Suspects accused of reselling products bought with stolen checks to buy narcotics

Three people arrested; one man still wanted
Published: Nov. 18, 2022 at 6:45 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 18, 2022 at 6:46 PM CST
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WINONA, Texas (KLTV) - The Smith County Pct. 4 Constable’s Office has arrested three people for theft and engaging in organized criminal activity. The suspects are accused of using stolen and fraudulent checks to buy thousands of dollars in products from East Texas stores, and then reselling the items for money to buy drugs.

“Smith County is not the place to break the law,” said Pct. 4 Constable Josh Joplin. “We will catch you, we will find you, and we will lock you up.”

Suspects arrested so far.
Suspects arrested so far.(Courtesy)

“They’re taking stolen checks, some from deceased people that are no longer with us, and some checks that they bought from other people that were just checkbooks that were found,” said Joplin. “And they’re going out and they’re writing these checks as if they’re a good check and then when they get the items that they’re buying with it, they’re going and reselling those items on the street for narcotics.”

When it comes to the businesses they targeted, it seems the suspects went for tire shops and meat markets - including Tyler’s Greenberg Turkey.

“It’s not just our case. Tyler PD has some of these as well, along with Overton PD. So, it’s kind of been a conglomeration of a lot of agencies just working hand-in-hand to get a lot of these cases sewed up.”

So far, Joplin’s office has arrested three people for the crimes. One of the arrests came after a pursuit that ended with a crash in Longview on Nov. 3.

“When we decided to make contact with the second suspect in this case, she fled in a vehicle on Highway 31. And we got in a pursuit with her to Longview,” Joplin said.

And while that woman and two others have been arrested, Joplin says a fourth suspect, Donovan Williams, remains on the run.

Donovan Williams is still wanted.
Donovan Williams is still wanted.(Courtesy)

“We’re a tight knit community and we’re a family. And when you steal from our family, then you know we’re going to investigate that and we’re going to hold you accountable for your actions,” Joplin said.