Sex Ring Police Report; Case Closed After 24 Hours - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News


Sex Ring Police Report; Case Closed After 24 Hours

Last week, Mineola's Former Police Chief Jason Shanks told KLTV 7, they launched a two week investigation into children being drugged, stripped, and sexually exploited. However, KLTV 7 obtained concrete information that says that just is not the case.

As we mentioned last week, Margaret Cantrell, who had temporary custody of three of the children, filed a report with Mineola Police in June of 2005, as soon as the children told her about the horrific abuse they suffered.

Through the Freedom of Information Act, we received a copy of that police report, which confirms what Cantrell told them on a Wednesday, and when it was closed.

"I went immediately to the police and told the Chief and a detective my statement," said Cantrell.

The pages confirmed what Margaret Cantrell told KLTV 7 last week. The police report shows what she said. How the children recalled details of the club and their shows.

The report says Chief Jason Shanks and Detective Tim Prince left to check on the building at 807 Mimosa. An appointment was made for (the children) to be interviewed at the child advocacy center the next morning. On Thursday June 23rd Shanks and Prince went to the NETAC in Winnsboro where they conducted interviews with two of the children.

The children described how they were forced to take drugs, details of shows, how people in audience paid money, and how they burned clothes and dance videos.

The police went to the residence of Shauntel Mayo and Jaime Pittman., where during an interview, they reportedly denied being involved with any kind of club the children had described." Mayo and Pittman agreed to a search, where police took photos, and that was the end of the report.

On the front page, the date it was closed Thursday, June 23rd 2005, the day after Margaret's report. The reason, according to the report the prosecution declined. We went to the Wood County D.A.'s office to ask about that. 

"The current District Attorney wasn't even in office the current Mineola Police Chief wasn't in office when investigation. As long as it is open for investigation in our office it would be absolutely irresponsible for us to comment on what we are going to do, or what we are doing, or any aspect of this investigation," said Brandon Baade, Assistant District Attorney, Wood County. 

Then we asked if they are going to look into the fact it was closed in two days?

"This is already an open investigation all aspects of that investigation and the instances they occurred are under investigation," said Baade.

Now, former Chief Shanks resigned in August of 2005. The city manager said on the phone he resigned for personal reasons. The case was reopened that same month. Now, the current Police Chief, Chuck Bittner, would not talk with us on camera, but did release a statement saying, "When the allegations were reported, an investigation began immediately. The children were interviewed the following morning at the Children's Advocacy Center. The FBI was contacted and was present during the interview. The investigation continued into Smith County, with the FBI still involved. The case was closed based on lack of information.

Danielle Capper, Reporting


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