By Philip Jankowski
Killeen Daily Herald
BELTON — A Bell County grand jury indicted four people Wednesday on organized crime charges. They are accused of defrauding a Belton construction company of more that $180,000.
The jury indicted Laura Marissa Castillo, Carlos Reyna Jr., Jeremy Mendoza Montalbo and Michael Tomas Trevino — all Temple residents — on charges of engaging in organized criminal activity for allegedly stealing $184,000 from Wolff Construction. Court documents state Castillo issued unauthorized checks to her three co-defendants — all members of her extended family — over a two-year period.
Castillo oversaw at least part of Wolff Construction's employee payroll until an outside audit revealed that she had been issuing checks to her husband, brother-in-law and cousin. She was fired in March after an accountant confronted her, and she admitted to writing the checks, an arrest affidavit states.
Each defendant could face up to life in prison for the charges. They were originally charged with theft over $100,000, a second-degree felony, but the charges were upgraded because enough people were involved to classify their alleged crimes as a criminal conspiracy, First Assistant District Attorney Murff Bledsoe said.
The accountant's audit showed Castillo, 26, wrote unauthorized checks from April 2010 until March 2012.
Her 31-year-old husband, Reyna, received nearly $92,000. She wrote multiple checks adding up to more than $71,000 to Montalbo — her brother-in-law — and about $21,500 to Trevino, Castillo's cousin.
None of the recipients ever worked for Wolff Construction, the affidavit states.
In an interview with Belton police, Trevino, 24, said Castillo would have him cash the checks and then give part of the money back to her. Montalbo, 28, told police the same thing. Reyna also admitted to cashing the unauthorized checks, the affidavit states.
Wolff Construction has operated in Central Texas since it was founded in 1964. The company specializes in concrete projects and has done street work for the city of Copperas Cove and village of Salado, according to the company's website and Herald archives.
The grand jury also returned indictments against the following:
James Michael Cogan, 59, of Temple, on a charge of possession of a controlled substance, 28 grams or more.
Aaron Deshaun Wyatt, 33, of Houston, on a charge of aggravated promotion of prostitution.
Ronald Andre Carter, 29, of Killeen, on a charge of injury to a child.
Jamie Earl Ellis, 25, of Killeen, on a charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
Muhammad Sean Mills, 31, of Killeen, on a charge of burglary of a habitation with a deadly weapon.
Jarvis Demectie Butler, 20, on a charge of theft over $1,500.
Mickey Ladon Walker Jr., 24, of Killeen, on a charge of theft over $1,500.
Rayjohn Almalike Butler, 24, of Killeen, on a charge of theft over $1,500.
Carl Robertson Jr., 26, of Killeen, on a charge of possession of cocaine, less than 1 gram.
Michael Ray Berry, 40, of Killeen, on a charge of possession with intent to deliver cocaine, 1 gram or more.
Contact Philip Jankowski at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7553. Follow him on Twitter at KDHcrime.