Feds deputize CCSO investigators for special duty
By LPR Staff
Four Caldwell County officers were imbued on Monday afternoon with the powers of Federal law enforcement as they were deputized as Deputy Federal Marshal with the US Marshals Service.
The ceremony, performed by Deputy Supervisor Hector Gomez of the US Marshal Service, allows the four officers to perform the duties and acces
s the resources of Federal law enforcement in connection with their assignment to the Lone Star Fugitive Task Force.
Gomez, who has overseen the growth of the Task Force as it extends fingers into Williamson, Travis, Hays, and now Caldwell County, said the addition of the four deputies will enhance the ability of the Task Force to apprehend fugitives throughout the region.
“One thing that we’re seeing is that the crime that takes place in Austin is moving in this direction,” he said. “Or, at least, the criminals will commit their crimes [in Austin] and then come out here to hide out,” he said. “With these Deputies, we can now not only work to find them out here, but these gentlemen will now be able to follow through on fugitive matters outside this jurisdiction.”
The special deputation will allow the four to perform law enforcement duties anywhere within the United States or its territories, in connection with their duties and investigations within the framework of the Task Force.
“We’ve already had a great partnership with Caldwell County and the Lockhart and Luling Police Departments,” Gomez said. “We all work in cooperation with regards to manpower and resources whenever we can, and this will add another level to that cooperation.”
As the Lone Star Fugitive Task Force made plans to expand into Caldwell County earlier this year, Gomez said he discussed the possibility not only with Caldwell County Sheriff Daniel Law, but also Lockhart Police Chief Mike Lummus, Luling Police Chief William Sala, and Caldwell County District Attorney Fred Weber. All of the agencies, he said, offered their support for the expansion.
“When we first came here, we knew that we weren’t going to come unless everyone was on board, and everyone was in agreement with having us here,” he said. “And we’ve been welcomed with open arms. We’ve always had great relationships out in this area.”
The Lone Star Fugitive Task Force has, in recent weeks, attracted attention at the regional and Federal levels, with additional support coming in from Washington, D.C., and potential buy-in from Federal law enforcement outside the Marshal Service.
“[Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has been talking about joining with us, not for the immigration prong of their work, but for the investigations branch of their agency,” he said. “They are finding, too, that a lot of their Central Texas cases seem to have connections in this area, or that people commit crime here and flee to Mexico.”
The expanded partnership offers an uptick in personnel and resources, as well as access to local, state and Federal databases and offender information, which is expected to make fugitive apprehension easier in the future.
The four officers inducted into the US Marshal Service on the special two-year deputations were Captain Jesse Hernandez, Sergeant Sean Zion, Detective Daniel Evans and Detective Kyler Hornstein, effectively bringing the entire Investigative Division of the Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office under the umbrella of the Marshal Service. While the dual-deputation does not apply to the Division’s work on locally-based crimes (e.g., the officers will not be working as Federal officers while investigating locally committed crimes), they will have expanded authority to track and apprehend fugitives and work cases under the blanket of the Task Force.
Current members of the Lone Star Fugitive Task Force, along with Caldwell County include: Austin Police Department-Criminal Apprehension Team, Buda Police Department, Cedar Park Police Department, Kyle Police Department, San Marcos Police Department, Travis County Sheriff’s Office, Williamson, Caldwell, Hays and Bastrop County Sheriff’s Offices, Texas Department of Criminal Justice OIG, Texas Department of Public Safety, and the U.S. Marshal Service
To report crime or suspicious activity in your area, contact the Caldwell County Sheriff’s Department at (512) 398-6777, or for emergency situations dial 9-1-1.