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Members Of Houston Catalytic Converter Theft Ring Freed On Low Bond

Last week, we posted the story about a big bust of a catalytic converter theft ring where 455 catalytic converters, 2,800 oxygen sensors, and 29 guns were recovered.

Law enforcement believe this ring is responsible for at least $11.6 million in catalytic converter thefts.

Two of the suspects arrested even posted on social media a picture of them with wads of cash along with a stack of catalytic converters behind them.

Fox 26’s Randy Wallace reports that all five suspects of the ring have already been released on low bond including the suspected ring leaders who was released on the lowest bond despite the fact that he was out on parole for assault.

You can thank Democrat Judge Ramona Franklin for the get-out-of-jail pass.

Wallace reports:

"Last month, four law enforcement agencies raided five Houston-area homes and a storage facility with six federal search warrants in hand. It was all to arrest five men who authorities say ran an organized catalytic converter theft ring…
But in a matter of days, all five were free from jail…
That includes 40-year-old Armando Martinez, Sr.
"He has prior felony convictions he's got other convictions as well he's forfeited his bond umpteenth number of times," said Kahan. "He actually went to prison in 2021 they gave him 2 years for assault with intent to impede breathing."
Even though Armando Martinez, Sr. was on parole 338th Criminal District Court Judge Ramona Franklin set his bond at $75,000.
The lowest of all five defendants.
It's clear in documents the court knew Martinez was on parole.
"One would logically think that if you're on parole how on earth are you getting a bond," Kahan said.
Martinez's 18-year-old son Armando, Jr., who has forfeited bonds in the past, is free on a $100,000 bond.
Nineteen-year-old Jose Martinez, also Armando Martinez's son, 21-year-old Issac Castillo, and 20-year-old Terrance Elder had the highest bond amounts $200,000 but none of them have prior felony convictions.”

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