many cases of what is not normal.

Once the investigative reports for these cases are completed each will be forwarded to the Criminal District Attorney's Office.