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A former Houston police captain allegedly ran a man off the road and pointed a gun at his head in an attempt to prove a massive voter fraud scheme two weeks before the presidential election, according to a report.
Mark Anthony Aguirre, 63, was arrested Tuesday and charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, which carries a sentence of up to 20 years behind bars, KTRK reported.
The ex-captain told investigators that he was part of a group of private citizens called the “Liberty Center” who were conducting a civilian investigation into the alleged scheme in Harris County.
“He crossed the line from dirty politics to commission of a violent crime, and we are lucky no one was killed,” Harris County DA Kim Ogg said, according to the news outlet.
“His alleged investigation was backward from the start — first alleging a crime had occurred and then trying to prove it happened,” he added.
Aguirre said he had been conducting surveillance for four days on the alleged mastermind of a giant voter fraud scheme who was hiding 750,000 fraudulent ballots in a truck he was driving.
But the man turned out to be an innocent air conditioner repairman, according to court documents cited by KTRK.
Aguirre ran his SUV into the back of the technician’s truck to get him to stop and get out, court document said. He then pointed a handgun at the man, forced him to the ground and put his knee on his back until police arrived, it said.
Aguirre then directed cops to a parking lot where another suspect, who has not been identified, took the truck, the documents said. The truck contained no ballots, just air conditioning parts and tools, officials said.
Aguirre’s attorney Terry Yates called the arrest a “political prosecution.”
“He was working and investigating voter fraud, and there was an accident. A member of the car got out and rushed at him and that’s where the confrontation took place,” he said, according to KTRK.
“It’s very different from what you’re citing in the affidavit,” Yates added.
Aguirre allegedly never told investigators he had been paid $266,400 by the Houston-based Liberty Center for God and Country — with $211,400 of that sum being deposited into his account the day after the incident.
When asked whether the right-leaning Liberty Center endorses such a payment, Jared Woodfill, the attorney for the group’s head, Steven Hotze, said: “No, of course not. I’d be shocked if that’s what happened.”
“His company definitely worked for the organization. With respect to what happened, I’m not familiar, but we’ll be looking into it,” he told KTRK.
Aguirre, who worked for HPD for 24 years, was indefinitely suspended after a botched raid outside a K-Mart in 2002, the outlet reported.
He remains jailed on $30,000 bond.
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