A retired Houston police captain could be facing decades behind bars after being accused of pulling a gun on an HVAC repairman that the former cop believed was part of a massive campaign to steal the presidential election for Joe Biden.
63-year old Mark Anthony Aguirre faces charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon in the incident, which took place back in October of this year, just weeks before the election.
According to Aguirre, he’d been conducting surveillance on a man for four days, believing that the individual was part of a ballot harvesting conspiracy. The former cop told police that the man had a truck packed full of 750,000 ballots and was using “Hispanic children to sign the ballots because the children’s fingerprints would not appear in any database.”
On the morning of October 19th, Aguirre tailed the man as he left his home, but wasn’t content to just hang back. Eventually, Aguirre ran his SUV into the back of the truck, and when the driver got out to check on the damage, Aguirre allegedly pulled a gun and ordered the driver to the ground. Moments later a police officer driving by saw Aguirre with gun in hand and pulled over to investigate.
Aguirre allegedly directed police to a parking lot nearby where another suspect, who has not been identified, took the truck.
According to court documents, there were no ballots in the truck. The truck was filled with air conditioning parts and tools.
After Aguirre was questioned by police, he led them to the mobile home park where the delivery driver lives and pointed out where he’d hid and watched the man over the past four days. The former cop claimed that the driver was using his home and a shed behind the house to store the fraudulent ballots, but after the driver gave police permission to search the property, they found nothing that would point to a ballot harvesting operation or voter fraud of any kind.
According to court records, Aguirre was paid more than $250,000 by the Texas-based Liberty Center for God and Country to conduct his voter fraud investigation, including a payment of more than $200,000 the day after the incident took place. The Liberty Center, whose CEO is conservative activist Steven Holtze, confirmed its business relationship with Aguirre on Tuesday.
Jared Woodfill, a spokesperson and attorney for Hotze, confirmed that the Liberty Center hired a company led by Aguirre to investigate voter fraud ahead of the 2020 election. The company contracted approximately 20 private investigators to work on claims of fraudulent ballots in Harris County and other places in Texas. Woodfill said he was aware of Aguirre’s arrest but had not yet heard Aguirre’s side of the story.
“[Hotze] did not direct or lead any of the investigations,” Woodfill said, noting that Hotze instead sent tips and information to the team of investigators to decide how to follow up. “The [Liberty Center] employed the investigation team that looked into the allegations.”
It’s probably too late for the Liberty Center to get its money back, especially since Aguirre will likely need all the cash he can get to pay for a criminal defense team if he plans on fighting the charges. A self-defense claim appears to be out of the question, since even Aguirre doesn’t claim that the air conditioning repairman ever threatened him. Instead it appears Aguirre was trying to effect a citizen’s arrest on the man after becoming frustrated that law enforcement wasn’t taking the supposed threat seriously.
A few days before Aguirre allegedly assaulted the man, he called Lt. Wayne Rubio with the Texas attorney general’s office, requesting help with the investigation. Rubio declined and reported the call. Days later, he got another call from Aguirre,who was upset that police would not intervene based on his uncorroborated accusations, according to the affidavit, which referred to a phone call and email from Rubio reporting the call to authorities. Aguirre allegedly told Rubio he had been in a car wreck with “a voter fraud suspect.”
It should be noted, by the way, that Aguirre had no cause to try to make a citizen’s arrest, since he hadn’t actually witnessed a felony offense or breach of the peace. He had his suspicions and his theories, but no actual evidence that a crime had been committed.
Police and prosecutors, on the other hand, have plenty of evidence in their case against Aguirre, who was apparently willing to ignore the law in pursuit of a greater truth.
I applaud those who want to ensure that our votes are secure and not subject to fraud, but there’s a right way to go about it and Aguirre’s course of action ain’t it. The only person likely to end up facing charges as a result of Aguirre’s investigation into voter fraud is Aguirre himself, and while the maximum sentence of 20 years may be unlikely, the prospect of at least some prison time for the former police officer is a near certainty if he’s convicted.