Former Houston police officer charged with holding man at gunpoint to prove bogus voter-fraud claim

The Houston Police Department (HPD) and the Harris County District Attorney’s (HCDA) Office announced the arrest of former officer James Aguirre for aggravated assault. Aguirre is alleged to have held at gunpoint a man he accused of transporting illegal ballots on October 19.

“About 5:30 a.m. on October 19, an HPD patrol officer responding to an unrelated call observed a crash in the 1300 block of Almeda Genoa.  The officer then saw a man, later identified as Aguirre, detaining another man at gunpoint lying face down on the ground in the median,” the release states.

It then specifies, “Officers approached Aguirre, who identified himself as a retired HPD captain, and demanded officers take the male on the ground into custody.  Aguirre stated he was part of a security group conducting surveillance on a group of individuals reportedly involved in election fraud.”

The HCDA release further states, “According to Aguirre, he had been conducting surveillance on the victim for four days under a theory the victim was the mastermind of a giant fraud, and there were 750,000 fraudulent ballots in a truck he was driving. Instead, the victim turned out to be an innocent and ordinary air conditioner repairman.”

Shortly after news of the arrest broke, the Texas Tribune reported that Aguirre and his investigative group had been hired by Liberty Center for God and Country, run by prominent conservative activist Steven Hotze.

According to the HCDA, Aguirre was paid $266,400 by the organization.

The group hired Aguirre’s firm to investigate election fraud during the 2020 race’s home stretch. Hotze had a sizable hand in various legal challenges, related to both elections and emergency powers, this year.

When Aguirre informed HPD of his investigation, the department conducted their own, and stated in the release, “A lengthy investigation by HPD determined allegations of election fraud were unfounded and no evidence of illegal ballots was found.”

Aguirre was arrested by HPD officers on Tuesday after the Harris County District Attorney’s Office filed charges.

Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said in a statement, “[Aguirre] crossed the line from dirty politics to commission of a violent crime and we are lucky no one was killed. His alleged investigation was backward from the start – first alleging a crime had occurred and then trying to prove it happened.”

Aguirre is charged with a second-degree felony and could receive up to 20 years in prison.

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