By Justin Cox
Killeen Daily Herald
Probation proved to be an insufficient deterrent for one Killeen man who is now headed to prison for committing the same crime that got him in trouble in the first place several times.
Judge Martha Trudo of the 264th District Court sentenced Edward Joe Ramirez, 36, of Killeen, to seven years in prison for three cases of felony prescription fraud throughout the county including in Harker Heights, Temple and Killeen.
Trudo revoked the four-year deferred probation from the first offense, which took place Aug. 17, 2006, in Temple. In that case, pharmacy employees recognized him as a known forger when he pulled into the drive-thru window because he had hit them several times before. Only that time, they wrote down his license plate number and called police. Officers in Temple arrested him not long after leaving the pharmacy for multiple active warrants.
Court files included a recommendation for jail time from Ramirez's probation officer, who stated that Ramirez attended meetings and remained cooperative for only a short time. The officer said Ramirez drifted away three months after his sentence and completed few requirements ordered by the court.
Once sentenced to probation, Ramirez continued to defraud pharmacies in Bell County; he just chose new targets a little further away.
Ramirez was arrested July 14 of last year in Harker Heights after attempting to pass another fraudulent prescription. He was later charged for the same crime in another instance.
The crime of prescription fraud is a second-degree felony, punishable by two to 20 years in prison.
Trudo also sentenced:
Christopher Michael Tew, 28, of Killeen, to one year in state jail with 108 days credit for theft, more than $1,500 but less than $20,000, on Aug. 27.
Judge Joe Carroll of the 27th District Court sentenced:
Joe Dean Smith, 60, of Temple, to nine years in prison for violating his probation on an 11-year-old felony. Smith will serve the time from his current place of residence, federal prison, where he has spent the last 10 years and eight months. Smith was originally sentenced by Judge Trudo on May 15, 1997, for possession of cocaine, 4 to 200 grams, found on his person in February of that year.
Paul Allen Trejo, 20, of Temple, to 15 months in state jail for violating his probation; Trejo was sentenced to four years of deferred probation last year for an Oct. 17, 2007, charge of possession of a controlled substance, less than 1 gram.
Bobby Gene Johnson Jr., 39, of Killeen; 12 months in state jail for violating the terms of his probation for committing the same crime a second time; Carroll originally sentenced Johnson to 12 months in state jail, probated for 12 months, for possession of a controlled substance, less than 1 gram, on Sept. 13, 2007. He was arrested for the same thing on Aug. 1of last year.
Randall Lee Helmandollar, 29, of Weimer, to 21 months in state jail for theft, more than $1,500 but less than $20,000 on June 17, 2006.
Judge Fancy Jezek of the 426th District Court sentenced Luis Omar Ramos, 20, of Killeen, to 15 months in state jail with 121 days credit for burglary of a building, April 21.
Contact Jusitn Cox at email@example.com or call (254) 501-7568.