An investigation into a recent burglary resulted in five felony arrests; cleared cases in two counties; resulted in recovery of 10 stolen weapons, two stolen vehicles and multiple tools; and discovery of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia, according to sheriff’s and arrest reports.
Credited for their involvement in the investigation were Hopkins County Sheriff’s Investigators Wade Sheets and Dennis Findley, and patrol deputies; and Franklin County Sheriff Rickey Jones and his investigators.
Tatum expressed “appreciation for these officers’ hard work and dedication to the cause of protecting our citizens and their property” following the arrests.
Investigators reportedly received information Friday, Jan. 17, about weapons and a suburban that were stolen in a recently burglary. They contacted 36-year-old Rusty Lee Clay and 34-year-old Shawna Clay, both of Winnsboro, and 39-year-old Lonni Hammond Allen of Royse City at a County Road 2390 residence.
While at the CR 2390 residence, the investigators reportedly learned at least one stolen weapon had been sold to another individual; 34-year-old Jeffery Joseph Stogner of Sulphur Springs arrived with the stolen weapon, Findley and Sheets alleged in arrest reports. However, all four allegedly denied knowledge about any other stolen weapons.
While the investigators and deputies were en route to another location following up on leads, 32-year-old Stephen J. Bryant of Winnsboro was observed working on a vehicle on the side of the road. Just down the same road, the stolen suburban and another vehicle that had been reported stolen from Franklin County were located, according to arrest reports. Bryant allegedly admitted involvement in the unauthorized use of both vehicles and to taking multiple stolen weapons to the Clay residence, where the officers had been earlier, Findley and Sheets alleged in arrest reports.
Upon their return to the CR 2390 residence, Rusty Clay and Jeffery Stogner allegedly escorted investigators into the woods, where eight stolen weapons were hidden under fallen timber, brush and leaves, the investigators alleged in arrest reports.
All five of the individuals were escorted to the sheriff’s office, where they were interviewed, according to arrest and sheriff’s reports. All of the individuals admitted to involvement either with the burglary or the concealment, possession or sale of property taken during the burglary, Sheets and Findley alleged in arrest reports.
Rusty Clay, Shawna Clay, Lonni Allen and Stephen Bryant were arrested at 11 p.m. Jan. 27 and booked into the county jail on an engaging in organized criminal activity charge for their involvement in the burglary of a habitation, according to arrest reports. Stogner was booked into jail on a third-degree felony tampering with evidence charge, according to arrest reports.
During the investigation, a total of 10 stolen weapons, two stolen vehicles, and multiple tools were allegedly recovered. A box containing more than 4 grams of methamphetamine, syringes, scales and other drug paraphernalia was also reportedly found hidden in a culvert, Sheets and Findley alleged in arrest reports.
Rusty Clay allegedly admitted the box belonged to him and that he had hid it, resulting in him being charged with possession of 4 grams or more but less than 200 grams of a Penalty Group 1 controlled substance, the investigators alleged in arrest reports.
The Hopkins County Sheriff’s Office is located at 298 Rosemont St., Sulphur Springs, TX 75482. Non-emergency calls can be made to (903) 438-4040.