Ex-Cop Pulls Gun in Hunt for 'Fake Ballots': Report

Mark Anthony Aguirre is facing up to 20 years in prison
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 16, 2020 5:24 PM CST
Ex-Cop Nabbed in Odd 'Voter Fraud' Case
Mark Anthony Aguirre.   (Houston Police Dept.)

An ex-police captain was charged Tuesday after allegedly stopping a man at gunpoint in Texas and accusing him of voter fraud, CNN reports. Prosecutors say Mark Anthony Aguirre, 63, was even paid over $260,000 for his work. "He crossed the line from dirty politics to commission of a violent crime and we are lucky no one was killed," said Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg in a statement. "His alleged investigation was backward from the start—first alleging a crime had occurred and then trying to prove it happened." The Texas Tribune reports that in October, Aguirre slammed his SUV into the truck of an air conditioner technician in Houston, put a gun to his head, a knee in his back, and had two associates search the truck for ballots, prosecutors say. But no ballots were found.

Seems the private group "Liberty Center for God and Country"—whose CEO is the bare-knuckle, Texas GOP activist Steve Hotze—had hired a company led by Aguirre to probe alleged voter fraud. Now Hotze is distancing himself from the altercation, saying via a rep that he "did not direct or lead any of the investigations." Hotze was among Republicans who tried to stop Texas from extending early voting during the COVID-19 pandemic, and who sued to have 127,000 ballots thrown out in Harris County; both attempts failed. Aguirre, who was fired from his Houston police job after a controversial raid, has been charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and faces up to 20 years. He's currently out on $30,000 bond. (More Election 2020 stories.)

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