ACSO Criminal Investigation Division make felony theft arrestFree Access

John Bautista

Ernesto Laque

Cooper wire

According to a statement from ACSO Sheriff David Soward, an extensive investigation by the Atascosa County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigation Division, assisted by Patrol Division and EOG Resources Loss Prevention Specialist, resulted in the arrest of two Christine men who were charged with allegedly stealing copper wire from oil production sites belonging to EOG Resources. ACSO Deputies have taken reports on as many as 20 thefts in the past two months.

Early Thursday morning suspects hit a location off FM 3387, south of Christine. Sheriff’s investigators mobilized at approximately 3:30 a.m. and began tracking the suspects who managed to slip back to a residence in Christine.

ASCO Investigators worked throughout the day and obtained a search warrant signed by Justice of the Peace Orlando Carrasco. Prior to the execution of the search warrant, ASCO deputies stopped a vehicle believed to be involved in the thefts and found evidence linking it to the crimes. When the search warrant was executed, sheriff’s investigators found stolen #2 copper wire believed to have been stolen earlier that morning at the theft off of FM 3387.

Two suspects were arrested and booked into the Atascosa County Jail. They are identified as John Edward Bautista, age 49, of Christine and Ernesto Laque, III, age 42, also of Christine. As of Saturday morning, Bautista has been charged with five counts of Damaging or Destroying Critical Infrastructure Facility, a 3rd degree felony and five counts of Theft of Copper, a State Jail Felony. Laque has been charged with three counts of Damage or Destroying Critical Infrastructure Facility and three counts of Theft of Copper.

According to ACSO Sheriff David Soward, several investigators and deputies took part in the investigation, however, it was spearheaded by Sergeant Investigator Stephen Wilson and Lieutenant Max Peralta and supervised by Chief Jake Guerra.

Additional charges on other thefts will be filed by investigators on Monday.

Sheriff Soward stated, “We will also be making additional arrests in this investigation.

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